IPL 2019, CSK vs KXIP, Talking Points: Spin to win for Chennai Super Kings

Chennai Super Kings were back to winning ways after a loss to Mumbai Indians in their previous game with a 22-run win over Kings XI Punjab in their Match 18 of the IPL 2019, and went onto reclaim the top spot in the points table.

Here are the talking points from the match:

After Du Plessis’ 54, Dhoni powers Chennai

While Chennai were dented with loss of Dwayne Bravo, they added the firepower of Faf du Plessis at the top of the order bringing down Ambati Rayudu to No.5. And the move worked as the experience of Du Plessis came to the fore as the South African build a solid base with his 38-ball 54 for a late order flourish. By the time Du Plessis departed in the 14th over, CSK had 100 on board. Even though they lost Suresh Raina in the same over for 17. MS Dhoni and Rayudu got enough time to key their eye in on a tricky track and the duo milked 44 runs off the last three balls to power their team to a formidable 160/3. Dhoni hit a six and two fours of Sam Curran before adding another boundary off Andrew Tye. Dhoni remained unbeaten on 37 off 23 balls, while Rayudu was 21 not out off 15 balls.

Harbhajan Singh puts CSK ahead

Harbhajan Singh was back in the side after being dropped for the Mumbai game at the bouncy Wankhede Stadium, and at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, the Indian tweaker put in a marvellous first over getting rid of Chris Gayle and Mayank Agarwal – a double-wicket maiden. That dented Kings XI Punjab heavily, before KL Rahul and Sarfaraz Khan revived the innings. Harbhajan ended with 4-1-17-2.

Spin to win for Chennai

While Rahul made 55 and Sarfaraz added 67, both of their strike-rates were below 120 and that was largely owing to a terrific spell of spin bowling in the middle overs by CSK tweakers. While Harbhajan made his mark with 2/17 in his four, Imran Tahir, Chennai’s leading wicket-taker in the season so far, put in a miserly spell of 4-0-20-0 while Ravindra Jadeja too managed to curtail the both well-set batsmen with 4-0-24-0. And even though Rahul and  Sarfaraz combined for a stand of 110 runs, that came off 16.3 overs, but when it was time to push for a win, debutant Scott Kuggeleijn picked up both the batsmen, reaping the rewards of the good work put in by the spinners.