[caption id="attachment_714259" align="aligncenter" width="628"]<img class="size-full wp-image-714259" alt="Suresh Raina BCCI" src="https://www.cricketcountry.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/suresh-raina.jpg" width="628" height="355" /> Suresh Raina BCCI[/caption] <p></p> <p></p>The league stage of <a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/tag/IPL-2018" target="_blank">VIVO IPL 2018</a> is over. In the last tie (Match 56), <a href="https://www.cricketcountry.com/teams/Kings-XI-Punjab" target="_blank">Kings XI Punjab</a> (KXIP), defending 153, had to dismiss Chennai Super Kings (CSK) to 100 or fewer to stand a chance for qualification, but Suresh Raina's unbeaten half-century crushed their hopes. Despite some bizarre batting-order changes, CSK crossed the finish line to do a big favour to Rajasthan Royals (RR). RR and CSK making a comeback in IPL after two years are both in the final four. <p></p> <p></p>Chasing 154, CSK didn't get off to a good start. The in-form Ambati Rayudu perished early to an edge off Mohit Sharma. Then Chris Gayle caught Faf du Plessis inches from the ground with a reverse cup and insisted on a review. Faf was given out. Ankit Rajpoot bowled Sam Billings with a jaffa next ball: it moved just a bit more to edge past Billings' defence. <p></p> <p></p>CSK, for reasons best known to them, then shuffled their batting order. Harbhajan Singh came out at No. 5 to prevent the hat-trick and was dropped at slip second ball, by Aaron Finch. Harbhajan did get some freebies but eventually departed for a painstaking 22-ball 19. He was leg-before, trying to go after Ravichandran Ashwin. <p></p> <p></p>Deepak Chahar, with 99 runs in 34 T20s and a career-best of 20 till today, was next in. He looked better than Harbhajan, and even dominated a 66-run stand with Raina. While Raina failed to get his timing right, Chahar took on Ashwin and smacked some glorious shots, eventually falling for a 20-ball 39. He ensured KXIP's exit from the tournament. <p></p> <p></p><em><strong>Note:</strong> KXIP become the first side in IPL history to miss the Playoffs despite winning 5 of their first 6 encounters.</em> <p></p> <p></p>The rest of the show was carried by MS Dhoni and his deputy, Raina. Dhoni, completing 4,000 IPL runs, smashed a humongous six to seal the show. Meanwhile, Raina looked rusty but carried the bat to anchor the innings. This knock would do a world of good for the southpaw ahead of Qualifier 1 (against Sunrisers Hyderabad). <p></p> <p></p><strong>Brief scores:</strong> <p></p> <p></p><strong>Kings XI Punjab</strong> 153 in 19.4 overs (Manoj Tiwary 35, David Miller 24, Karun Nair 54; Lungi Ngidi 4 for 10, Dwayne Bravo 2 for 39, Shardul Thakur 2 for 33, Deepak Chahar 1 for 30) lost to <strong>Chennai Super Kings</strong> 159 for 5 in 19.1 overs (Suresh Raina 61*, Deepak Chahar 39, Harbhajan Singh 19, MS Dhoni 16*; Ankit Rajpoot 2 for 19, Ravichandran Ashwin 2 for 36) by 5 wickets with 5 balls to spare. <p></p> <p></p><strong>Player of the Match: </strong>Lungi Ngidi.