Du Plessis and Gaikwad deny Kings XI Punjab IPL play-off spot

By Timothy Abraham 1 November 2020 39
Du Plessis and Gaikwad deny Kings XI Punjab IPL play-off spot

Faf du Plessis hit 48 as Kings XI Punjab were denied a place in the Indian Premier League play-offs after a nine-wicket defeat to Chennai Super Kings on Sunday.

Deepak Hooda whacked an unbeaten 62 off 30 balls as Kings XI posted 153-6 with Lungi Ngidi (3-39) doing the damage for the Super Kings with the ball.

South African Du Plessis laid the platform for CSK's response with a 34-ball 48 before Ruturaj Gaikwad's unbeaten half-century got them home.

The Super Kings were unable to qualify for the play-offs but their victory, with seven balls to spare, deprived Kings XI of a chance to make the top four.

CSK skipper MS Dhoni won the toss and asked Kings XI to bat first at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi and rotated his bowlers with good effect.

KL Rahul (29) and Mayank Agarwal (26) made a slow start and the experienced Chris Gayle (12) was unable to get going, trapped lbw by spinner Imran Tahir (1-24).

Hooda boosted the total with a brutal assault on the Kings XI attack late on as he struck four sixes and three fours and scored his first IPL half-century since 2015 with a strike rate of 206.66

The Super Kings reached 82 without loss from 9.5 overs in their reply before Du Plessis misjudged a slower delivery from Chris Jordan and his attempted ramp shot was comfortably caught by Rahul.

Fellow opener Gaikwad took the initiative from Du Plessis as he hit 62 not out from 49 balls and got CSK over the line with Ambati Rayudu who finished on 30.

 

DU PLESSIS SHOWS HIS CLASS

This was the type of chase that required a disciplined approach with wickets in hand and Du Plessis produced a typically consistent knock, just missing out on a fifth half-century in the tournament. The CSK opener showed all his composure and experience as he rotated the strike cleverly, but with a dash of inventiveness as he scooped Jimmy Neesham for six.

GAYLE'S IPL SWANSONG?

At the age of 41, Gayle's knees are starting to creak and the left-hander was unable to muster a boundary in a scratchy 12 off 19 balls for the Kings XI here. Handed the ball to bowl an almost ceremonial last over will raise questions of whether he is set to bow out. The elder statesman of T20 cricket is still a draw, but he is not getting any younger and if this ends up being his IPL swansong, it was a meek way to go.

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