Chennai Super Kings’ winning run in their comeback season came to an end in a heartbreaking manner on Sunday night (April 15) against Kings XI Punjab. The Super Kings had started the season with a bang, beating two of the most successful teams in the league – Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders.
In the season-opener, they beat defending champions Indians by a solitary wicket. In the following game, they got the better of Knight Riders in a high-scoring thriller before wrestling in a Kings derby at Mohali.
However, they could not get over the finish line against KXIP despite getting agonisingly close. Sent in to bat first, Ravichandran Ashwin-led Punjab put up a daunting 197 for seven in 20 allotted overs.
Swashbuckling KL Rahul and Chris Gayle came out all guns blazing while piling on 75 for no loss in six overs.
At 120 for one in 11 overs, Kings XI Punjab were set up for a score well over 200 when Shane Watson sent back Gayle. It somewhat allowed Chennai to pull back things and they did well to restrict Punjab to 197.
In reply, Chennai were looking well out of the contest after initially struggling to bat as per demand. With 64 needed off the last four overs, Punjab were looking like the firm favourites.
However, MS Dhoni, on 32 off 26 balls then, had other plans. He went on to smash unbeaten 79 off just 44 balls – to take his team within touching distance of a win.
17 runs were needed off the last over but Super Kings managed to score 12 and thus suffered their first defeat of the season.
It was a heartbreaking loss for them and Imran Tahir’s tweet summed up the team’s feeling.
The star leg-spinner Imran Tahir, who took two wickets in the match, vowed to bounce back strongly in the next game.
He also lavished praise on Dhoni for his brilliance with the willow.
“Sorry will put my hand up could have done better but gave it all I had.The team fought till the very end.How well did our captain cool play today.We will be back with a bang @ChennaiIPL #whistle podu,” he tweeted.
Sorry will put my hand up could have done better but gave it all I had.The team fought till the very https://t.co/IJtjIGqOvr well did our captain cool play today.We will be back with a bang @ChennaiIPL #whistle podu
— Imran Tahir (@ImranTahirSA) April 15, 2018
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