Kings XI falter as Royals go through

Chennai Super Kings eliminated Kings XI Punjab from the Indian Premier League (IPL) with a five-wicket win here on Sunday, a result which sealed Rajasthan Royals’ place in the Play-offs.

Young paceman Lungi Ngidi conceded only 10 runs and took four wickets before Suresh Raina hit a measured unbeaten 61 as the Super Kings bounced back well from early setbacks to eventually post a comfortable victory.

Delhi Daredevils had done a favour to Punjab by knocking out Mumbai Indians with an 11-run win in the first match of the day as it kept Punjab in the hunt to take the last-available spot in the Play-offs.

When Punjab batsmen needed to fire in unison, only Karun Nair (54) showed stomach for fight with his 26-ball knock, which was laced with three fours and five sixes.

Nair’s half-century helped Kings XI Punjab recover from a poor start and post 153 in 19.4 overs but they needed to win by at least 53 runs to qualify for the Play-offs.

The result meant Kings XI remained in seventh with 12 points, while Rajasthan qualified from fourth spot with 14 points.

It was South African Ngidi who triggered a top-order collapse as he swung the ball both ways to confound the Punjab batsmen. He was miserly in his four-over quota and scalped key players.

CSK needed to win in 17.3 overs to snatch the top spot but they had to be content with a second-place finish behind Sunrisers Hyderabad, both on 18 points, as they could overhaul the target only in 19.1 overs.

Deepak Chahar (39 from 20) shared a crucial 56-run stand with Raina in Chennai’s win while skipper MS Dhoni, who batted down the order, scored 16 off seven balls and finished the match with a six.

With the wicket helping seamers, CSK’s chase was far from smooth with Ankit Rajpoot dismissing Faf du Plessis (14) and Sam Billings (0) in successive balls. This was after Mohit Sharma had scalped in-form Ambati Rayudu (1).

But in the end, it was the experieced pair of Dhoni and Raina who took the side past the finish line.

CSK and SRH will now clash in the Qualifier 1 on Tuesday while Royals and KKR will lock horn in Eliminator on Wednesday.

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Kings XI falter as Royals go through

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