Mohali, Chennai Super Kings secured a top finish in the Indian Premier League (IPL) table with a comfortable seven wicket win over Kings XI Punjab on Saturday at Mohali, thanks to a disciplined bowling performance and composed knocks by Faf du Plessis andSuresh Raina .
Opting to bat first, KXIP failed to get off to a promising start as both openers Wriddiman Saha and Manan Vohra were dismissed cheaply for their respective scores of 15 and four.
While skipper George Bailey could only score 12 before he was caught behind by Mahendra Singh Dhoni off a Ashish Nehra delivery, compatriot Glenn Maxwell trudged back to the pavilion for a mere six-run.
Left-arm spinner Pawan Negi, who bagged the Man-of-the-Match, was the pick of the bowlers for CSK as he scalped two wickets, including of big-hitter David Miller.
Ravichandran Ashwin produced an economical spell, returning figures of 1-14 in his allotted four overs, to provide substantial support to the bowling unit.
Subsequently, all-rounder Axar Patel (32) teamed up with Rishi Dhawan (25 not out) to put on a crucial 44-run stand before the dismissal of the former.
The KXIP batsmen began to wilt under pressure from the start of their innings as they were restricted to 130-7 in their allotted 20 overs.
Chasing a modest target of 131, CSK dealt a severe blow after the early dismissals of Brendon McCullum and Michael Hussey. However, Du Plessis and Raina steadied the ship as the duo put on a 92-run partnership for the third wicket.
Du Plessis scored 55 runs before he was bowled out by Dhawan’s delivery.
Raina remained unbeaten on 41and subsequently teamed up with Dhoni (25 not out) to anchor their side to victory with 19 balls remaining.