Chennai, Apr 28: Another thriller of a contest, Kings XI Punjab defeated Chennai Super Kings by seven runs, as the match went on to the last over and David Hussey's XI won the battle of nerves in Game 37 of IPL 5 at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Saturday.
Chennai got off to a good start as they scored 71/2 in 10 overs while Punjab came back into the game as Azhar Mahmood picked up two wickets to apply breaks on the run-rate that was accelerating every over.
Chasing 157 to win, Chennai's Faf du Plessis and Subramaniam Badrinath were truly exceptional as they got off to a rollicking start, as they scored runs at 9 runs per over, until Azhar Mahmood was introduced into the attack, as he dismissed the danger man Faf du Plessis for 29 and Badrinath for 25.
Though it looked like Punjab's bowling attack lacked efficiency in the first six overs, Azhar Mahmood created a difference as he got the much needed breakthrough to give Kings XI an opportunity to fancy their chances.
Suresh Raina (15), MS Dhoni (1), Ravindra Jadeja (17), Albie Morkel (8) all failed to score runs, as they succumbed to pressure when the required run-rate had crossed 12 runs per over.
Albie Morkel who played a magical knock of 28 from 7 balls, also failed to repeat it which saw Chennai losing to Kings XI by 7 runs.
Despite of a few dropped catches, Punjab managed to restrict Chennai Super Kings or 149/8 in 20 overs, as Azhar Mahmood and Piyush Chawla bowled extremely well to get the breakthroughs at the right time, which helped them come back strongly and finally win the match by 7 runs.
Kings XI Punjab Innings Report: Albie Morkel and Dwayne Bravo's impressive spells help Chennai Super Kings restrict Kings XI Punjab to 156/8 in 20 overs in game 37 of IPL 5 played at M A Chidambaram Stadium. Chennai Super Kings need 157 to win off 20 overs at 7.85 runs per over.
Punjab got off to a very good start after electing to bat first as they scored 43 runs in the first six overs and got 68 runs for the first wicket (Shaun Marsh - Mandeep Singh) while an unfortunate run-out ended the duo's partnership as Marsh was dismissed for 32 (22 balls).
Mandeep Singh played very well as he scored 56 off 50 balls, as his innings included 5 fours and 1 six. David Miller (19), Azhar Mahmood (18) both started well while they couldn't stay for long as the run-rate also dropped.
When things were going beyond Chennai's reach, Albie Morkel (3/29) and Dwayne Bravo's (2/28) magical spells applied breaks on the run-rate from accelerating, which saw Punjab score just 79 runs off the last ten overs.
After restricting Kings XI to 156/8, Chennai Super Kings look to chase 157 off 20 overs which isn't an impossible target given the strong batting line-up of the hosts.
Chennai Super Kings: MS Dhoni (captain), Ravichandran Ashwin, Subramaniam Badrinath, Dwayne Bravo, Faf du Plessis, Ravindra Jadeja, Wriddhiman Saha, Shadab Jakati, Albie Morkel, Suresh Raina, Nuwan Kulasekara
Kings XI Punjab: David Hussey (captain), Shaun Marsh, Piyush Chawla, Mandeep Singh, Parvinder Awana, Praveen Kumar, Bhargav Bhatt, Nitin Saini (wicketkeeper), Bipul Sharma, David Miller, Azhar Mahmood.
Umpires: Billy Bowden (New Zealand) and Shavir Tarapore (India)
TV umpire: SS Shamsuddin (India)
Match referee: Roshan Mahanama (Sri Lanka)