A near century from Proteas captain Faf du Plessis was not enough for the Chennai Super Kings to prevent a six-wicket defeat to the Kings XI Punjab in Sunday’s Indian Premier League fixture at the IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali, Chandigarh.
Chennai remains at the top of the 2019 tournament’s eight-team standings despite the loss, while Punjab climb from last to sixth position – and remain in contention for a play-off berth.
Du Plessis’ 96, which featured 10 fours and a quartet of sixes, and spanned a mere 55 deliveries, pushed the Super Kings to a final total of 170 for five after opposition captain Ravichandran Ashwin had won the toss and opted to bowl first.
The South African right-hander was well supported by Indian left-hander Suresh Raina, who gathered 53 from 38. They shared a 120-run alliance for the second wicket.
In reply, the Kings XI enjoyed early impetus from openers Lokesh Rahul and Chris Gayle. The former struck 71 to the latter’s 28 – and afforded West Indian recruit Nicholas Pooran’s middle-order vigil of 36 to ensure triumph with a dozen deliveries to spare.
Harbhajan Singh snared three wickets, which included the dismissals of Gayle and Rahul, but conceded all of 57 runs from four expensive overs.
The Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders will contest Sunday’s second IPL fixture at the Wankhede Stadium.
SPORTZPICS for BCCI