Chennai Super Kings thrashed Kings XI Punjab by 10 wickets on Sunday night as Shane Watson returned to form by playing a 53-ball 83 run knock. In-form batsman Faf du Plessis too remained unbeaten at 87 off 53 balls.
Batting first, Kings XI Punjab had scored 178-4 in 20 overs with skipper KL Rahul scoring 63 in 52 balls. The team from Punjab failed to capitalise on a good start given by Rahul and Mayank Agarwal with both adding 61 runs in the first 8.1 overs.
The opening partnership of 181 runs between Watson and du Plessis was the second-highest in the history of IPL. The highest opening partnership was between Gautam Gambhir and Chris Lynn at Rajkot in 2017.
Reacting to his side’s defeat, Rahul said, “Look it’s hard being on the losing side for so many games, we’ve just got to keep trying harder. There’s no rocket science, we know where we’re going wrong. The execution part’s been bad. I thought 178 was a good score. The wicket stopped a bit when we started batting, we felt like 170-180 was par on this wicket. But we know if we don’t get wickets against players of this class, we’ll struggle. We can attack and look for wickets if you’re going 7-8 an over, but when you’re going 10 an over at the start it’s a little difficult to be aggressive. They’re all professional players, they know where it’s going wrong. Having said that, we need to keep our chins up and keep training harder. Hopefully we’ll learn and we’ll bounce back.”
An elated Dhoni said after the match, “I think we did the small things. That’s what was important to us. The kind of start we got in batting, that’s what we needed. Hopefully we’ll be able to replicate this in the coming games. It’s not about being more aggressive. He was hitting it well in the nets and what you need is to do that in the middle. It was just a matter of time. Faf is like a sheet anchor for us, keeps playing those shots in the middle. He can always confuse the bowler with the lap shots and all coming in. It is something that we bank on and sometimes Fleming doesn’t get as much credit. The good thing is we have one plan. It’s not that we don’t have debates, but it’s one plan, that’s the relationship between us. I feel looking at the first 3-4 games, what you really think is you restrict them to as little as possible and that can add pressure. Every team has a furious hitter who can disrupt the bowling and our bowlers did well. We needed momentum with the right kind of shots. Watto and Faf backed themselves with the shots they’re known for.”
Watson was declared Man Of The Match.