Super Kings crash Kings XI Punjab’s semi-final hopes


Durban : Chennai Super Kings knocked Kings XI Punjab out of the Indian Premier League (IPL) with a 24-run victory in their last league match at Kingsmead here Wednesday.

Support TwoCircles

Chennai’s win made them the second team after Delhi Daredevils to enter the

semi-finals, while also assuring Deccan Chargers and Bangalore Royal Challengers of a place in the last four stage.

After winning the toss and opting to bat, Super Kings were restricted to a paltry 116 for nine but were pegged back into the game by their three off-spinners – Man of the Match Muttiah Murlitharan (2-8), Suresh Raina (2-17) and R. Ashwin (2-13) – who among them took six wickets for a mere 38 runs and stifled the Punjab chase to 92 for eight wickets.

Kings XI Punjab’s batsmen failed to capitalise on the good work of their bowlers, putting up a brittle resistance to the Super Kings’s attack.

Punjab’s top four batsmen, including skipper Yuvraj Singh (6), were back in the dugout after scoring a mere 49 runs in 13 overs after Thilan Thushara (2-28) started the rot by removing Sunny Sohal off the last ball of the second over.

Chennai spinners further dried up the runs for the Punjab batsmen, who fell in quick succession in attempting to accelerate the scoring. Irfan Pathan (14) down the order gave bleak hope to Punjab but failed to do much as he departed off the last ball of the penultimate over, handing Thushara his second wicket. With 32 required off the last over, it was too late for Punjab to expect a miracle.

Earlier, Sreesanth (2-23) and Pathan (2-32) troubled the Chennai Super Kings batsmen with their pace and swing. Brett Lee, too bowled an impressive spell, though he went wicketless.

For Chennai, Parthiv Patel and George Bailey (15 off 12 balls) added 40 runs for the first wicket before Bailey was run out by a direct hit from Yuvraj Singh in the fifth over. Patel was dismissed two overs later, bowled by Romesh Powar for 32 runs.

Subramaniam Badrinath and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni fell in quick succession to leave Chennai at 70/4.

Much was expected from in-form Raina, but he holed a catch to Lee off Wilkin Mota in the 14th over. The rest of the Chennai batsmen failed to go into double figures, with the exception of Jacob Oram who made 17 off 21 balls.