Kings flip paupers, once more

Abu Dhabi, November 1

Kings XI crashed out of the IPL with a nine-wicket defeat to bottom-placed Chennai Super Kings in their final match of the IPL. Needing a victory to stay in contention to qualify for the four-team playoff stage, KXIP were woeful with both bat and ball, first being restricted to 153/6 in 20 overs, then not challenging KXIP at all with the ball as they lost with more than an over to spare.

Ruturaj Gaikwad was the star for CSK, the first team to be knocked out of the event, recorded their third consolation win in a row after only three wins in the first 11 matches. CSK’s win in their previous match, over Kolkata Knight Riders, have made things difficult for the Kolkata team, and today they managed to knock out KXIP.

Gaikwad remained unbeaten on 62 off 49 balls, with three fours and four sixers, adding 72 for the second wicket with Ambati Rayudu, who made 30 not out off 30 balls.

‘Patchy cricket’

“We didn’t bat really well. Big pressure game, we expected 180-190. We couldn’t soak in the pressure. We didn’t have the results going our way in the first half. The team still felt like we were playing good cricket,” KXIP captain KL Rahul later said. “We were patchy. The bowling and batting wasn’t coming together in the first half, proud that we did it in the second half.”

“It is disappointing. We had a lot of games in our pockets and we couldn’t get over the line and we only have ourselves to blame,” he said.

Hooda surge

Earlier, bringing his big-hitting prowess to the fore, Deepak Hooda lifted Punjab to 153 for six with a counterattacking 30-ball 62. Hooda smashed four sixes and three fours during his entertaining stay in the middle.

Thanks to Hooda, KXIP managed 40 runs in the last three overs after CSK, opting to field, choked their middle-order for runs. Hooda picked his spots cleverly and also ran well between the wickets on a day when his more accomplished batting colleagues failed to capitalise on their starts. Pacer Lungi Ngidi picked up 3/39 for CSK.

Returning to the side after an injury-forced break, Mayank Agarwal got KXIP off to a breezy start, collecting two boundaries off Deepak Chahar’s first over. Rahul got into the act with the day’s first six, over the third man region before scoring two boundaries off Shardul Thakur.

After a brisk start by KXIP, the CSK bowling attack did extremely well to strangle the strong opposition batting that comprised the likes of Chris Gayle and Nicholas Pooran in the middle-order. From 44/0 five overs, KXIP were struggling at 65/2 after the 10th over.

KXIP enjoyed a couple of good overs but the CSK maintained their stranglehold. Hooda then scored some useful runs down the order, including smashing Ngidi for two sixes, as KXIP ended the innings on a high. — TNS, Agencies

Always special to get Kohli’s wicket: Sandeep

Sandeep Sharma celebrates the wicket of Virat Kohli. PTI 

Sharjah: Sandeep Sharma has got RCB skipper Virat Kohli out seven times in the IPL, more than any other bowler, making it a “special achievement” for the SRH medium pacer. Sharma dismissed Kohli for seven which played no small part in SRH’s five-wicket win over RCB yesterday. It was also the joint-highest in the IPL for a bowler getting a batsman out — Zaheer Khan had got the better of MS Dhoni seven times too. “Kohli is one of the greatest batsmen this sport has seen. To get him out is always special,” said Sharma, who was adjudged the Man of the Match for his figures of 2/20. “I bowled wicket to wicket as much as possible,” added the 27-year-old from Punjab who has played two T20Is. PTI

Morgan’s 68 takes KKR to 191 against Rajasthan Royals

Dubai: Skipper Eoin Morgan smashed a 68 off 35 balls as Kolkata Knight Riders produced a superlative batting display to post a challenging 191/7 against Rajasthan Royals in a must-win IPL game here today. Morgan’s knock was studded with six maximums and five fours as KKR amassed 59 in last five overs. Earlier, Shubman Gill (36) and Rahul Tripathi (39) shared a 72-run stand for the second wicket, while Andre Russell had a 11-ball-25 to his credit. PTI

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