After Faf du Plessis and MS Dhoni guided Chennai Super Kings to 160 runs, Harbhajan Singh and Scott Kuggeleijn held their nerve to guide the team to a win against Kings XI Punjab. MS Dhoni also had a huge role to play with his knock of 37 runs off just 23 balls to give CSK a late flourish.
Shane Watson (3/10): The problem of being a slow-starter is your batting almost becomes a 50-50 success tale and at times when it doesn’t come off, the team goes into a shell. Shane Watson has been like that ever since he has joined CSK and the same approach during his 24-ball 26 didn’t add much value to the team.
Faf du Plessis (7.5/10): Faf was dismissed in a clever manner by Ravichandran Ashwin. Faf was under pressure after Suresh Raina failed to open his arms after powerplay, and that resulted in the South African skipper trying to pre-meditate his shot against Ashwin. Understanding that, the Punjab skipper bowled a carrom ball to draw him forward and eventually forced him to mistime a shot. However, he perfectly did his job with the bat and one can’t take that away from him.
Suresh Raina (3/10): During his entire stay in the middle, the CSK vice-captain neither tried to score freely nor did he have any basic understanding of the turn that the Ashwin duo was generating. A fruitless approach of slogging eventually ended his frustrating outing in the middle.
Ambati Rayudu (6/10): This innings might help Rayudu erase some of his wrong-doing in the last few matches. Looked scratchy in the beginning, as usual, but after MS Dhoni’s arrival, he changed gears to end with a 15-ball 21 at the backend of the innings. Fair play to him that he gave the maximum strike to his skipper after the latter hit the first six.
MS Dhoni (7.5/10): Trust MS Dhoni to deliver whenever he puts himself on the hot seat and starts slow. While his calculation does a perfect job for him, the more cynical or rather over-aggressive, depending on whatever view you held, the
Kedar Jadhav (6/10): Didn’t get to bat, and he wouldn’t mind the fact that Rayudu and Dhoni collected 44 runs in the last three overs. Well, he would’ve liked to come ahead of Rayudu, especially on the context of his appearance.
Ravindra Jadeja (7/10): The CSK all-rounder has epitomized the fact that if you have a clarity of your role, then nothing can disturb your plans. Jadeja knew that CSK can afford to have him in the team even if he doesn’t pick any wickets and understanding that, he bowled stump-to-stump to keep the batsmen in check. It paid off immensely as Rahul and Sarfaraz had to take risks against pacers.
Deepak Chahar (5/10): He is mainly a new-ball bowler, but in the last couple of matches, oppositions have forced MS Dhoni to come out of his comfort zone by attacking him from the outset. It provided him
Scott Kuggeleijn (6/10): On his IPL debut, the Kiwi cricketer, who had impressed MS Dhoni with his bowling performances against India in January, had a perfect death over on his CV to boast about. Was very good with his line and the dangerous full-length balls played to his strength to give CSK the win.
Harbhajan Singh (8/10): On a track that was favourable to slower bowlers, Harbhajan Singh took the full benefit of it by combining beautiful flight and dip with occasional flatter and faster trajectories. This was an impressive tactic as Gayle, who now has been dismissed by the spinner five times in the IPL, failed to understand it and Mayank Agarwal’s overamibitousness resulted in his dismissal. This is where experience helps in T20s which Harbhajan has in plenty.
Imran Tahir (7/10): The South African continues to impress in the spin-friendly conditions and for the fifth consecutive time, it had become difficult for the batsmen to take any sort of risk against him. While the team would’ve liked him to pick a couple of wickets, his contribution was as important as it would’ve been otherwise.
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