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Friday, October 23, 2020

IPL 2020, KXIP vs CSK: The 80s show

Veterans Watson (83*) and du Plessis (87*) power Chennai to 10 wicket-win over Punjab.

Written by Shamik Chakrabarty | Updated: October 5, 2020 8:04:31 am
Faf du Plessis of Chennai Superkings and Shane Watson of Chennai Superkings celebrate the win. (BCCI/IPL)

CSK thrive on changed approach. KXIP lose the plot.

Chennai Super Kings top-order sprang to life, allowing the team to get back to winning ways after three consecutive losses. Kings XI Punjab put on a decent total — 178 wasn’t a bad effort at the Dubai Stadium with longer boundaries. But Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis made short work of a toughish chase to secure an emphatic 10-wicket victory.

CSK’s changed approach

In their previous four matches, CSK’s starts had been dodgy and circumspect. Du Plessis had been playing lone ranger while a cautious approach wasn’t serving Watson well. On Sunday, the Aussie went on attack mode in the very first over with back-to-back boundaries off Sheldon Cottrell; elementary for him to regain his confidence. In Cottrell’s next over, Watson strode down the pitch and hit a good length ball over covers for another four. CSK raced to 60/0, their best Powerplay score in this IPL yet. Top-order is CSK’s strength, for save Sam Curran’s exuberance they don’t have much firepower at the back end of the innings. Dhoni is yet to regain his mojo. Du Plessis maintained his habit of scoring half-centuries (87*) — his third in five matches. Together he and Watson (83*) added a record 181 runs in an unbroken opening stand.

KXIP lose the plot

The conditions offered very little assistance to the bowlers. Once again, KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal had a good opening stand. Rahul went on to score a half-century, albeit his slowest in this IPL. But Nicholas Pooran’s power-hitting and Sarfaraz Khan’s cheeky innovation notwithstanding, Kings XI failed to take the game away from their opponents because they lost wickets at crucial moments, losing the plot in the process. Shardul Thakur dismissed Pooran and Rahul in consecutive deliveries in the 18th over. That turned out to be the game-changer.

Brief scores: CSK 181/0 (Shane Watson 83 not out, Faf du Plessis 87 not out) beat Kings XI Punjab 178/4 (KL Rahul 63) by 10 wickets.

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