Chennai Super Kings missed out on the chance to seal top spot in the Indian Premier League table as Kings XI Punjab cruised to a six-wicket win on Sunday.

Victory in Mohali would have seen the defending champions secure first place, but KL Rahul's superb 71 from just 36 balls helped the hosts overhaul CSK's 170-5 with two overs remaining to finish their season on a high having missed out on a top-four berth.

Faf du Plessis' electric 96 off 55 and Suresh Raina's 53 from 38 formed the foundation of Chennai's total, the pair adding 120 for the second wicket.

But Rahul and Chris Gayle (28) laid on 108 inside 11 overs in their opening stand before Nicholas Pooran made sure there would be no nervy finish.

The Super Kings will still finish top if Kolkata Knight Riders overcome Mumbai Indians later on Sunday and in any event MS Dhoni's men will return home for the qualifier between the leading two sides on Tuesday.

 

FAF TO THE FORE BEFORE KINGS XI FIGHT BACK

Shane Watson's early departure brought Du Plessis and Raina together and it was the South Africa captain who assumed the role of chief aggressor.

Du Plessis launched 10 fours and four sixes in his excellent knock, including taking Andrew Tye for four-four-six to start the 16th.

He fell narrowly short of a century, however – one of four wickets to go down from a final 21 deliveries that delivered just one boundary.

 

RAHUL RUNS RIOT

The India batsman got the Kings XI chase off to a flying start, crashing three of his five sixes inside the first two overs.

And Harbhajan Singh came in for severe punishment in the fourth, which saw Rahul take the spinner for three fours and two more maximums.

Gayle soon got in on the fun, thumping Imran Tahir for four-six-six before he and Rahul perished to Harbhajan (3-57) from successive balls in the 11th to give CSK hope.

That chink of light was soon extinguished, however, as Murali Vijay put down a sitter at point when Pooran was only 13, and the West Indian had made 36 by the time he was dismissed with seven required from a little under four overs.

Shane Watson ended his barren spell with a brutal knock as Chennai Super Kings returned to the top of the Indian Premier League with a six-wicket defeat of Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Watson's place in the defending champions' side had been called into question due to his lack of runs at the top of the order, but the former Australia all-rounder was CSK's match-winner on Tuesday.

Manish Pandey made 83 not out from only 49 balls and David Warner (57 from 45) made a fifth consecutive half-century as Sunrisers posted 175-3 at MA Chidambaram Stadium.

Watson returned to form with a bang to set up a victory that put the Super Kings above Delhi Capitals at the summit, blasting 96 off just 53 deliveries and passing 8,000 Twenty20 runs in the process.

The powerful Watson struck six sixes and nine fours in his first half-century of the tournament and CSK got home with a ball to spare, two days after suffering a dramatic one-run defeat against Royal Challengers Bangalore.

 

WARNER AND PANDEY PILE ON RUNS AFTER BAIRSTOW FAILURE

Jonny Bairstow has had an outstanding debut IPL season for Sunrisers, but the England wicketkeeper-batsman was unable to end his participation in the tournament on a high note.

The opener edged Harbhajan Singh through to MS Dhoni for a second-ball duck, but it was business as usual for Warner as he and Pandey put on 115 for the second wicket in 12 overs.

Warner - the leading run-scorer in the 2019 IPL - showed exquisite timing and power, clearing the ropes twice before he was stumped off Harbhajan in the 14th over.

Pandey had overtaken Warner by the time the Australian was dismissed and continued to attack the spinners, hitting three sixes and seven fours in a brilliant innings.

 

WATSON SILENCES THE CRITICS

The Super Kings' run chase got off to a bad start when Faf du Plessis was left shaking his head after being adjudged run out by the third umpire following a direct hit from Deepak Hooda.

CSK had only moved on to 27-1 after five overs, but Suresh Raina (38) added some impetus by taking 22 from the next over off Sandeep Sharma, who almost got Watson for 33 but Bairstow failed to cling on. 

Watson took centre stage after Rashid Khan saw the back of Raina, latching onto anything short as he delivered a barrage of boundaries before being caught behind attempting to hook Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

CSK needed only 13 from the last two overs to win but made hard work of it - Jadhav scampering through for a single after hitting the second ball from the last over from Sandeep into the crowd.

Harbhajan Singh and Imran Tahir put the Royal Challengers Bangalore in a spin as the Chennai Super Kings kicked off the defence of their Indian Premier League title with a seven-wicket win.

Chennai's spin duo took advantage of a slow, turning track to dismiss RCB for just 70, and defending that total was always too much of an ask despite tough batting conditions.

Virat Kohli at the top of the order excited many but he failed to fire as Harbhajan enjoyed himself, a shorter delivery forcing the India skipper to miscue to Ravindra Jadeja at deep midwicket.

Moeen Ali, AB de Villiers and Shimron Hetmyer all followed cheaply as RCB were reduced to 39-4 in the eighth over, only Parthiv Patel (29) offering any sort of resistance.

Patel was the only batsman to reach double figures as partners came and left, Tahir (3-9) taking over from Harbhajan (3-20) to put Chennai in total control.

While Chennai had a side bursting with spinners, RCB only had two and that made chasing down 71 a comfortable task for the Super Kings.

It was far from a fluid run chase, though, as scoring also proved a challenge for the hosts before Jadeja got them over the line.


Harbhajan bamboozles RCB stars 

Much was expected from a top order that included Kohli, De Villiers, Ali and Hetmyer but all four failed to make double figures as Harbhajan dominated at the start of the innings.

Kohli and De Villiers were both caught out by the slow Chennai track, while Ali's horrible shot gave the veteran spinner a simple return catch.

It set the tone for RCB, who collapsed to the sixth-lowest total in IPL history.

Raina breaks 5000-run barrier

After Kohli missed the chance to become the first batsman to reach 5000 runs in the IPL, Suresh Raina made no mistake as Chennai eased home.

A tickle to fine leg brought up the milestone for Raina – who started the day 15 runs short – but his innings was over three balls later as he holed out to Shivam Dube.

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