Wriddhiman Saha’s unbeaten 67 off 57 balls against Chennai Super Kings ensured that debutants Gujarat Titans will get two cracks (if necessary) to make the final. The spadework of Sunday’s victory was laid by Gujarat bowlers who restricted CSK to 133/5. The CSK attack didn’t have enough to bother Saha and his opening partner Shubhman Gill and with 59 off 7 overs, Titans were in control. For CSK though, Sri Lankan slinger Matheesha Pathirana (2/24), playing his first match, was like a breath of fresh air. He got Gill out with a yorker in the first ball of his IPL career and gave all right-handers a difficult time, even going on to dismiss Hardik Pandya. It was not possible for Pathirana alone to stop Titans from sailing to the target, especially with Saha playing sheet anchor at one end. The victory came in the last over, but there was never any doubt that Hardik’s boys will reach there.
Royals score over Lucknow
Rajasthan Royals scored a 24-run win over Lucknow Super Giants and move to the second place behind Gujarat Giants. After making a competitive 178/6, Royals restricted Super Giants to 154 for eight in their 20 overs. Earlier Royals managed to put up a competitive total. The top-scorer was opener Yashasvi Jaiswal with 41 and the other batters chipped in with useful knocks. The start was far from ideal for Rajasthan. Orange Cap holder Jos Buttler’s stumps were pegged back by Avesh Khan when the Englishman was on 2. Skipper Sanju Samson walked in at No. 3, and was languid with his strokeplay from the beginning. Samson’s confidence rubbed on Jaiswal at the other end. The left-hander then took a special liking to Dushmantha Chameera and smashed 21 runs off the Sri Lankan pacer’s second over. At 154/6 after 18 overs, with Ravichandran Ashwin and Trent Boult batting, it seemed the Royals would not go past 165. But Boult and Ashwin hit a few boundaries towards the end to help Rajasthan reach a fighting total
Capitals stay in hunt
Punjab Kings’ boom-or-bust batting approach came back to haunt them as they messed up their chances of qualifying for the playoffs after surrendering to the Delhi Capitals by 17 runs in a must-win contest on Monday. Punjab batters dug their own graves with irresponsible shot selection on a slow track, as Delhi Capitals rode on pacer Shardul Thakur’s impressive four-wicket haul to bolster their chances of qualifying for the top four. Thakur overcame a lean patch to spearhead the turnaround in Delhi’s favour with the twin strikes of Bhanuka Rajapaksha (4) and Shikhar Dhawan (19) within three deliveries, and later came back to remove Jitesh Sharma (44), and Kagiso Rabada (6). Delhi’s demolition act came in a matter of 15 deliveries as Punjab were reduced from a comfortable 52/1 to a precarious 55/4, before the spin twins Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav paired up to further dent the red and gold brigade’s hopes.
Knight Riders beat Sunrisers
Shreyas Iyer-led Kolkata Knight Riders produced another strong performance as they defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad by 54 runs in the Indian Premier League clash at the MCA Stadium, Pune on Saturday evening. Andre Russell emerged as the standout player of the contest, helping his team with a brilliant all-round display. With the bat, the Windies all-rounder hit an unbeaten 49 off 28 deliveries to push KKR to a stiff 177/6 in 20 overs after they opted to bat first. He then scalped three wickets in his four-over quota and conceded just 22 runs as Kolkata restricted their opponent for a paltry 123/8 in response.
Mumbai send Chennai out of reckoning
Mumbai Indians on Thursday snuffed out defending champions Chennai Super Kings’ faint hopes of making the Indian Super League playoffs with a five-wicket win in a low scoring match. Opting to bowl, MI shot CSK out for 97 with pacer Daniel Sams (3/16 from 4 overs) running though the MS Dhoni-led side’s top-order with three quick wickets in a fiery opening spell, and then huffed and puffed to overhaul the small target of 98 with 31 balls to spare. MI were four wickets down for 33 runs in the fifth over before Tilak Varma (34 not) and Hrithik Shooken (18) calmed the frayed nerves with a 48-run stand for the fifth wicket. MI reached 103 for 5 in 14. 5 overs. Tim David remained not out on 16 off just seven balls. With their eighth loss in 12 matches, CSK are out of reckoning for a play-offs berth. They remained at ninth position with eight points.