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KXIP survive Dhoni onslaught in thrilling win

KXIP survive Dhoni onslaught in thrilling win

When the two "Kings" clash on Sunday, home skipper R. Ashwin will have the advantage of knowing how the CSK think-tank approaches a contest. Chris Gayle made a triumphant return with a 33-ball 63 on his debut for KXIP that took them to 197 for seven, before Dhoni's highest IPL score, 79 not out off just 44 balls, nearly clinched it for CSK. With 17 required off the last over and Dhoni on strike, the match could have gone anywhere. He was the wrecker-in-chief as Mohit Sharma and Andrew Tye gave away 19 runs in the 18th and 19th overs respectively. I will back him as we have not given him many opportunities. To be fair, it was always going to be hard to match KXIP's powerplay - KL Rahul and Gayle were going bonkers then, piling on 75 for nought in six overs - but Chennai, having scored 53, fell further behind when they lost both their openers. Karun Nair and Yuvraj played a couple of cameos but Punjab could only muster 197 runs in their 20 overs.

When KL Rahul holed out to DJ Bravo off Harbhajan Singh (4-41-1) on the last ball of the 8th over, KXIP were 96-1 and were motoring along at a run rate of 12 runs per over.

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Tahir dealt a double blow in innings' 16th over removing a set Agarwal and Aaron Finch, who was out for a first-ball duck for the second game in a row. He bowled four overs of spin against Delhi Daredevils and five against Royal Challengers Bangalore in the powerplay, but come this game, when he had the luxury of defending a bigger target, Ashwin had the pacers bowl five out of six overs. Sam Billings, who played a match-winning hand against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), couldn't replicate the heroics as Ravichandran Ashwin pinned him using the Decision Review System (DRS). Whereas Tye went for some runs but clinched two crucial wickets of Murali Vijay and Ravi Jadeja. It began with Kedar Jadhav follow by Suresh Raina.

"At this time of the year, quite a few venues have dew, so it's better to chase", Dhoni said at the toss.

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Where next for the teams?

Both the teams have a good batting line-up, that has failed to perform at all. Sunrisers Hyderabad is leading the table with three wins in three matches.

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