Mohali, Apr 16: CSK captain MS Dhoni hammered unbeaten 79 runs off just 44 balls against KXIP, registering his highest T20 score as well as his best score in IPL. However, his career-best score couldn’t save the CSK from defeat. Dhoni’s previous best score was an unbeaten 40-ball 70 that came against RCB in 2011.
Chasing a challenging 197-run total, CSK were in deep trouble after losing too many wickets. But Dhoni’s powerful knock in death overs gave his side a real chance to register a third consecutive victory in the 11th edition of IPL. CSK needed 67 runs from the last four overs but Dhoni’s sensational innings almost brought them to the victory line.
Dhoni slammed as many as 6 fours and 5 sixes. He changed gear in death overs and gave a scare to KXIP camp. However, CSK lost the game by mere 4 runs. Apart from Ambati Rayudu (49) and Dhoni, no other CSK batsmen seemed comfortable in-front of Punjab’s bowlers and went cheaply to lose the game.
Earlier, Punjab failed to make the most of the flying start given by openers Chris Gayle and Lokesh Rahul and settled for 197/7. Rahul (37 runs in 22 balls) and Gayle (63 runs in 33 balls) gave the hosts a rousing start, slamming 96 runs in eight overs. But after their wickets, no other batsman took advantage of it and failed to score runs, thanks to the Chennai bowlers’ disciplined bowling.