Source - indiatimes.com
The Kings XI Punjab were all but eliminated from the IPL semi finals race after failing to chase down a total of just 117 runs against the Chennai Super Kings in Durban.
Shah Rukh Khan’s team had lost its way long back, Shilpa Shetty’s team lost on Wednesday afternoon and in the evening, it was Zinta’s turn. The IPL, for all those enamoured by the glamour, is now bereft of that star power.
On the other hand, the four semifinalists of the tournament were virtually confirmed with Delhi of course being the first to make it, followed by Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore.
While Hyderabad and Bangalore are yet to play their 14th and last game in which they take on each other, both teams have a much better run-rate than Kings XI Punjab despite the three tied on 14 points.
Unless either Bangalore or Hyderabad manage something absolutely atrocious, like scoring less than fifty runs (approximately, though not confirmed by the IPL), they would make it to the semifinals.
Kings XI can blame the situation now on some wonderful bowling performance by Chennai, a couple of spectacular catches, and their own bad batting performance.
Chennai had just 116 runs to defend, thanks to the absence of Matthew Hayden, and they made the best use of the resources available to help their cause. The Australian opener had been rested keeping the inconsequent match in mind.
MS Dhoni won the toss, elected to bat first and Tasmanian George Bailey and Parthiv Patel got the team off to a brisk start at 10 runs per over.
It seemed like they were hardly missing Hayden just when the first blow came and Bailey was run out by Yuvraj Singh. It was a blow Chennai should’ve gotten over but instead kept slipping further and wickets fell at regular intervals.
It seemed like Punjab were well on course to the semifinals. That was, however, before a huge batting disorder did the latter in.
A very strong batting line-up was all packed off with 24 runs left on the board. Just like Jaipur, the Kings too snatched defeat from the jaws of what could’ve been an imminent victory.