Chennai Super Kings seal top-two finish despite convincing defeat
Kings XI Punjab ride on KL Rahul's blistering half-century and Nicholas Pooran's finishing job to sign off with six-wicket win
That's that from Mohali. It's good night from Ranjith, Alex and myself, Debayan Sen. I will see you on Tuesday during the first qualifier. For the moment, head over to the Wankhede for the exciting climax to the league stages. One spot, and two contenders for that. Anything could happen
KL Rahul is the player of the match. Tells Sanjay Manjrekar: "We knew there was not much left for us in this game, so I could play the way I wanted. Other days I have batted the way the team wants me to bat. (Role last season) It came out very well for everybody, and looking back at it from a personal and team point of view, I won more games this year. Been a lot of talk about it, but I know how I play, and we'll win a lot more games if I play more responsibly. The more T20 cricket you play, you curb some of your shots. (IPL to 50-overs) It's two different formats, but having runs behind you is great and helps you play with a lot more freedom. You know as a batsman the best place to be is when you're not thinking too much. You walk into a game with runs behind your belt, and it helps you as a batsman."
R Ashwin: "It wasn't easy for us, but we haven't been outplayed in any game apart from one against SRH. We lost a few humdingers, but we have played some good cricket and we need to build on this. (Comparison with last year) There are reasons - we didn't close out games. The Powerplay battles were what we lost this year. Teams get sussed out and plan against you better. When teams plan against us, we have to respond better. Some of the teams really tick the box of having played together for a while. We have not qualified, but we have to build on what we have had. (Quality bowling or batting?) It's the sort of strategy every team wants. Chennai, Mumbai and SRH all do things differently. Teams have to have strength in one department, and that's something we'll be looking at. It's about your ability to post a decent total that your bowling can defend. Most teams do that. We went to the auction and bought players that could play with our combination, especially Varun Chakravarthy. But the auction is where most battles are won. Having said that, you have to build on what you have got. Many teams retain five players. For me, Mike Hesson (the coach) has been really good, and we have built a good work ethic. We have to have a long-term vision for the franchise. The leader has to suss things out and create a strategy around it."
Arpit Jhanwar: "This time all team won their last home game. It's not a good sign for KKR."--- Earlier there was a query about teams from which position on the points table have won the most IPL titles. Gaurav Sundararaman tells me it is SECOND, and as a Delhi boy that makes me root for Kolkata Knight Riders to pull this off against Mumbai Indians tonight!
GURPREET: "So the bottom position decided with this match. Topper will be decided in next." --- Indeed, and if Mumbai win the next match, then we would have fourth and eighth placed teams separated by just one point!
MS Dhoni: "You need to give credit to them. They bowled really well. We had to get a par score, but it was difficult with their three spin bowlers. Overall, it was a really good batting effort from their side. If you can't win a game, you make sure you get the opposition to get the runs in most number of overs. (Qualifying for top 2) Yes, and that's something you have to keep in mind. We want to win the game, but if the opposition does well, you have to quickly adapt and re-assess. The first seven overs, we were quite down, but then the bowlers were able to pull things back a little bit. They bowled well in the last 8-9 overs for us."
Kings XI win by six wickets with 12 balls to spare. Clinical chase set up by KL Rahul at the top. Pooran was excellent as well. Kings XI finish the season on a high but Chennai finish in the all important top two spot and play in qualifier 1.
Gaurav Sundararaman: "This is the first time 11 would be the points of the lowest team in the table and the difference between 8th position and 4th could be 1 point if MI win."
Debayan will take you through the presentation.
Paul AJ Saw: "It's funny that if Chennai finish 2nd, they'll play at their home ground as the away team. " A curious possibility indeed.
Ishan: "Any updates on Kedar's injury? REALLY HOPE HE IS OKAY FOR INDIA'S WC CAMPAIGN" None so far. We'll try and get something post match
Eight runs needed. Jadeja on again
Time out taken
Basha: "MSD know no need to bowl 20overs "