Chennai and Lucknow join IPL-leading Gujarat in playoffs
NEW DELHI (AP) — Chennai Super Kings and Lucknow Super Giants qualified for the Indian Premier League playoffs with contrasting victories in their last league games on Saturday.
Chennai routed Delhi Capitals by 77 runs and Lucknow survived Rinku Singh’s late counterattack to squeeze a one-run win over Kolkata Knight Riders.
Chennai finished second in the standings, a point behind Gujarat Titans, which has a game in hand. Lucknow ended up third on net run-rate.
Kolkata ended up seventh, probably two wins short of making the top four playoff positions.
The last playoff spot will be decided on Sunday when Mumbai Indians take on Sunrisers Hyderabad and Royal Challengers Bangalore meet Gujarat.
Singh crashed 67 runs off 33 balls and nearly pulled off a sensational win for Kolkata, which needed 41 off the final two overs to overhaul Lucknow’s total of 176-8.
Singh hit 20 off fast bowler Naveen-ul-Haq in the penultimate over, and in the last over Lucknow impact player Yash Thakur hung on despite conceding two sixes and a four against Singh off the final three balls. Kolkata ended at 175-7.
Legspinner Ravi Bishnoi (2-23) and offspinner Krishnappa Gowtham (1-26) tied down Kolkata brilliantly in the middle overs before Singh took the game deep but couldn’t finish it off.
Earlier, Nicholas Pooran resurrected Lucknow from a precarious 73-5 by smashing five sixes and four boundaries in his knock of 58 off 30 balls.
Lucknow's top order stuttered while going for big shots and Marcus Stoinis was undone by a sharp bouncer from Vaibhav Arora (2-30) to get caught off his gloves for zero.
Quinton de Kock struggled to 28 off 27 balls before he was caught in the deep while going for a slog sweep against Varun Chakarvarthy’s googly. Pooran then gave them a competitive total.
CHENNAI ROUTS DELHI
Openers Devon Conway (87) and Ruturaj Gaikwad (79) punished wayward Delhi bowling as Chennai posted a strong 223-3 at Delhi.
Delhi captain David Warner made 86 off 58 balls but his side slumped yet again and limped to 146-9.
Conway smacked his sixth half-century of the season and Gaikwad notched his third as they combined for 141 runs off 87 balls. Gaikwad was the slower of the two in the powerplay but capitalized in the middle overs, especially against spinner Kuldeep Yadav.
Delhi pace bowlers Khaleel Ahmed (1-45) and Anrich Nortje (1-43) offered plenty of width to Conway and Gaikwad by either bowling too full or too short. The batters hit 14 fours and 10 sixes between them.
Both were heading for centuries but Gaikwad holed out at deep square leg just before the death overs and Conway was dismissed in the penultimate over when Nortje’s ball held onto the surface and the New Zealander couldn’t get his timing right.
Shivam Dube smashed three sixes in 22 off nine balls and Ravindra Jadeja made a seven-ball 20 as Chennai accelerated in the last five overs by scoring 75 runs.
Deepak Chahar (3-22) destroyed Delhi’s run chase inside the batting powerplay when he dismissed Phil Salt and Rilee Rossouw off successive deliveries after Tushar Deshpande had Prithvi Shaw brilliantly snapped up by Ambati Rayudu at mid-off in the second over.
Warner gave Delhi’s total some respectability but Chennai claimed wickets at regular intervals. Fast bowler Matheesha Pathirana (2-22) and spinner Maheesh Theekshana (2-23) took control in the latter stage of the innings.
Pathirana brilliantly deceived Warner with a slower delivery in the penultimate over.
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