The group stage of the tournament culminated with the Super Sunday fixtures which saw CSK and MI secure the top two spots while KKR crashed out of the competition.
Match 1: Kings XI Punjab vs Chennai Super Kings
KXIP went out on a high after a convincing win against Chennai Super Kings in Mohali. Naming a solitary change in the form of Harpreet Brar in place of Arshdeep Singh, Ravichandran Ashwin opted to bowl after winning the toss.
CSK’s top order woes prolonged after Shane Watson endured yet another failure. Faf Du Plessis, however, went on to score his career-best score of 96. The South African missed his ton by 4 runs after Sam Curran snapped his wicket.
The Yellow army failed to capitalise in the death overs in a rare instance and were only able to post 170-5 after being on course to score 190.
KL Rahul continued with his electric form by taking the CSK bowling attack apart in the powerplay. The opener played a solid knock of 71 and helped the team scale down the total with 2 overs to spare.
Since the hosts were unable to chase the total inside 14.2 overs, CSK managed to achieve a spot in the first qualifier despite the defeat.
CSK 170-5 (20 overs) (Faf du Plessis 96; S.Curran 3-35)
KXIP 173-4 (18 overs) (KL Rahul 71; H.Singh 3-58)
Match 2: Mumbai Indians vs Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders failed to make the cut after a heavy defeat against the Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium. A lacklustre effort with both bat and ball ended KKR’s hope of making it to the top 4 after failing to match Sunrisers’ net run rate.
Opting to bowl after winning the toss, Rohit Sharma named two changes. Mitchell McClenaghan and Ishan Kishan were slotted in place of Evin Lewis and Barinder Sran.
The lethal Mumbai Indians got into work right away by strangling the Kolkata Knight Riders’ batting line-up. Robin Uthappa endured a nightmare between the 22 yards while Andre Russell was dismissed for a first ball duck. The batting failure meant that Mumbai Indians only had to chase down 134 to take the first spot in the IPL table.
Courtesy of Rohit Sharma’s half-century and an explosive cameo by de Kock at the top, Mumbai Indians were able to scale down the total without any hiccups.
This victory sees MI, CSK, DC and SRH qualify for the playoffs. This would be the first time in the tournament’s history that a side will play the eliminator with 18 points and 12 points.