CHANDIGARH, May 5: KL Rahul�s scintillating 36-ball-71 paved the way for a consolation six-wicket victory for Kings XI Punjab here on Sunday but not before CSK ensured a top-two finish with chance to play the first IPL Qualifier at their happy hunting home ground Chepauk.
With nothing to lose in the final game of the season, Rahul, Chris Gayle (28 off 28 balls) and Nicholas Pooran (36 off 22 balls) were the key contributors in KXIP�s successful chase of 171 in 18 overs.
However CSK will be happy that with a net run-rate of +0.131 which is far better than Delhi Capitals� (+0.044), the defending champions will remain in the top two with two clear shots at summit clash qualification even if MI beat KKR in the evening game.
Such was Rahul�s domination that Universe Boss Gayle�s run-a-ball knock paled in comparison as the duo added 108 runs in only 10.3 overs to seal the match.
While senior off-spinner Harbhajan Singh got three wickets, he was hit for 57 runs in four overs.
In fact, Dhoni�s ploy to use Harbhajan in the Powerplays which had worked wonderfully at the Chepauk, backfired on a placid Mohali track as he went for 41 runs in his first two overs � 17 in the first and 24 in the second.
Chennai Super Kings: Faf du Plessis b S Curran 96, Shane Watson b S Curran 7, Suresh Raina c Shami b S Curran 53, MS Dhoni not out 10, Ambati Rayudu c Mandeep b Shami 1, Kedar Jadhav b Shami 0, Dwayne Bravo not out 1. Extras: (LB-1, W-1) 2. Total: (For 5 wkts; 20 overs) 170. Fall of wickets: 1-30, 2-150, 3-163, 4-166, 5-167. Bowling: Harpreet Brar 3-0-24-0, Mohammed Shami 3-0-17-2, Sam Curran 4-0-35-3, Ravichandran Ashwin 4-0-23-0, Andrew Tye 3-0-37-0, Murugan Ashwin 3-0-33-0.
Kings XI Punjab: KL Rahul c Tahir b Harbhajan 71, Chris Gayle c D Shorey b Harbhajan 28, Nicholas Pooran c Dhoni b R Jadeja 36, Mayank Agarwal c R Jadeja b Harbhajan 7, Mandeep Singh not out 11, Sam Curran not out 6. Extras: (B-4, LB-5, W-5) 14. Total: (For 4 wkts, 18 overs) 173. Fall of wickets: 1-108, 2-108, 3-118, 4-164. Bowling: Deepak Chahar 4-0-28-0, Harbhajan Singh 4-0-57-3, Dwayne Bravo 4-0-27-0, Imran Tahir 4-0-36-0, Ravindra Jadeja 2-0-16-1. � PTI