Chennai rout Punjab to go to top of IPL 2015 table

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Chennai, April 25: Two-time champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) thrashed Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) by 97 runs to go to the top of the table in the Indian Premier League 2015 (IPL 8).

Match Scorecard; Points TableIPL Special

It was a dominant all-round performance by CSK on their home ground - MA Chidambaram Stadium on Saturday night.

McCullum plays a shot

Opting to bat first, they posted 192/3 in 20 overs. And then the bowlers, led by Ravindra Jadeja (3/22 in 4 overs), destroyed KXIP's batting line-up.

KXIP were never in the hunt in the big chase and were restricted to a paltry 95/9 in 20 overs. Virender Sehwag was out for just 1 run in the opening over and they never recovered from that early jolt against a disciplined CSK bowling. KXIP were 55/5 in 9.2 overs and kept losing wickets.

CSK are on top of the Points Table with 5 wins out of 6. Though Rajasthan Royals too have 10 points, CSK are ahead on net run rate. KXIP, finalists last year, suffered 4th loss in 6 games and have slipped to the last place in the standings.

Local boy Murali Vijay, a former CSK player, was the only standout performer with the bat for KXIP. He scored 34 off 32 (4x4, 1x6).

Hero of last match against Rajasthan Royals (RR) - Shaun Marsh fell for 10, captain George Bailey was sent back for just 1 and David Miller was dismissed for 3.

Ashish Nehra continued his good run with the ball, finishing his quota of 4 overs with an impressive figures of 2/16. R Ashwin was also excellent with 2/14 in 4.

McCullum and Dhoni power CSK to 192/3

Earlier, Brendon McCullum struck a scintillating half century to take CSK to a formidable 192/3 in 20 overs. McCullum (66 runs off 44 balls) and Dwayne Smith (26 off 13) laid the foundation for a big score before captain MS Dhoni hit an unbeaten 41 off 27 balls to end the innings on a high.

While Super Kings batted well on their home ground, Kings XI Punjab did not help their cause by offering loosing balls regularly besides the slip ups on the field.

Johnson drops Raina's catch

The dangerous duo of Smith and McCullum gave another cracking start to their team and toyed with the promising bowling attack of Kings XI.

The visitors' move to open with leg-spinner Karanveer Singh did not pay off as he gave away 26 runs in his first two over before being taken off.

Smith plundered 22 off Karanveer's second over, that saw him hit two straight sixes and as many fours. McCullum took medium pacer Sandeep Sharma to the cleaners in the next over, pulling him for a massive six over mid-wicket and cutting him for a boundary.

First change Anureet Singh picked up a timely wicket off Smith in fifth over and that put a halt to the onslaught from both ends.

The West Indian was a tad unfortunate as he elbowed a leg-stump delivery on to the stumps, leaving his team at 50 for one in 4.4 overs.

It would have been a double blow for Super Kings in the same over had Johnson not dropped a skier at mid-off to give a life to McCullum, who was on 21.

The New Zealand captain made the opposition pay for their sloppy fielding by reaching his second 50 plus score of the tournament. His whirlwind knock included three sixes and eight boundaries.

McCullum alongside Suresh Raina got the innings going at a brisk pace with the hosts reaching 97 for one in 10 overs.

He eventually fell to left-arm spinner Axar Patel in the 12th over, setting an ideal platform at 116 for two with eight overs to spare.

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Raina too benefited from Johnson's misses on the field as the Australia dropped the Indian batsmen in the 11th over while fielding at deep mid-wicket. The southpaw's innings however ended abruptly when he was run out while backing up the at the non-strikers' end.

It was Dhoni show towards the end of the innings as he hit some of his trademark shots to enthrall the crowd. His innings comprised two sixes and as many fours.

OneIndia News/PTI

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