Dhoni's dismissal was a crucial blow: Faf du Plessis

It was a shocking loss for Chennai Super Kings against Kings XI Punjab at their home turf as they lost the match by just seven runs. Reacting to the loss, Albie Morkel wrote in Twitter: “That s**ks!! We need to step it up… ”. Opening batsman Faf du Plessis adopted a less critical approach, opting instead, to dwell on the loss of momentum in the middle overs. He claimed to be unaware of the re-jigged batting order and Wriddhiman Saha's elevation to number four, says a report in The Hindu.

“I just came in after my batting. I did not know too much of it. I think we lost a little bit in the middle there. The wicket was a touch slower today and leaving it for the last over was going to be tough.”

du Plessis also said M.S. Dhoni's dismissal was a crucial blow. “MS is good at controlling the game but after he was gone, the others found it a little difficult. Kings XI played well to get 50 runs between the sixth and 11th over. I think that was crucial.”

Meanwhile Adam Gilchrist pointed out there were a number of turning points which led to their victory. “I think Piyush Chawla's spell was outstanding. Azhar Mahmood was impressive in everything he has done. He's just come in with a great attitude.”

The Times of India writes that Punjab is one IPL team which doesn’t feel intimidated at ‘Fortress Chepauk’.

“They have lost here only once in 2008, and on Saturday pulled off a real stunner that left Team Chennai in a tricky situation.  MS Dhoni’s men were chasing an achievable target of 157 but their star-studded batting lineup failed to deliver when it mattered most. The Punjab bowlers came to the party, with medium pacers Azhar Mahmood (3-25) and Parvinder Awana being right on the money as Chennai fell seven short of the target. Leggie Piyush Chawla, who conceded 28 runs in one over in the previous match against Mumbai, too came up with a much improved performance (2-20) on Saturday,” says the report, adding that though West Indies allrounder Dwayne Bravo (30 off 21 balls) tried his best after being dropped by Shaun Marsh once, his effort was not enough.

“Punjab needed 17 off the last over off Mahmood. With Albie Morkel still there, Chennai fancied their chances but the canny Mahmood bowled one wider and Morkel could only top-edge it to mid-wicket.”

According to a report in The DNA, Kings XI Punjab pulled off a stunning seven-run win over defending champions Chennai Super Kings in an IPL game at the MA Chidambaram Stadium here.

“Kings XI failed to build on a solid start that their openers Mandeep Singh (56) and Shaun Marsh (32) provided and caved in rather meekly to be pegged to 156 for eight, with Albie Morkel and Dwanye Bravo doing bulk of the damage.

Chennai also failed to build on a rollicking start and lost wickets under pressure as the Kings XI bowlers, Azhar Mahmood (three for 25) and Piyush Chawla restricted the hosts to 149 for eight,” adds DNA.

The Super Kings were off to a flier as Francois du Plessis and S Badrinath put on 56 runs by the fifth over, but the introduction of Mahmood turned the game on its head as he dislodged the pair.

Meanwhile Sunil Gavaskar in his column in TOI writes that last year’s bottom-placed team, Team Delhi have been outstanding. “Their batting is coming good. The skipper Virender Sehwag has now got three successive half-centuries and has helped his team to not only put up big scores, but also to chase down huge targets. Kevin Pietersen has been awesome to say the least. He is getting the kind of ready acceptance that he doesn’t quite get in his adopted country England, where there are clearly two camps.”