IPL recap: The best of Chennai Super Kings vs Kings XI Punjab

Centuries from Michael Hussey and Paul Valthaty form some indelible memories among matches between Chennai Super Kings and Kings XI Punjab.

Chennai Super Kings has been one of the most successful Indian Premier League clubs in the 12 seasons so far, with three titles and five runner-up finishes. On the other hand, Kings XI Punjab hasn’t won a single title and finished runner-up once, in 2014. The gulf between the two teams remains when one analyses the overall head-to-head record as well - Super Kings has 13 wins and Kings XI eight - and given the overall record, Super Kings would have had the edge if the two teams had played their 22nd contest against each other at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium tonight, as had been scheduled.

Instead, the pandemic caused by COVID-19 meant the IPL couldn’t begin on March 29.

After five straight losses, including one in the 2008 semifinals, Kings XI gained its first win over Super Kings in the 2010 IPL, and this was its first win of that season, too, after three losses. In a low-scoring affair, Kings XI clinched victory in the Super Over. Kumar Sangakkara, the then captain, was relieved, but his team would go on to lose four on the trot after this, and eventually finish at the bottom after yet another defeat against Super Kings, this time in Dharamsala. That match was a memorable one for M. S. Dhoni’s cameo (unbeaten 54 off 29 deliveries); with 16 needed to win in the final over, the Super Kings captain hit two sixes and a four to get his side home.

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The next match, in 2011, featured another blitzkrieg. Kings XI’s Paul Valthaty scored an unbeaten 120 (63 deliveries) to help his team chase down a target of 189. For Super Kings, Tamil Nadu stalwarts M. Vijay and S. Badrinath scored half-centuries as well, but their knocks were overshadowed by Valthaty’s fireworks. It proved to be a false dawn for Valthaty as he wouldn’t enjoy much success in IPL or top-level cricket.

Brilliant Bravo

Super Kings got back to winning ways against Kings XI in 2013, after another loss in 2012. Dwayne Bravo took three wickets each in the two matches - at home and away - and finished as the top wicket-taker for that season. In the contest in Chennai, Suresh Raina scored an unbeaten century; he would go on to top the run-getters’ list.

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The 2014 IPL was a successful one for Kings XI. Due to the general elections, the early part of the IPL was held in the UAE. Glenn Maxwell scored 95 in the first contest between the sides in Abu Dhabi, and 90 in the second in Cuttack, both of which were won by Kings XI. He would finish as the third highest run-getter that season. Super Kings’ Dwayne Smith, who scored a half-century in Abu Dhabi, would be second.

Sehwag blitz

However, the most memorable knock would be that of Virender Sehwag, who scored 122 in the second qualifier in Mumbai. Sehwag hit a number of sixes straight behind the bowler or towards long-on, slogging merrily. Kings XI, however, would go down in the final to Kolkata Knight Riders.

The 2015 IPL saw Super Kings win both its matches again; Brendon McCullum, who scored a half-century (66) in Chennai, would finish as the ninth-highest run-getter in the league. 

Super Kings couldn’t participate in 2016 and 2017 due to a court order, and the teams have won two each in the last two seasons. The contest in Mohali in 2018 was a close one, Chris Gayle’s 63 helping Kings XI win by four runs. Super Kings’ home match was held in Pune, and it duly won, Suresh Raina scoring a half-century and fast bowler Lungi Ngidi taking four for 10.

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Last year, Faf du Plessis scored half-centuries in both of Super Kings’ matches against Kings XI. His 96 in the second contest, in Mohali, wasn’t enough for a win for his side. K. L. Rahul scored a 71 in that contest, and he would finish as the second-highest run-getter.

Among all heroic feats, we have missed out on mentioning an unbeaten century by Michael Hussey. The Australian scored an unbeaten 116 in the very first match between the two teams, in IPL 2008, to set the tone for Super Kings’ dominance. That would be the first of three wins for Super Kings in Mohali; at home in Chennai, it would post four wins overall.

Head-to-Head

Matches 21

CSK won: 13

KXIP won: 8

CSK Highest total: 240

KXIP Highest total: 226

CSK lowest score: 116

KXIP lowest score: 92

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