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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 14 December 2018

IPL 2018: MS Dhoni gives Kings XI Punjab a scare before Chennai Super Kings are beaten in thriller

In day's other game, Royal Challengers Bangalore prove no match for Rajasthan Royals in 19-run defeat

MS Dhoni nearly handed Chennai Super Kings a win on Sunday night. Parthi Bhan / AP Photo
MS Dhoni nearly handed Chennai Super Kings a win on Sunday night. Parthi Bhan / AP Photo

MS Dhoni gave Kings XI Punjab an almighty scare on Sunday night before the home team kept their cool to eke out a four-run win over Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League (IPL) at Mohali.

Chennai captain Dhoni scored 79 runs off just 45 deliveries, hitting five sixes and six fours, to keep alive the visitors' unlikely bid to win in what was a difficult run chase. Chennai, set a target of 198, ended up on 193-5.

Ashwin, Dhoni's former Chennai teammate, led Punjab from the front with bat, ball and on the field. First, he scored a 11-ball cameo of 14 runs, including a six, to build on Chris Gayle's 63-run knock which helped them post a daunting 197-7. Then the off-spinner took the wicket of Sam Billings (9). And if that was not enough, he ran out Ambati Rayudu (49) and took a catch to send Ravindra Jadeja (19) back to the pavilion.

Gayle was named man of the match as Punjab leapfrogged Chennai in the IPL standings. Both teams have four points and two wins after three games, sharing second place, but the Kings XI have a marginally superior net run-rate.

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Earlier in the day, Sanju Samson reminded India's national selectors of his worth when he stroked a brilliant 92 off 45 balls, hitting 10 sixes and two fours, as Rajastan Royals posted a match-winning total of 217-4 against Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Bangalore's famed batting line up was not good enough to overhaul the Royals' total, coming up short by 19 runs, with Virat Kohli the only player who looked dangerous. But once the captain was out for 57, it was a matter of time before Rajasthan sealed the game.

The Royals share second spot in the table with Punjab and Chennai.

On Monday, Kolkata Knight Riders host Delhi Daredevils at Eden Gardens.