Chasing 154 to win, CSK were in bad shape at 58 for 4 in the 11th over but they found an unlikely hero in Deepak Chahar whose 20-ball 39 pulled the hosts back into the contest in Pune.
Punjab’s defeat – eighth in 14 games – meant RR became the fourth and last team to qualify for the play-offs. CSK, who finished off the chase in 19.1 overs, will now play SRH in Qualifier 1 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on May 22. RR, meanwhile, will play KKR at the Eden Gardens in the Eliminator on May 23.
Earlier in the day after Chennai opted to bowl, Ngidi returned 4 for 10 in his four overs to help his team bowl KXIP out for a paltry 153 in 19.4 overs in what was a must-win encounter for R Ashwin’s men.
Chris Gayle (0) & KL Rahul (7) at the top of the order and Ashwin (0) & Andrew Tye (0) at lower down the order were Ngidi’s victims on a pacer-friendly wicket at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium.
KXIP started on a real bad note and if it was not for Karun Nair’s fifty they wouldn’t have been able to reach the 150-run mark.
Batting at No.6, Nair (54 off 26 balls) made his second fifty of the season and hit three fours and five sixes during the course of his innings. Manoj Tiwary (35), David Miller (24) and Axar Patel (14) were the other KXIP batsmen to reach double digits.
Ngidi got good support from Dwayne Bravo and Shardul Thakur as they returned figures of 2/39 and 2/33 respectively. Chahar also chipped in with one wicket.