Credit: X/IPL

Credit: X/IPL

The defending IPL champions, Chennai Super Kings, lost their recent outing in the 2024 edition of the tournament against Punjab Kings by seven wickets with 13 balls to spare. A defeat of such a magnitude at the fortress Chepauk has put CSK at a slight disadvantage in their quest to make the IPL 2024 playoffs.

After losing the toss, the Ruturaj Gaikwad-led Chennai Super Kings batted first in front of the home fans at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. Gaikwad and Rahane got a decent opening stand of 64 runs, but PBKS picked up three quick wickets to stall the batting innings of CSK.

It led to the late flourish from Moeen Ali and MS Dhoni, propelling the Chennai Super Kings total to 162/7. In the run chase, Jonny Bairstow and Riley Rossouw scored quick-fire 40s to put Punjab Kings in a commanding position before their stand-in captain Sam Curran and Shashank Singh completed the chase with relative ease.

With this tough defeat, Chennai Super Kings stayed in fourth place with five wins and five losses in 10 matches, behind the likes of Rajasthan Royals, Kolkata Knight Riders, and Lucknow Super Giants. But they still have a (+0.627) NRR, which is a good sign for them in comparison with their near rivals Sunrisers Hyderabad and Delhi Capitals on the IPL 2024 points table.

Therefore, if Chennai Super Kings win their remaining four matches in the league stage of the IPL, then they will easily go through to the playoffs this season. Three wins out of four matches could also prove to be enough for CSK to reach the playoffs stage with a positive NRR.

All in all, CSK are well placed in their quest to win the IPL trophy for the sixth time, but they can’t afford to be inconsistent for the rest of the tournament.