Although Indian Premier League has no official quarterfinal matches, but for the first time in 8 editions the final four positions were not decided before the last 4 matches when all the eight teams play their 14th and last match of the group stage. In the first of those matches, the group topper Chennai Super Kings needed to win to become first team to enter the Playoff. They did in style as they mauled the listless Kings XI Punjab, who finished at bottom for the 2nd time in 8 editions. With the win, CSK ensured that they finish at the top of the Points Table, irrespective of results of other 3 matches.
Kings XI Punjab had looked clueless since their initial few games. In the end they appeared listless too playing their last game of the season. At home in Mohali they were first restricted to 130/7 by CSK bowlers and then the bowlers did not show much fight as CSK won by 7 wickets with 19 balls remaining.
Kings XI would thanks, again, Axar Patel (32 runs) and Rishi Dhawan (25 runs) who added 44 runs for 8th wicket. Otherwise, they were well set for their third below 100 score of the season. While David Miller (11) can give credit to Jadeja for the exceptional catch, captain Bailey (12) and Maxwell (6) appeared to be waiting for their flight back to home. On the top, openers Manan Vohra (4), their IPL 2014 star and Saha (15), who was one of the 4 Kings XI player to have played all the 14 matches this season, failed too. Axar, Sandeep Sharma and Anureet Singh were the other three players to have played all the 14 matches.
CSK bowlers performed as a unit. Negi opened the bowling and earned Player of the Match for his 2/25. Ishwar Pandey (1/22 in 3), Nehra (1/17 in 3), Ashwin (1/14 in 4), Jadeja (1/18 in 3) and Bravo (1/20 in 2) were among the wickets. Only Raina (0/8 in 1) went wicketless.
While chasing, Sandeep Sharma and Hendricks got dangerous Hussey (1) and McCullum (6) in first and 2nd overs respectively. But from 10/2, CSK saw its third wicket fallin at 102 in 13.3 when Faf du Plessis (55 runs) fell to Rishi Dhawan. After that Raina (41) and Dhoni (25) took them home without any challenge.
Kings XI did try with 7 bowlers, but they never attacked. Sandeep Sharma (1/9 in 2), and Rishi Dhawan (1/12 in 2) did not get to finish their 4 overs despite the low score to defend.
CSK set its foot on top of the table, while Kings XI got deeper down in NRR as they finished at the bottom for the second time since IPL 2011.