Gritty Punjab Kings floor CSK by seven wickets with 13 balls to spare


PTI, May 2, 2024, 7:55 AM IST

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Punjab Kings mounted a pragmatic chase to consign Chennai Super Kings to a demoralising seven-wicket defeat at their own den in their IPL match here on Wednesday.

Punjab rode on quick 40s by Jonny Bairstow (46, 30b, 7×4, 1×6) and Rilee Rossouw (43, 23b, 5×4, 2×6) to move past Chennai’s modest 162 for seven, which was built around skipper Ruturaj Gaikwad’s solid 62 (48b, 5×4, 2×6).

The win took PBKS to seventh place on the points table with eight points, while CSK stayed on fourth with 10 points.

The Super Kings’ defence of 163 faced multiple barricades as their spinners – Moeen Ali and Ravindra Jadeja – were rendered ineffective because of dew and pacer Deepak Chahar walked off the field with a niggle after bowling just two balls.

But that should not take the sheen out of PBKS’ effort with the bat on the night.

After the early departure of opener Prabhsimran Singh, who played two convincing strokes, Bairstow and Rossouw kept the visitors in the hunt with a handy 64-run alliance as they also went past 50 in the Power Play segment.

Bairstow treated spinners Jadeja and Moeen with disdain taking three boundaries and a six off them. In stark contrast to their Punjab counterparts, the CSK spinners gave away 44 runs in five overs without any return.

But Bairstow’s attempt to be too cheeky ended his stay. The England batter went for a cute ramp shot off Shivam Dube, but could only manage to feather it to MS Dhoni behind the stumps.

However, Rossouw and Shashank Singh (25 not out, 26b) made 44 runs in quick time as PBKS remained ahead in the game.

Rossouw, who pummelled Dube and Thakur for a six each, had a brilliant chance to make a fifty. But his attempt to smash Thakur’s low full-toss out of ground resulted in his stumps getting rearranged.

But those were minor irritants in an otherwise polished effort as Shashank and skipper Sam Curran (26 not out, 20b) knocked off the remaining runs without much fuss during their unbroken 50-run alliance.

Earlier, Gaikwad braved a sluggish Chepauk pitch to make a solid fifty, but CSK struggled massively against Punjab spinners – Harpreet Brar and Rahul Chahar.

Gaikwad and Ajinkya Rahane (29, 24b) added 61 runs for the opening wicket but they consumed 49 balls.

There were flashes of intent too. Gaikwad played a fine upper cut off pacer Arshdeep Singh for a boundary and Rahane creamed three fours in a row off Curran, including a lovely cover drive.

The slide of CSK began once PBKS brought their spinners on immediately after the Power Play that yielded a satisfactory 55 runs.

Rahane tried to slog sweep Brar but his skier ended in the hands of Rossouw in the deep.

But the left-arm spinner inflicted a bigger blow in the next delivery, trapping Dube, who was named in India’s T20 World Cup squad, leg before for a first-ball duck.

Dube, promoted to No. 3 to counter spin, failed to connect an almighty heave off a fuller ball on the middle-stump by Brar, and he had to walk back despite seeking help from DRS.

In the next over, leg-spinner Chahar got rid of Ravindra Jadeja, who was deceived by a delivery that turned into him a whisker to beat his prod.

It was a total shutdown for CSK between sixth and 10th over, losing three wickets for just 16 runs.

For a team that generally bosses the middle passage between the seventh and 15th over making runs at a rate of 10.6, the CSK was a shadow of their marauding self, managing just 47 runs against PBKS.

A big chunk of credit should go to two Punjab spinners — Brar and Chahar — who exploited a slow track to the hilt to return with combined figures of 33 in eight overs for four wickets.

They also did not concede a single boundary in their spell.

Gaikwad did his best to bring CSK back into the match, using his wide array of shots against pacers Harshal Patel and Curran, and reached his fifty in 44 balls.

The right-hander brought up his third fifty in a row in this IPL with a six off Curran over long-on as they took 20 runs in that over. CSK made 60 runs in the last five overs.

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