The bowlers led from the front once again in the early stage of the season as Chennai Super Kings (CSK) secured their first game of the Indian Premier League thrashing Punjab Kings (PBKS) at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai yesterday.
Deepak Chahar’s remarkable four-wicket haul helped CSK restrict PBKS to 106/8 before they chased down the target with more than four overs to spare.
CSK made a cautious start with the bat, chasing 107. Nothing to take away though from the PBKS pacers – Mohamed Shami and Jhye Richardson – who were right on the money with the new ball, conceding only eight runs in the first three overs.
Faf du Plessis then switched gears, smacking 2 fours and a perfectly executed scoop that went all the way for a maximum, scoring 14 off the fourth over by Richardson. Arshdeep Singh dismissed the struggling Ruturaj Gaikwad after the right-hander holed out in the deep.
But Moeen Ali Ali and du Plessis kept rotating the strike without taking big risks as CSK sailed past fifty in the eighth over, in total control of the chase.
Ali came out with positive intent as he smashed a couple of boundaries off Shami. Ali launched one off Murugan Ashwin, over long-on for a maximum. While he was caught in the deep in the same over, he ensured the damage was done after scoring 46 off 31 balls.
Shami came in to bowl the 15th over and created some late damage for CSK after picking two wickets in two balls, dismissing Suresh Raina and Ambati Rayudu respectively.With four runs required, Sam Curran finished off the chase in style, with a boundary and CSK chased down the total.
Earlier, CSK were on fire with the new ball after getting rid of both the PBKS openers. Chahar castled Mayank Agarwal’s stumps in the very first over, hitting the top of off-stump followed by Ravindra Jadeja’s outstanding fielding effort – a direct hit – inside the circle that ran out the PBKS skipper, K L Rahul.
Chahar the dismissed Gayle and got Nicholas Pooran in the sam over as PBKS were struggling at 26-4 at the end of powerplay. Chahar scalped his 4th wicket after Deepak Hooda chipped it into the hands of du Plessis at mid-off.
Shahrukh Khan, along with Richardson formed a vital partnership for the sixth wicket, adding 31 runs. However, Moeen Ali put an end to the same, crashing one into the stumps of Richardson. Shahrukh kept the boundaries flowing, despite wickets tumbling at one end and raced off to 39. Dwayne Bravo got Murugan Ashwin out and the PBKS were struggling at 87-7 at the end of the 17th over.
The Punjab Kings brought their hundred up in the penultimate over bowled by Bravo, who conceded only 4 runs. Shahrukh Khan fell just three runs short of his half-century after he tried to smack Sam Curran for a maximum, only to find Jadeja in the deep. PBKS finished with a total of 106-8, scoring only 6 runs in the final over of the innings.
Chennai Super Kings 107/4 (Moeen Ali 46, Faf du Plessis 36*; Mohamed Shami 2/21) beat Punjab Kings 106/8 (Shahrukh Khan 47, Jhye Richardson 15; Deepak Chahar 4/13) by 6 wickets
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