Deepak Chahar produced a superb opening spell to help the Chennai Super Kings beat the Punjab Kings by six wickets to register their first victory in the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League on Friday. After Chahar’s mid-pace four-for-13 allowed CSK to narrow the Punjab team to a 106-under-par for eight, Moeen Ali (46, 31 balls, 7×4, 1×6) scored 66 points for the second wicket with the opener Faf du Plessis (36 steps outside, 33 balls, 3X4s, 1X6) to ensure victory for the three times champions.
CSK finished 107 for four in 15.4 overs with Sam Curran (5 not out) scoring the winning points.
With the target in sight, CSK lost the wickets of Suresh Raina (8) and Ambati Rayudu (0) against Mohammed Shami (2/21) by consecutive balls in the 15th.
Ali opened up after a rather cautious start, played some great records and also hit a big six.
He was turned away from Shahrukh Khan in Murugan Ashwin’s (1/32) deep leggy with CSK needing 17 points for the win.
Arshdeep Singh provided the first breakthrough for Punjab, when he had a struggling Ruturaj Gaikwad (5) caught mid-wicket deep.
However, the Australian rhythm duo of Jhye Richardson and Riley Meredith could not make a big impression for the second game in a row.
Previously, Chahar rocked the Punjab hitting line-up with a stunning quad in which he picked up four wickets, including that of “Universe Boss” Chris Gayle.
In a bid to bounce back from being outclassed by the Delhi Capitals in their opener, CSK bowlers justified skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s decision to play first by reducing Punjab to 26 for four in advantage. digital (first six overs), then to 26 for five before M Shahrukh. Khan (47 of 36, 4X4, 2X6) led a brief revival.
Chahar started the Punjab slide on the first shot by sending back Mayank Agarwal (0) with a beauty that moved away from the middle stump to hit the stump. Chahar kept up the pressure and increased CSK’s woes with his consistency and only conceded two fours in his four-on spell.
Punjab-shaped skipper KL Rahul (5) was knocked out by a brilliant direct hit from Ravindra Jadeja, who was in short cover, as the batsman tried to fight for a single.
Jadeja was in the act again in the fifth, catching a superb catch, diving full in to send Gayle back for 10 to give Chahar his second wicket.
Nicholas Pooran bagged his second straight duck, pulling a short delivery straight into the hands of long-legged Shardul Thakur.
Deepak Hooda (10), who played a blinder in Punjab’s opener against Rajasthan Royals, couldn’t repeat his exploits, lobbing a single strike at du Plessis as the team slipped to 26 for five in the seventh.
Powerful Tamil Nadu hitter Shahrukh Khan was the only Punjab hitter to make a good impression before falling to Sam Curran in the final as CSK were all over their opponents.
Shahrukh Khan and Jhye Richardson (15, 22 balls, 2×4) added 31 points for the sixth wicket, in what was the best partnership of the innings.
Murugan Ashwin (6) then added 30 points with his Tamil Nadu Khan teammate to help the Punjab cause on an otherwise nightmarish night for them.
Sam Curran (1/12), Moeen Ali (1/17), Dwayne Bravo (1/10) were the other CSK counters.
Dhoni, playing his 200th game for CSK, won the toss and chose to play bowling.
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