DEEPAK CHAHAR starred with the ball by bowling a brilliant opening spell as Chennai Super Kings beat Punjab Kings by six wickets to register their first win in IPL 2021 on Friday (16).
Chahar’s four for 13 helped Chennai restrict Punjab to 106 for 8 as Moeen Ali (46 off 31 balls) along with Faf du Plessis (36* off 33 balls) put up 66 runs for the second wicket to take their team home in a modest chase.
With the target in sight, Chennai lost Suresh Raina (8) and Ambati Rayudu (0) to Mohammed Shami (2 for 21) off consecutive balls in the 15th over. But Sam Curran (5*) ensured no further damage was done as he scored the winning runs.
Ali made a cautious start before playing the big hits. With Chennai needing 17 runs for win, Ali fell to Murugan Ashwin (1 for 32). Opener Ruturaj Gaikwad (5) fell cheaply to Arshdeep Singh, caught at midwicket.
Earlier, Chahar vindicated skipper MS Dhoni’s decision of bowling first, as he rocked Punjab’s batting line-up with four wickets, including the big wicket of Chris Gayle.
In the first six overs, Punjab were struggling at 26 for four and quickly lost their fifth before Shahrukh Khan (47 off 36 balls) consolidated the innings.
Chahar scalped Mayank Agarwal for a duck in the first over and bowled a tidy spell by conceding only two boundaries.
Ravindra Jadeja effected a brilliant run out from short cover to make an inform KL Rahul (5) walk back to the pavilion. Then took a superb catch, diving full length to dismiss the dangerous Gayle for 10 off Chahar’s bowling.
Nicholas Pooran was again out for a straight duck, with Deepak Hooda (10) failing to repeat his heroics from Punjab’s last match against Rajasthan Royals.
Khan and Jhye Richardson (15 off 22 balls) added 31 runs for the sixth wicket, in what was the best partnership of the innings.
Ashwin (6) then added 30 runs with his Tamil Nadu teammate Khan to help Punjab’s cause a bit in a bad day of batting display.