Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Rampaging Rahul hands CSK third consecutive loss. Rahul smashed 98 off 42 as PBKS chased down 134 in 13 overs.
Rahul smashed 98 off 42 as PBKS chased down 134 in 13 overs.
KL Rahul's magnificent 98 helped Punjab Kings finish with 12 points in the league stage, keeping their hopes of qualifying still open and dependent on other results to go their way.
How did Punjab up their run-rate?
It was a one-man show right through the chase. KL Rahul knew that Punjab's best chance came only if they managed to up their run-rate while getting up to 12 points. So right from the get-go, his intent was visible. He got two boundaries off the first over bowled by Deepak Chahar to set the tone. And despite being struck on the helmet trying to pull once, he did not change gears. He got that shot right against Chahar once more. And then dismissed Hazlewood in the next over hitting him for two fours and a six. By the time the powerplay ended, Punjab already had 51 on board.
Did CSK not mount a challenge?
They did, briefly through Shardul Thakur. In his first over, Thakur had Mayank Agarwal LBW and Sarfraz Khan caught for a duck to peg things back. But it wasn't enough.
They simply couldn't find a way to keep Rahul quiet. With relentless hitting, Rahul got to his fifty in the eighth over off just 25 balls and then proceeded to up the gears even from there. His next 17 balls gave 48 more as Punjab overhauled the modest score with seven overs to spare with Rahul's maniac unbeaten 98 containing seven fours and eight sixes.
What went wrong for CSK with the bat?
A lot of it, thanks to an excellent opening spell initially. Mohammed Shami and Harpreet Brar gave away only 13 runs in the first three overs after Punjab opted to bowl. And then Arshdeep Singh came in to reap the rewards of that slow start. With the pressure on, he bounced out the in-form Ruturaj Gaikwad having him caught off a miscued pull for the second successive time, and then had Moeen Ali nicking behind to reduce CSK to 29/2 in the last over of the powerplay.
Why couldn't CSK hit back?
Because the pressure was kept on by Chris Jordan, who came in for Nicholas Pooran. Jordan struck in his first over having Robin Uthappa caught off a miscued pull. And in his second over, Ambati Rayudu hit a well-timed shot straight to the man at sweeper cover. CSK, in an attempt to keep going hard, slipped to 42/4 now. MS Dhoni was then involved in a tussle with young legspinner Ravi Bishnoi. Twice he hit him powerfully through the offside for boundaries but the youngster had the last laugh. Tempting him with a series of tossed up legbreaks, he let slip a googly that did Dhoni in to rattle the stumps.
How did CSK recover then?
Through Faf du Plessis. The opener played an innings that befitted his experience. He bided his time as the wickets tumbled at one end, and held fort at the other. He took 46 balls to get to his fifty but smashed 30 off his last 9 balls to give CSK a big impetus in the end overs and finish with a seemingly competitive 134.
Brief Scores: Chennai Super Kings 134/6 (Faf du Plessis 76; Chris Jordan 2-20) lost to Punjab Kings 139/4 (KL Rahul 98*) by six wickets
What next for the two teams?
Punjab will now have to wait for other results to go their way, specifically for Rajasthan to first beat KKR by a massive margin to reduce their NRR and then for Mumbai Indians to lose tomorrow. Despite three losses in a row, CSK are still set to get to the first qualifier (RCB would need an improbable win to pip them) against Delhi Capitals.