Chennai Super Kings beat Punjab Kings (PBKS) comprehensively by six wickets in Match 8 of IPL 2021, to register their first win of IPL 2021.
CSK won the toss and elected to field first.
The Punjab Kings’ wobbly start to the batting had already hinted that KL Rahul’s men wouldn’t pile up a big score.
Opener Mayank Agarwal was done in by an out-swinger from Deepak Chahar who led the CSK attack from the front tonight.
The medium-pacer finished with 4/13 including a crucial maiden over.
His variations threw the Punjab batsmen off balance and his effortless execution of swing bowling was sublime. It was as if Chahar was telling India captain Virat Kohli and the BCCI that he’s up for grabs if they need his services in the coming T20 World Cup.
With help from Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, and Dwayne Bravo, a high-spirited Chahar cornered Punjab from the beginning. His spells dismantled Punjab to 106/8 which was never going to be tough for any opposition, even an out-of-form CSK.
While Faf du Plessis had a calm approach, Moeen Ali wanted to finish the game as soon as he could. His aggressive 46 off 31 helped CSK clinch their first win of the tournament with four overs in hand.
No stopping Moeen Ali
The coronavirus ordeal that Moeen Ali faced lately has only reignited his best form.
The Englishman has been at his best with the bat since donning the CSK jersey this year.
His 36-run cameo in the losing cause in the last outing against Delhi Capitals and tonight’s form has helped him stamp his authority as one of the best all-rounders in the league.
Shahrukh Khan shows his power
Batting prodigy Shahrukh Khan finally had a go at the bowlers after not having ample opportunity to show his power-hitting skills in the last game against Rajasthan Royals.
And the 25-year-old Tamil Nadu star lived up to his hype.
The Punjab Kings would not have gotten to a respectable total if it wasn’t for his late blitz of 47. Although the Punjab player is just getting started, his two big sixes were a glimpse of what kind of strike force he can become when the occasion demands.
Perhaps, the Punjab management will have to reconsider the batting order of their 6’4″ powerhouse.
The Jadeja effect
Ravindra Jadeja and his brilliance in the field are not a shocker for fans of Indian cricket.
The Chennai star is always in the game one way or other. After dismissing Rahul with a sharp throw, Jadeja also took a diving catch off Chahar’s bowling to dismiss Chris Gayle.
Where is Ruturaj going wrong?
Ruturaj Gaikwad hasn’t continued his batting from the last IPL.
The CSK opener has struggled on both occasions in this year’s tournament so far. With a star-studded squad, Gaikwad is not likely to be given more chances if he doesn’t pile up runs.
The 24-year-old struck a 15-ball five in the Punjab encounter.
He was unable to middle the ball, looked out of form, and in a hurry to get off strike.
With three consecutive match-winning performances last season, Gaikwad has shown that he possesses the capabilities of a top batsman, but he needs to channel his best form before it’s too late for him.
Thankfully, his bad form didn’t hurt CSK and they achieved the target for the loss of four wickets in 15.5 overs.
Mohammed Shami was the best bowler for Punjab, taking two wickets in four overs.
Chennai Super Kings 107 for 4 (Ali 46, du Plessis 36*, Shami 2-21, ) beat Punjab Kings 106 for 8 (Shahrukh 47, Chahar 4-13) by six wickets