Mumbai: Seamer Deepak Chahar’s four-wicket haul, in which he removed four of the top five Punjab Kings batsmen, powered Chennai Super Kings (CSK) to a thumping six-wicket win — their first in this season’s Indian Premier League (IPL) — here on Friday.
The win couldn’t have come at a better time, as it was skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s 200th match for CSK.
The right-arm pacer’s spell restricted Punjab to 106/8 in 20 overs, a poor score on a Wankhede pitch known to be good for batting.
Chahar (4/13 from four overs) removed Mayank Agarwal (0), Chris Gayle (10), Deepak Hooda (10) and Nicholas Pooran (0) to leave Punjab tottering at 26/5 after 6.2 overs. Skipper K.L. Rahul (5) was dismissed run out.
While Agarwal was bowled by one that moved away a bit and hit the stumps, Gayle couldn’t handle the knuckle ball and scooped it to cover where Ravindra Jadeja took a diving catch.
Chahar then got rid of Pooran, who pulled a short delivery straight to deep square-leg, before forcing Deepak Hooda to chip one to mid-off.
From there, it was always going to be an uphill task for Punjab.
Only Shahrukh Khan could offer some resistance and played some cracking shots, including a rasping pull off Shardul Thakur. The No. 6 batsman, who had walked in after the dismissal of Pooran in the fifth over, scored 47 off 36 balls (4×4, 6×2) and stayed at the crease till the end, but found very little support from the other end. Jhye Richardson made 15 off 22 and added 31 for the sixth wicket with Shahrukh.
The target was easy for CSK and they were not challenged at all. CSK lost Ruturaj Gaikwad early, for five, but a 66-run second wicket stand between Moeen Ali (46 off 31 balls, 4×7, 6×1) and Faf du Plessis (36 n.o. off 31 balls, 4×3, 6×1) took CSK within 16 runs of the target.
There was a little bit of drama towards the end with Punjab picking up three quick wickets. Moeen Ali tried to reach his fifty with a big shot but was caught in the deep off Ravichandran Ashwin, while Mohammed Shami accounted for former India internationals Suresh Raina and Ambati Rayudu, both trying to play expansive shots only to get caught in the deep in the process.
However, du Plessis and Sam Curran saw CSK home without any further hiccups, with 4.2 overs and six wickets to spare.
Brief scores: Punjab Kings 106/8 in 20 overs (Shahrukh Khan 47, D Chahar 4/13, D Bravo 1/10, S Curran 1/12, M Ali 1/17) lost to Chennai Super Kings 107/4 in 15.4 overs (M Ali 46, F du Plessis 36 not out, M Shami 2/21).