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Patient Shikhar Dhawan makes Chennai Super Kings pay

Ambati Rayudu's 78 off 39 balls not enough to pull Jadeja's men over the ropes
Man of the Match Shikhar Dhawan of Punjab Kings during his unbeaten 88 against Chennai Super Kings at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Monday.
Man of the Match Shikhar Dhawan of Punjab Kings during his unbeaten 88 against Chennai Super Kings at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Monday.
IPL

Sayak Banerjee   |   Published 26.04.22, 03:27 AM

For the first time in this IPL, Ambati Rayudu was able to convert his start into a 50-plus score. It went quite close to trumping Shikhar Dhawan’s unbeaten 88 at the Wankhede in Mumbai on Monday. 

But in spite of his brilliant effort, the 36-year-old couldn’t get Chennai Super Kings over the line as Punjab Kings beat them by 11 runs to move up to No.6 in the standings with eight points. 

Dhawan, going into the game with back-to-back single-digit scores, took a little bit of time to settle down. But remaining patient, he used all his experience to produce a quality 59-ball knock on a pitch which wasn’t exactly a belter, laying the foundation for Punjab to post a challenging total of 187 for 4 after they were put in to bat.

Dhawan also got a fair bit of support from Bhanuka Rajapaksa (42), who came in for pacer Nathan Ellis, and Liam Livingstone, whose cameo (19 off 7 balls) in the slog overs turned out to be crucial. 

Rayudu (78 off 39 balls) finished with a strike rate of 200, which was superior compared to Dhawan’s 149.15. But unlike Dhawan, Rayudu had no support from the other end as even captain Ravindra Jadeja couldn’t churn out the big hits, which could have taken a bit of pressure off him.

So after Kagiso Rabada (2/23) accounted for Rayudu, Chennai still had as many as 35 to win off the remaining 13 balls. Mahendra Singh Dhoni, having pulled it off for Chennai with his final over assault on Jaydev Unadkat in their previous game, versus Mumbai Indians, did give the four-time champions some hope when he smashed Rishi Dhawan for a maximum off the first ball of the game’s last over.

It helped the bowlers when they took pace off the ball on the Wankhede track. With Chennai requiring 20 off the last four balls, Rishi did exactly so and a mis-hit from Dhoni brought about his dismissal.

That was the game for Punjab as Chennai finished at 176 for 6. Their sixth defeat pushed them back in the play-offs race. 

Crucial spells

The spells of Rabada and left-arm quick Arshdeep Singh (1/23) were crucial. After Rayudu seized the momentum for his team, clobbering Sandeep Sharma for three maximums and a four in the 16th over, Arshdeep conceded only six off the next to put the pressure back on Chennai. Then Rabada knocked Rayudu over to land the killer punch. 

So after Kagiso Rabada (2/23) accounted for Rayudu, Chennai still had as many as 35 to win off the remaining 13 balls. Mahendra Singh Dhoni, having pulled it off for Chennai with his final over assault on Jaydev Unadkat in their previous game, versus Mumbai Indians, did give the four-time champions some hope when he smashed Rishi Dhawan for a maximum off the first ball of the game’s last over.

It helped the bowlers when they took pace off the ball on the Wankhede track. With Chennai requiring 20 off the last four balls, Rishi did exactly so and a mis-hit from Dhoni brought about his dismissal.

That was the game for Punjab as Chennai finished at 176 for 6. Their sixth defeat pushed them back in the play-offs race. 

Crucial spells

The spells of Rabada and left-arm quick Arshdeep Singh (1/23) were crucial. After Rayudu seized the momentum for his team, clobbering Sandeep Sharma for three maximums and a four in the 16th over, Arshdeep conceded only six off the next to put the pressure back on Chennai. Then Rabada knocked Rayudu over to land the killer punch. 



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