KL Rahul runs riot as Punjab gives Chennai Super Kings a reality check
Punjab chased down a target of 135 in just 13 overs and still retain the possibility of a playoff spot.
KL Rahul played a destructive knock of 98* runs from 42 balls helping his side to a comfortable victory against Chennai Super Kings. Chennai has now lost three on the trot losing all the momentum they generated early in the second phase of the IPL.
Punjab won the toss and decided to bowl first. Ruturaj Gaikwad who has been in glittering form throughout the campaign struggled and got out after getting 12 runs off 14 balls. The middle order of the CSK which has been solid throughout the tournament failed to provide Du Plessis company. Chennai lost wickets in regular intervals thus piling pressure on Du Plessis. The South African held his ground and scores 76 runs off 55 balls before getting out.
Meanwhile, Moeen Ali (0 of 6), Robin Uthappa (2 of 6), Rayudu (4 of 5) got out for poultry runs. Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who recently talked about extending his CSK stay, failed to help the team as he got out for 12 runs. Ravindra Jadeja and Dwayne Bravo helped CSK to a respectable total of 134. CSK’s batsmen wasted too many deliveries in the middle overs leading to a low total despite boasting a strong batting line-up.
KL Rahul slaughters CSK bowling attack
However, KL Rahul was not in the mood of wasting any deliveries. Knowing that there is a chance of qualifying for the play-off with a huge margin win, the Punjab captain wasted no time as he got on with his innings. He scored two boundaries in the very first over of the innings taking Punjab to eleven runs. Both the batsman took the game to Chennai and scored 46 runs for the first wicket. Mayank Agarwal got out by LBW to a Shardhul Thakur delivery. Punjab lost its second wicket in the same over as Sarfaraz Khan gave away a top edge which Faf Du Plessis took easily.
Meanwhile, KL Rahul was not slowing down at all. The Karnataka-born batsman continued to score boundaries and scored 50 runs off 25 balls. On the other end, Shahrukh Khan and Aiden Markram got out for 8 and 13 runs respectively. KL Rahul continued his onslaught and helped Punjab over the victory line in 13 overs. With this victory, Punjab has gathered twelve points in the league stage and still has a tiny possibility of qualifying for the play-offs. However, they still rely on the results of other sides.
Meanwhile, signs are looking worrisome for CSK. Dhoni’s men have now lost three games in a row and have lost five in total. They have lost against Rajasthan, Delhi and now Punjab in succession. An interesting fact is that they have lost of their five matches batting first.