Captain KL Rahul set the stage on fire with the bat as Punjab Kings (PBKS) beat Chennai Super Kings (CSK) by six wickets in Match 53 of the VIVO Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.
The right-hander hammered an unbeaten 98 off 42 balls, hitting 7 fours and 8 sixes, as PBKS, who needed 135 runs to win, chased down the target in 13 overs.
In the chase, PBKS were quick off the blocks in the chase as captain KL Rahul cut loose and powered his side to 42/0 after 4 overs, scoring 33 off those runs in 15 balls.
However, Shardul Thakur’s double-wicket over helped CSK see the back of Mayank Agarwal and Sarfaraz Khan.
Rahul though continued to target CSK bowlers and went on to complete a sensational 25-ball fifty. While PBKS lost Shahrukh Khan in the ninth over, Rahul continued making merry, playing some jaw-dropping shots.
The PBKS captain added 46 runs with Aiden Markram before the South African got out in the 13th over. However, Rahul finished things off in style, creaming a six, and took PBKS home.
Earlier, CSK, who were put into bat, remained unchanged, while PBKS brought in Chris Jordan in place of Nicholas Pooran.
PBKS kept things tight with the ball and were rewarded with the wicket of Ruturaj Gaikwad as Arshdeep Singh struck in the fourth over. Arshdeep and PBKS scalped the second CSK wicket in the powerplay as Moeen Ali got out in the sixth over.
Jordan then picked two wickets in his first two overs as Harpreet Brar and Arshdeep took two excellent catches to get Robin Uthappa and Ambati Rayudu out to reduce CSK to 42/4.
In the 12th over, after being hit for a four, Ravi Bishnoi dismissed MS Dhoni as CSK lost their fifth wicket with 61 runs on the board.
While the wickets continued to fall at the other end, Faf du Plessis stayed put and continued to a fine job with the ball after Dhoni’s dismissal. The right-hander was joined by Ravindra Jadeja in the middle and the pair did a fine rebuilding job for CSK, adding 67 runs together.
The pair kept the scorecard ticking and made sure CSK approached a respectable total. While Faf completed a well-compiled half-century in the 18th over, CSK also moved past hundred in the same over as du Plessis creamed two fours to finish the over.
du Plessis then tonked two sixes and a four in the next two overs before getting out in the final over after scoring a vital 76. However, his fine hand with the bat guided CSK to 134/6.
Brief Scores: Punjab Kings 139/4 (KL Rahul 98*, Aiden Markram 13; Shardul Thakur 3/28) beat Chennai Super Kings 134/6 (Faf du Plessis 76, Ravindra Jadeja 15; Chris Jordan 2/20, Arshdeep Singh 2/35) by 6 wickets.