CSK prevail in low-scoring game to climb to third

A solid bowling display by CSK sees them get back to winning ways as they win the contest by 28 runs. (Source: X.com)

Although the Chennai Super Kings were playing an away game, it must have still felt like home to their players. The crowd was behind MS Dhoni and the pitch offered turn and bounce. Even though they could only manage 167, an all-round display from their bowlers helped them break their losing streak against Punjab Kings. With this 28-run win, CSK move up to third on the points table, while PBKS remain at the eighth position.

Twin strikes from Chahar

CSK lost Ajinkya Rahane early, but Ruturaj Gaikwad and Daryl Mitchell ensured there were no further slip-ups. They appeared calculated and assured in their shots during the Powerplay. The final over from Harpreet Brar went for 19 runs as CSK finished with 60/1. Nine came from the seventh over. After a short break, PBKS brought in Rahul Chahar, and he made an immediate impact with his leg-break, dismissing the in-form Gaikwad and then accounting for the big-hitting Shivam Dube with a well-disguised googly. Gaikwad and Dube have been the most successful batters for CSK this season, and losing them both in quick succession pushed the defending champions on the back foot.

Valiant innings from Jadeja

When Ravindra Jadeja strode out in the ninth over, CSK had lost four wickets. With Moeen Ali struggling to find singles, Jadeja took charge in the 11th over bowled by Harshal Patel, securing two boundaries. However, Moeen departed soon after. Mitchell Santner faced 11 deliveries before being dismissed, while Shardul Thakur contributed a cameo before he and Dhoni fell off successive deliveries. At this point, Jadeja had faced 22 balls for his 31 runs. In the following four deliveries, he added 11 more, finishing with 43 off 26 and guiding his team past 160. Jadeja’s innings showcased his ability to handle pressure. As a senior member of the team, he used his experience to construct a composed innings.

Deshpande leads the way with the ball

After recovering from flu, Tushar Deshpande entered this match as the leader of the pace attack. In his first over, he showed why the team trusts him. It took him just three balls to make an impact as he bowled Jonny Bairstow with an incoming delivery. He then welcomed Rilee Rossouw with two outgoing deliveries. That was a set-up. Deshpande kept the third one on the stumps. It was a length delivery that skidded on and beat Rossouw for pace, who was late on the defence as the ball rushed past the bat. Two wickets in the first over, that’s how you make a comeback. Defending a small target, teams look for wickets with the new ball and that’s what Deshpande got for CSK. He dismissed two experienced T20 campaigners. Punjab never recovered from those early blows.

Simarjeet makes instant ‘impact’

CSK took a gamble by not playing Sameer Rizvi as an impact player. There was suspense in the air as to who would walk in as an impact player. With no Mustafizur Rahman, it was expected that Mukesh Choudhary might get the nod. But out came Simarjeet Singh. On a pitch that offered a lot for the spinners, Simarjeet extracted extra bounce. He proved to be the middle-over enforcer. The right-arm seamer hit a hard length from the start, rushed the batters and earned his wickets. Simarjeet was that kind of a bowler: slippery, quick, and accurate. Playing his first game this season, he looked impressive. He made PBKS’ batting sensation Ashutosh Sharma look like a newbie with his extra pace. The player from Delhi could have finished with three wickets, but Moeen dropped Ashutosh in the 12th over.