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Chennai vs Punjab - 56th Match

Series: Indian T20 League, 2018
Venue: Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune
Date & Time: 20 May 2018

Chennai 159/5 (19.1 Ovs) RR: 8.30 | Chennai won by 5 wkts


Batsman R B 4s 6s
Ambati Rayudu c Rahul & b Mohit Sharmac Rahul & b Mohit Sharma1300
Faf du Plessis c Gayle & b Rajpootc Gayle & b Rajpoot141530
Suresh Raina Not OutNot Out614842
Sam Billings bowled Rajpootbowled Rajpoot0100
Harbhajan Singh lbw Ashwinlbw Ashwin192221
Deepak Chahar c Mohit Sharma & b Ashwinc Mohit Sharma & b Ashwin392013
MS Dhoni Not OutNot Out16711
Dwayne Bravo dnbdnb0000
Ravindra Jadeja dnbdnb0000
Shardul Thakur dnbdnb0000
Lungi Ngidi dnbdnb0000
Extras 9 (b 1, lb 0, w 7, nb 1)
Total 159 (5 Wkts, 19.1 Ov)
Fall of Wickets
3-1 (Ambati Rayudu,1.2), 27-2 (Faf du Plessis,4.3), 27-3 (Sam Billings,4.4), 58-4 (Harbhajan Singh,10.1), 114-5 (Deepak Chahar,16.1),
BowlingO M R WEcon
Ankit Rajpoot4 1 19 2 4.75
Mohit Sharma3.1 0 28 1 9.03
Andrew Tye4 0 47 0 11.75
Axar Patel4 0 28 0 7.00
Ravichandran Ashwin4 0 36 2 9.00
Lokesh Rahul0 0 0 0 0
Chris Gayle0 0 0 0 0
Aaron Finch0 0 0 0 0
David Miller0 0 0 0 0
Karun Nair0 0 0 0 0
Manoj Tiwary0 0 0 0 0


Great finish to the league stages, with hardly any dead rubbers towards the end. It's been very close this year, at the end of which HYD, CHN, KOL and RAJ have survived. We'll have a special Cricbuzz Live analysis show tomorrow at 6pm to talk about the playoffs. Do join us then. For now, this is Sagar Chawla signing off on behalf of Nikhil Jadhav, Akshay Maanay, Rishi Roy, Abhinand Raghavendran and our scorer Naga. Cheers!

Ngidi, MoM: Very good day out. Really didn't expect it to go that far, but will definitely take it today. Usually sub-continent stays a bit low and slow. When Chahar bowled the first over today, I couldn't stop grinning on the side. CHN is a team which really values family values. Just the cricketing mind and brain Dhoni has, it's helped me.

Dhoni, CHN captain: If you see their bowling line-up, it was definitely swinging a bit more for Ankit. From a captain's perspective, you want to take as many wickets upfront. So sending in Bhajji and Chahar creates chaos. The bowlers all of a sudden bowl yorkers and bouncers. When batsmen are batting, they stick to a good line and length, but against Bhajji and Chahar, they lose their line and lengths, instead of sticking to the plan. Plus Bhajji and Chahar could come in handy during the playoffs. Owners have been brilliant. We have a set of people who are close to the players. They have a history of understanding the game. That makes the job easy for the captain. Also if you don't have a good team, it becomes difficult. We kept adding players and they kept performing. The big shift will be after two years, where most of these players won't be there. Maybe they won't be fit for the shortest format. Looking at ten years, it has been very good for us. We like to do the process right because that's what gives you the result. There are quite a few finals where I still remember what went wrong. When the format is like this, just a couple of big hits or a run-out can change things. Everyone wants to win. They've done well to go into the knockout stages. The top two teams they get extra life. What's important is to be at your best on that particular day.

Deepak Chahar: I got my opportunity today after a long time. I have been waiting for my chances. From the first match I have liked bowling here. There is a bit of breeze blowing across. Today also it was a moving a bit in the initial stage. It is good for the confidence; getting an opportunity to bat. Now if I get a chance to bat in the playoffs I will do good for the team. I was a swing bowler basically, but have worked on my pace for the last six years. We have been waiting for this opportunity for two years and looking forward to the playoffs. He (Watson) was rested. If KOL would have lost yesterday, even I would be rested today.

R Ashwin, PUN captain: Tough days at the office. We didn't bat very well. Lost three wickets in the powerplay and from there it was going to be catch-up. Karun got us a good score but it was always 20-30 runs below par. We put down a catch. It never came together in the latter half of the tournament. We had a decent April but a horrible May. We had Ankit who swung it around in this conditions. Should've latched onto the catch, but that happens in cricket. Even in the first half we were playing in Mohali. KL and Gayle were making most of the runs but the middle-order didn't click at all which was expected, which hurt us in the latter half of the tournament. Ankit did really well, and of course KL was amazing. We have the purple cap holder in Tye as well. So loads of positives but we haven't applied ourselves. We haven't commanded any respect at all in terms of getting results on our own terms. The game against BLR costed a lot, not only in terms of run-rate but especially in terms of morale. We were not really there in terms of performance on such a day, but CHN were better today. A good team culture will help us win tournaments in the future, so I'd like to build that culture slowly in this new-look franchise and we'll look to do much better next time.

CHN found it difficult too at the start against the moving ball, but through some left-field tactics, they were able to stock up their firepower for the death. Raina bided his time initially, leaving it to the likes of Harbhajan Singh and Deepak Chahar to take the bowling on. What it did was keep the required rate well within reach in those last four overs where Raina and Dhoni launched a scathing assault to finish it off in a hurry.

23:49 Local Time, 18:19 GMT, 23:49 IST: Going in, Punjab knew the equation. They had to win this game by 53 runs or more to go into the playoffs. So to receive the liveliest pitch of the season, which turned the match into a reasonably low-scoring affair was the last thing they would've wanted. Their greatest shot at qualification - their top three - were wiped off in a matter of minutes with the new ball darting around for Ngidi and Chahar. The tall South African pacer was absolutely sensational tonight actually, on a deck resembling some of those he would've played on back home. His figures of 4/10 in four overs meant that Punjab were never going to get a huge score, even with Karun Nair's splendid fifty.

Mohit Sharma to Dhoni, SIX, finishes it off by pulling this short ball over the long leg boundary, and then calmly tips the bails over. And that's how the T20 League 2018 league stages end, with HYD, CHN, KOL and RAJ going through
Andrew Tye to Raina, no run, oh well, length ball on off, Raina presents a perfect forward defence. The honour of finishing the game falls upon Dhoni again
Andrew Tye to Raina, FOUR, short ball at the head, Raina swivels across nicely and helps the pull away to the fine leg boundary. Just one more needed. What a late assault
Andrew Tye to Raina, FOUR, sliced away in front of deep point, where the fielder dashes in only to find that he's badly misjudged it. Then he doesn't put his body behind it either, allowing it to slip past the side of him
Andrew Tye to Raina, SIX, pops Tye over long-on to raise his fifty! The equation has come down to a run-a-ball. Don't think he got this one off the middle either, but got enough to just clear the leaping fielder
Andrew Tye to Raina, 2 runs, length ball, dragged away off the inside half between long-on and deep mid-wicket
Andrew Tye to Raina, SIX, finally gets hold of one! He waited just a moment longer to account for the knuckle ball, and then heaved it away for a flat six. Even this had come more off the bottom of his bat actually, but again, these are short boundaries

Andrew Tye [3.0-0-25-0] is back into the attack

Mohit Sharma to Dhoni, FOUR, Dhoni absolutely nails this! Spoils what was turning out to be a good over. Brings up 4000 T20 League runs for himself as well. Back of length at the stumps, he opens himself up and swings into a brutal cross-batted smite through square leg
Mohit Sharma to Raina, 1 run, Raina's timing is just not there. Not always easy to hit out after nurdling the ball for so long. Length ball outside off, he slogs hard and miscues it off the outside half. So terrible is the timing that it falls well in front of deep mid-wicket
Mohit Sharma to Dhoni, 1 run, Dhoni skips out of the crease, only to be greeted with a brilliant yorker length delivery. Can only jam it out to mid-off
Mohit Sharma to Raina, 1 run, length ball outside off, Raina opens himself up to carve it over extra cover, but can't find the middle this time either. Thick inside edge past leg-stump
Mohit Sharma to Raina, 2 runs, desperate effort from Ankit Rajpoot, who does well in the end to shove his hands behind the ball. Length ball slanted outside off, Raina aims for a hoick through mid-wicket but sends it in a diagonally opposite direction through an outside edge. It was in the air for a while, but fell well short of the charging Rajpoot
Mohit Sharma to Raina, wide, bangs the slower bouncer in way too short, loops over Raina's head
Mohit Sharma to Dhoni, 1 run, back of a length delivery on middle, poked back past the bowler

Mohit Sharma [2.0-0-11-1] is back into the attack

Wonder how motivated PUN would be. A win would be nice of course. It's 34 needed off 18

Ashwin to Dhoni, 1 run, waits on this length delivery before dabbing it to short third man
Ashwin to Dhoni, 2 runs, rocks back to the carrom ball and cracks the cut away through point. Good diving effort from Axar in the deep to save the boundary
Ashwin to Raina, 1 run, turned away with the angle through mid-wicket
Ashwin to Dhoni, 1 run, 93.8kph, pretty full outside off. Dhoni shimmies to the pitch of it and pushes a single to long-on

"Dhoni, Dhoni"

Ashwin to Raina, 1 run, flat length ball, pushes it into the off-side

MS Dhoni, right handed bat, comes to the crease

Ashwin to Chahar, out Caught by Mohit Sharma!! Sliced up off a thick edge, Mohit Sharma gets underneath it comfortably at cover. So Chahar's joyride comes to an end. The carrom ball was cleverly fired out of his arc, and his leg-side swipe was always vulnerable to the ball turning away. He's done his job though. He's done more than what could've been asked of him. Chahar c Mohit Sharma b Ashwin 39(20) [4s-1 6s-3]

Ashwin to Chahar, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!

PUN have failed to qualify for the playoffs after winning five out of their first six games - first time it has happened in an T20 League season.

Axar to Raina, 2 runs, bit of a helicopter flourish from Raina as he whips this off the back foot wide of long-on. Scurries back for the second run
Axar to Chahar, 1 run, fired in very full outside off, Chahar swings hard but gets a thick inside edge wide of short fine leg
Axar to Raina, 1 run, picks length early, steps back in the crease and cuts to point where there's a fumble
Axar to Chahar, 1 run, driven down to long-on
Axar to Chahar, SIX, my word does he have some ability with the bat! This is a stunning shot. Makes some room to a length ball and flat-bats it over long-off. Wow Deepak Chahar
Axar to Raina, 1 run, wow, Raina is playing second fiddle here. Knocks the ball down to long-on
Ashwin to Chahar, 2 runs, and finishes the over by softly nudging the length ball wide of long-on for two. 21 off the over. It knocks Punjab out of the playoffs, sending RAJ through
Ashwin to Chahar, FOUR, short and wide, Chahar stretches out to reach it and then cuts it away to the point boundary. He's taking Ashwin apart
Ashwin to Raina, 1 run, played down the ground for a single
Ashwin to Chahar, 1 run, full and fast at the stumps, Chahar knocks it to long-on
Ashwin to Chahar, wide, absolutely fired in by Ashwin, very quick. But it's very short and very wide, well beyond the marker
Ashwin to Chahar, SIX, now a blistering strike over long-off. Wow. Ashwin had fired this pretty wide of off, so Chahar had to reach out slightly, but the timing is still so sublime
Ashwin to Chahar, SIX, he has whacked this carrom ball over deep square leg's head. Not long boundaries here, so even a decent contact comfortably takes it over the ropes. Walked across the stumps, sat down low and got a great length for the slog-sweep


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