Indian Premier League, 2021
Venue: Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai
Date & Time: 07 October 2021
RR: 10.69 | Punjab Kings beat Chennai Super Kings by 6 wickets
That's it from this game. But don't go too far away as the most important clash of the day involving Kolkata and Rajasthan will get underway soon at 6 pm local (2 pm GMT). Switch tabs and do join us for all the action. Cheers!
No prizes for guessing, KL Rahul is the choice for the Man of the Match award. The Punjab skipper says that it was really hot and their plan was simple. Shares that they were told about a few permutations and combinations and the plan was to chase the target before 14 overs. He is glad that it came off for him in this match and he had the license to go. Tells that he had complete clarity of what he wanted to do. Mentions that he knows his role in the team and KL doesn't want to let his team down by playing how he wants to play. Further says that you can hit every ball when you are in the zone but it's important to hold your shape and that's the only thing he keeps on reminding himself. Signs off by saying that there is no better feeling than hitting the ball from the middle of the bat.
Aiden Markram is up for a quick chat. He says that it has been a brilliant experience and they have a good bunch of boys. Tells that it was an unbelievable batting effort from KL Rahul and the teammates were celebrating every six from the pavilion. Says that he hopes that KL celebrates his knock tonight. Goes on to say that he looks to learn from the best in the business and he certainly got to learn a lot by watching how Faf du Plessis and KL Rahul played.
MS Dhoni, the captain of Chennai, starts by saying that they have to cope up at the mental level. He adds that they played good cricket to reach this position in the tournament. Admits that they have lost a few games but this is a part and parcel of the tournament like this but accepts that they need to fine-tune their preparation a bit. Talking about motivation, MS replies that it is not the factor and guys are highly motivated. He cheekily adds that it would have looked worse if they have batted first after winning the toss. Feels that the pitch changed a bit in the second innings but terms it a good one, although challenging.
On a surface where KL Rahul put on a batting show, Chennai struggled big time as a unit. Their innings struggled for momentum and it was due to Faf du Plessis' lone fight, they managed to put a respectable total on the board. Picking early wickets could have made the chase interesting but the bowling unit leaked too many boundaries and as a result, there was no pressure on Punjab.
It was a tricky target on this pitch and Punjab adopted the aggressive approach in the Powerplay. Once again, their opening pair of KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal did a fabulous job and for a change, the former was the aggressor. After the departure of Mayank, Punjab lost Sarfaraz Khan quickly but the presence of Rahul in the middle meant that there was no pressure. With Shahrukh Khan and Aiden Markram, KL formed two crucial stands and eventually put the chase to bed in 13 overs. Amidst all the carnage, Shardul Thakur picked up three wickets and impressed the most. The rest of the Chennai bowling was not up to the mark right from the beginning.
Punjab have decimated the target in front of them with 7 overs to spare and handed Chennai their third defeat in a row. The chase was all about KL Rahul's extraordinary knock as he finished unbeaten on 98 and kept Punjab's slim chance to qualify for the playoffs alive.
Shardul Thakur comes back into the attack.
Strategic Time-out! KL Rahul is looking in a hurry to finish the game as early as possible but he is losing partners at the other end. Chennai need to keep picking up wickets if they are to win this game as they are not left with many runs to play with! Dwayne Bravo comes to bowl now. Also, Aiden Markram is the new batter.
Deepak Chahar comes back to bowl.
Ravindra Jadeja comes into the attack.
Shahrukh Khan walks out to bat now.
Sarfaraz Khan is the new man in.
Shardul Thakur comes into the attack now.
The physio is out as per the concussion protocol as KL Rahul has been hit hard on the grill of his helmet. He looks fine and we are good to resume.
Josh Hazlewood will bowl from the other end.