Faf du Plessis scored an unbeaten 36 from 33 balls that helped steer the Chennai Super Kings to their first victory in this year’s IPL – beating the Punjab Kings by six wickets on Friday.
In the battle of the monarchs, CSK came into their match against the Punjab Kings having lost their opening fixture to the Delhi Capitals. The men in yellow were still without the services of paceman Lungi Ngidi who remains in quarantine.
Captain MS Dhoni won the toss for CSK in what was a special milestone for him as he ran out to play in his 200th game for the team. He opted to bowl on a wicket that showed some signs that it would assist the bowlers.
Deepak Chahar got CSK off to the perfect start by claiming the wicket of Mayank Agarwal in the first over from a near unplayable delivery that straightened and knocked back the off stump. The wicket marked the first in a superb spell for the quick.
Excellent work in the field by Ravindra Jadeja saw opener KL Rahul run-out short of the crease. Jadeja then clung on to a claim a superb low catch off of the bowling of Chahar to dismiss Chris Gale for only 10.
Chahar continued to rip through Punjab Kings and left the side all at sea at 19/4 after the first five overs. By then the damage had been done and Punjab never looked comfortable as they staggered to a meagre 106-8 after their 20 overs.
It was Punjab’s second lowest score in the IPL at Wankhede and was never going to trouble Chennai. Nevertheless, the early wicket of Ruturaj Gaikwad, caught in the deep off of the bowling of Arshdeep Singh, threatened to put the cat amongst the pigeons.
Du Plessis and Moeen Ali then stabilised the innings for CSK with Ali playing the role of the aggressor and Du Plessis doing well to rotate the strike and pick off the poor deliveries.
Ali eventually fell for 46 and two late wickets in consecutive deliveries from Mohammed Shami put some gloss on the scoresheet for the Punjab Kings. Ultimately though Sam Curran and Du Plessis did enough to settle the result by the 16th over.
Punjabi Kings will feel disappointed with their performance, a game they were all but out of after the first five overs. Conversely CSK will be delighted to have bounced back after failing to defend 188 against the Delhi Capitals.