PBKS Spinners choke, CSK scores 162 for 7, Ruturaj plays lone furrow

Chennai, May 1 (UNI) Punjab Kings spinners restricted home favourites Chennai Super Kings(CSK) to 162 for 7 in their 20 overs in a crucial IPL clash, with Ruturaj Gaikwad playing a lone furrow with a fine half century, at the Chepauk Stadium here on Wednesday night.

CSK started off slowly, tried to build the momentum, lost three wickets at the half way stage, came back, with talismanic M S Dhoni (14 in 11 balls) providing the final flourish, before it ended up on what seemed to be a below par total.

Gaikwad once again anchored the innings with a 48-ball 62 (5×4, 2×6) that propelled him to the top of the Orange Cap board ahead of RCS’s Virat Kohli with, 500-plus scores, as PBKS picking up wickets at crucial stages, gave PBKS a total that could be easily hauled, taking into account the dew factor.

The innings turned out dramatically in the first ten overs, before Gaikwad and Moeen Ali tried to sustain, but losing wickets in the death, restricted them to a modest total.

For the first time, Dhoni was dismissed in this edition in nine innings, being run out off the last ball after providing the final flourish.

It was the role of spinners Hardeep Brar and Rahul Chahar, who had together just conceded 33 runs in eight overs, pegged the CSK innings back after losing three quick wickets.

In fact Chahar was brought in the 19th over for his final over with Dhoni on the crease, but he held his nerve and got rid of Moeen Ali,who scored a four and a six.

Chahar finished with a superb spell of 4-0-16-2.

While Harpreet Brar started the collapse with two wickets in one over Rahul Chahar chipped in before finishing with a fine note to restrict the home favourites to a modest total.

Pacers Kasigo Raiba, Arshdeep Singh picked up a wicket each when it matter most that halted the momentum of CSK innings.

Asked to bat first on a wicket that offered some swing and bounce and spinners getting some purchase, CSK started on a sedate note, before Ajinkya Rahane hit three successive boundaries in the last over of the power play.

However, a three wicket burst in a space of nine balls by PBKS spinners left armer Harpreet Bar, who struck twice in one over, and Rahul Chahar, choked the run flow.

After being 55 for no loss at the end of power play, CSK at the half way stage were tottering at 71 for three, with skipper and inform Ruturaj Gaikwad, holding fort at the other end.

Ajinkya Rahane (29, 24 balls, 5×4), who was not in best of form, tried to up the ante and holed out to midwicket off Brar after adding 64 runs in 8.2 overs, their best opening wicket stand this season so far, with Gaikwad. Two balls later, Shivam Dube, who has been in fine nick this season, went for a slog sweep and was declared LBW as CSK was begged back.

Dube, who has been scoring runs in a brisk fashion this season, faced a rare failure and fell without troubling the scorers.

In fact, known for his six hitting prowess against the spinners, he was promoted at No.3 surprisingly ahead of Daryl Mitchell.

More trouble is in store for the home team as Ravindra Jadeja (2 in 4 balls), coming at No.4, was trapped in front by Chahar which pushed CSK further on the backfoot at 70 for three in the 10th over as Ruturaj and impact player Sameer Rizvi tried to build the innings before Brar bowled his quota of four overs on the trot conceding just 17 runs for two wickets.

With both Dube and Jadeja being declared out on referral, CSK lost both the reviews by the 10th over.

With no boundaries scored, the next seven overs after power play yielded a mere 30 runs, with the spinners doing the star turn.

CSK managed to reach 100 in the 15th over and after hitting the first boundary in 55 balls, Rizvi (21, 23 balls, 1×4) went for an upper cut and was held by Harshal Patel at thirdman fence off Rabada, who finished with an economical figures of one for 23 in four overs.

Rizvi added 37 for the fourth wicket in 34 balls with the skipper, who kept the innings afloat scoring his fourth half century of this edition in the 17th over, hitting the first six of the innings off Sam Curran over long off.

After hitting one more six, Ruturaj departed that brought iconic, MS Dhoni into the crease with loud cheers.

Despite losing Mooen Ali, Dhoni hit a four and a six in the death, before being dismissed off the last ball–being run out, the only what he could be dismissed–as CSK ended up on a some what below par total.

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