IPL 2021: Rahul leads from the front to keep Punjab in the hunt
Lokesh Rahul's brilliant captain innings once again opened up the points table of the Indian Premier League (IPL) as Punjab Kings beat Chennai Super Kings by six wickets.
At the Dubai International Stadium, Chennai after being asked to bat posted 134 for six and Punjab chased down the target in just 13 overs to finish on 139 for four.
Earlier, Faf du Plessis held the innings together with a 55 ball 76 with eight boundaries and two sixes. Chennai innings suffered a collapse to be reduced to 42 for four. Du Plessis was at all times holding one end up as other batsmen struggled to contribute. For Punjab the key wicket-takers were Arshdeep Singh (2-35) and Chris Jordan (2-20).
In their response, Punjab was well served as ever by their captain Lokesh Rahul. The opening stand was worth, there was a brief collapse, but Rahul revived the chase first with Shahrukh Khan and then Aiden Markram. Rahul added 34 for the third wicket with Shahrukh and 46 for the fourth wicket with Markram. Rahul held the innings and chase together very well with an unbeaten 98 off 42 balls with seven boundaries and eight sixes.
Punjab finally achieved the target in 13 overs to finish on 139 for four.
With this win, Punjab's hopes of making it to the playoff are still alive. Punjab made one change to their playing XI bringing in Chris Jordan for Nicholas Pooran.
Chennai Super Kings: 134-6 (20)
Fall of wickets: 1-18 (Ruturaj Gaikwad-3.5 ov), 2-29 (Moeen Ali-5.4 ov), 3-32 (Robin Uthappa-6.5 ov), 4-42 (Ambati Rayudu-8.3 ov), 5-61 (MS Dhoni-11.6 ov), 6-128 (Faf du Plessis-19.3 ov)
Punjab Kings: 139-4 (13)
Fall of wickets: 1-46 (Mayank Agarwal-4.3 ov), 2-46 (Sarfaraz Khan-4.6 ov), 3-80 (Shahrukh Khan-8.6 ov), 4-126 (Aiden Markram-12.1 ov)
Result: Punjab Kings won by six wickets
Punjab Kings: KL Rahul (captain & wicket-keeper), Mayank Agarwal, Aiden Markram, Shahrukh Khan, Sarfaraz Khan, Moises Henriques, Harpreet Brar, Chris Jordan, Mohammed Shami, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh
Chennai Super Kings: Faf du Plessis, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ambati Rayudu, Moeen Ali, Robin Uthappa, MS Dhoni (captain & wicket-keeper), Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Josh Hazlewood
Toss: Punjab Kings, elected to field
Venue: Dubai International Stadium, Dubai
Start time: 1400 hrs UAE Time
Match officials: Krishnamachari Srinivasan, Richard Illingworth (On-field umpires); Anil Dandekar (TV Umpire); Jayaraman Madanagopal (Reserve Umpire); Javagal Srinath (Match-referee)