Rahul hits 98 as Punjab beats Chennai, third loss in a row for CSK in IPL 2021

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KL Rahul's quickfire fifty drives Punjab's run chase.   -  SPORTZPICS

What an innings that from the Punjab skipper. Spearheads the run chase with a brilliant 42-ball 98. He hit seven fours and eight sixes during that scintillating knock. CSK have now lost three matches in a row. Not something MSD will be too pleased about heading into the playoffs. Meanwhile, PBKS still have an outside chance of qualifying for the playoffs. Punjab would hope KKR lose big tonight and then Mumbai lose tomorrow. That would be all from this match. It is a double header tonight. KKR takes on RR next. You can follow the action live here - KKR vs RR LIVE Score, IPL 2021: Toss, Playing XI at 7PM; Kolkata eyes win vs Rajasthan to seal Playoffs berth

 

- END OF CHASE -

Thakur gets Markram caught behind! A wicket at last. Henriques is in next. He takes a couple. Henriques takes a single next ball and gets off strike. A boundary for KL thanks to some sloppy work from Bravo. KL Rahul finishes off in style - with a maximum and Punjab get over the line in just 13 overs. Rahul remains unbeaten on 98!

PBKS 125/3 (12 overs): Bravo continues. Rahul brings up 600 runs this season with a brace. My word - what a shot again from KL. He has swatted that away for six. And again - it is raining sixes from Rahul's bat - this time it flies over long on. 20 off that Bravo over in the end.

PBKS 105/3 (11 overs): Chahar to bowl out. WOW! Rahul, you beauty - stand and deliver, just caressed this over long-off for six! What a shot. PBKS's 100 comes up in a jiffy. 14 off that over including a couple of wides. PBKS need just 29 to win.

PBKS 92/3 (10 overs): Bravo with the ball and Rahul takes two on first ball. Follows it with one with a mistimed pull that falls short of fine leg, gets one. Aiden Markram gets off the mark with a single. Rahul gives the strike back next ball. SIX! Markram creams it over deep midwicket for a six. Single to end the over.

Punjab needs 55 runs to win from 66 balls.

PBKS 80/3 (9 overs): Chahar to continue. Rahul runs it to deep point for a single. Dot and a single for Shahrukh. SIX! It's a day where Rahul can do no wrong. Crosses to the off and plays the ramp to perfection for a six over fine leg. A single next ball. OUT! Shahrukh gets the toe end of the bat on a short ball.  Shahrukh Khan c Dwayne Bravo b Deepak Chahar 8(10b 0x4 1x6).

PBKS 71/2 (8 overs): Jadeja to bring in spin. Rahul take a single off the first ball and that's a fifty for him, off 25 balls. SIX! Shahrukh goes big this time. Pitched full on middle and he slogs over long-on for six runs.

PBKS 62/2 (7 overs): SIX! Wrists of gold. Rahul flicks it over fine leg as Shardul goes in the slot on his legs. FOUR! Elegance personified! Drives past point. Single to end the over. 11 from it.

PBKS 51/2 (6 overs): FOUR! Rahul lofts it over mid-off for a boundary. Such an elegant shot and he holds the pose. Single down third for one. Shahrukh Khan to face his first ball. Steps out of the crease and misjudges the bounce. Swing and a miss to end the over.

PBKS 46/2 (5 overs): Shardul into the attack. FOUR! Mayank gets lucky first ball with an outside edge that flies past point. OUT! Mayank is given lbw and after much deliberation, his skipper advises against the review. Unlucky for Mayank. Replay shows the ball missing leg stump. Mayank Agarwal lbw b Shardul Thakur 12(12b 2x4 0x6). OUT! Sarfaraz Khan departs for a 3-ball duck. Gets the leading edge trying to glance a straight one down leg. Faf completes a good catch at mid-off.

PBKS 42/0 (4 overs): Single on an overthrow after Rayudu dives at cover to save at least a couple. FOUR! Rahul uses Hazlewood's pace and bounce to hit it straight back over the bowler's head for four. FOUR! Follows it with another boundary down fine leg. SIX! Rahul seems to be batting on a different pitch. Punishes the short ball with a pull over deep square-leg. Huge over, 15 from it.

PBKS 27/0 (3 overs): SIX! Rahul swivels and deposits a short one from Chahar over the ropes. Pulls again but gets just two this time at deep midwicket. Gets off strike next ball with a single from a nudge on the off-side field. FOUR! Mayank drags that down deep mid-wicket for a boundary and takes a single to retain strike.

PBKS 13/0 (2 overs): Hazlewood to Mayank, who is playing in his 100th IPL match today. Takes a quick single off the second ball. That was nasty! Rahul cops one on the helmet after top-edging a pull. Routine concussion check underway. He continues with a dot and a single past point.

PBKS 11/0 (1 over): Chahar to KL to begin the chase. Run on the board straight up with a push to cover. Yorker length outside off and a dot. Mayank off the mark with a single to third. FOUR! Rahul plays the lofted drive on a full one outside off. Looks slightly edgy but with fielders in it runs to the fence. Wide down the leg next ball. FOUR! Rahul looks to drive on the full outside off and gets an outside edge that flies behind point.

The men in yellow take the field as KL and Mayank walk out together, eyeing another big opening stand, hopefully one that will be backed by the middle-order for once.

CSK finish on 134/6, thanks to Faf. Good effort from PBKS. Arshdeep and Jordan got a couple of wickets each. Slower wicket, made more challenging by the smart variations of pace. Harsha Bhogle on air states that Punjab needs to chase down this target in 17 balls to go past KKR's net run rate! Anyway, Punjab will hope to wrap up the chase as quickly as possible. Chennai will look to stop them. Back soon.

- END OF INNINGS -

Shami to bowl the last over. Faf starts off with a boundary. Next ball, he slaps it for six over long-on. Hits the rope on the full. He perishes next ball. End of an excellent innings. Faf goes for a 55-ball 76. Single for Jadeja. Bravo on strike. Shami bowls a wide. Next ball's a low full toss and Bravo collects a four. Dot to finish. 16 off the last over.

CSK 118/5 (19 overs): Arshdeep to Jadeja, single to deep extra. Play and a miss off the next ball. A single off the third ball. Batters run a single but KL Rahul reviews a lbw against Jadeja. It's umpire's call on review. Jadeja survives. Faf! What a strike - launches this over long-on for six. 100 metres long! A single to end the over. Faf will take strike next over. Faf du Plessis now has the orange cap.

CSK 108/5 (18 overs): Jordan to bowl the 18th over. Faf takes a single off the first ball. A single to Jadeja next ball gets Faf back on strike. He moves to his 50 with a single off the third ball. His 21st in the IPL. Meanwhile, CSK's 100 comes up. Shot - Faf finds the gap at last, change of pace from Jordan but this time Faf is up for it as he clobbers this through deep midwicket for four. Faf ends with a boundary straight down the ground. 12 from the over.

CSK 96/5 (17 overs): Arshdeep returns. Faf on strike. Takes a single and gets off strike. Jaddu calls for two off the next ball but Faf turns down the second run. Good work from Arshdeep... sprinted behind the ball and saved one run. Arshdeep concedes a wide. Faf finally gets one away - too wide from Arshdeep and Faf gets an outside edge that flies over short third for four. Faf follows it up with a couple. This is after Arshdeep dropped a tough caught & bowled chance. Single to finish the over.

- TIME OUT -

CSK 86/5 (16 overs): Bishnoi bowling out. Du Plessis collects a couple off the third ball. Good running between the wickets. Dot to finish. Four from the over.

CSK 82/5 (15 overs): Brar to bowl out. Brar pitches one on good length and du Plessis pulls it over midwicket for four. Du Plessis and Jaddu collect a single off the next two. Brar ends with a dot.

CSK 75/5 (14 overs): Henriques into the attack. KL standing up. Starts with a dot and a wide. Faf and Jaddu take a single each off the next two. Jaddu guides the fifth ball past short third for four before taking a single off the last ball.

CSK 66/5 (13 overs): Jaddu joins Faf. Harpreet Brar into his third. Three singles and a brace from it.

CSK 61/5 (12 overs): FOUR! Shot. Dhoni has slapped that to extra cover for four. Bishnoi under pressure. Two dots followed by a single for MSD. Faf gets a single off the fifth ball. GONE! Bishnoi has the last laugh! Cleans up MS with a googly.

CSK 55/4 (11 overs): Harpreet Brar returns. Four dots later, MS gets a single. How long before CSK think about accelerating? Surely, Faf will look to be the aggressor. He bowls a wide and the extra ball's a dot too. Just two from the over.

CSK 53/4 (10 overs): FOUR! A loose full-toss outside off from Bishnoi and Dhoni steps out to smash it past short third. Two dots follow as Dhoni is beaten outside off trying to drive a full one. FOUR! Faf cuts and cuts hard. Slightly short of length and Faf shifts his weight back to plane it for four.

CSK 44/4 (9 overs): A beauty from Jordan. Full outside off and nipping in as Rayudu gets the inside edge trying to cut and nearly chops it on. OUT! Rayudu looks to slash a short one on off and gets the top edge. Ambati Rayudu c Arshdeep b Chris Jordan 4(5b 0x4 0x6). Dhoni is the new man in and that would have raised some eyebrows after the skipper's sluggish innings last match against the Capitals. Dhoni gets off the mark straightaway with a single. Slower one outside off and Faf stretches to flash that and gets beaten. KL Rahul doesn't go for the review after showing some interest initially.

CSK 39/3 (8 overs): Ravi Bishnoi is handed the ball. Bishnoi is resorting to a shortish length. He looks interested in a caught behind chance after the umpire doesn't call it wide. Replay shows it just nothing, and should have been a wide. Three singles and Bishnoi bowls a wide outside off. Six from the over with a single off the last ball by Faf.

CSK 33/3 (7 overs): Chris Jordan replaces Shami and beats Uthappa right away outside off. OUT! Another CSK batter falls to the pull as Uthappa tries to give a short outside off delivery some air. Brar completes a neat catch at deep square leg. Robin Uthappa c Harpreet Brar b Christ Jordan 2(6b 0x4 0x6). Faf retains strike with a single as Ambati Rayudu comes in.

CSK 30/2 (6 overs): FOUR and FOUR! Faf looks to break the shackles with two consecutive fours. He pushes one at mid-off before slapping one short one to deep square leg with disdain. Takes a single next ball. OUT! Moeen hangs his bat outside off and edges one to the keeper. it was full outside off and nipping in enough for Moeen to play it. Moeen Ali c KL Rahul b Arshdeep 0(6b 0X4 0X6). Robin Uthappa starts off with a dot and a single to retain strike.

Note: CSK has the second lowest run rate in the Powerplay this season, only better than that of Punjab Kings. 

CSK 20/1 (5 overs): Shami into his third over. Faf takes a slightly risky single. Moeen mistimes a pull as the ball lands safely at mid-on. Shami giving a classic display of the merits of pace and accuracy as Moeen plays out five dots. Just one from the over.

CSK 19/1 (4 overs): Arshdeep replaces Brar. Pace from both ends now. Faf gets off strike first ball. A couple for Gaikwad as he deftly tucks it to deep square leg. Two singles off two balls for Gaikwad and Faf. OUT! Short from Arshdeep and Gaikwad pulls with no timing on it as the top edge is taken at midwicket by Shahrukh Khan. Ruturaj Gaikwad c Shahrukh Khan b Arshdeep Singh 12(14 1x4 0x6). Moeen Ali is in. Faf opens the face of the bat and runs it down short third for one.

CSK 13/0 (3 overs): Shami continues. Faf flicks a short one for a quick single after two dots. Close one! Faf shuffles across the stumps and miserably fails a ramp shot. Shami giving nothing away. Full outside-off and Faf swings and edges to third for just one to keep strike.

CSK 11/0 (2 overs): Harpreet Brar to introduce spin. FOUR! Gaikwad steps out and smashes it over mid-on as Chris Jordan fails to flick it in on time. Single for him at cover to get off strike. Faf runs one on a wide down leg. Just one comes off the next three as Brar comes back strong after a first-ball boundary.

CSK 3/0 (1 over): Single for Gaikwad on first ball as he tucks it away on leg. Faf steals one at short mid-on to open his account. Incisive bowling from Shami as Gaikwad gets a lucky inside edge before getting in on the pads. Decked in short and Gaikwad steps out and gloves to no-man's land at square leg. Dot to end the over. Tidy from Shami.

Gaikwad takes his guard at the striker's crease. Mohammad Shami to begin with the new ball. Let's Play!

All eyes will be on openers Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis to provide yet another solid start. KL Rahul is leading his men onto the ground.

MS Dhoni drops a hint at the toss

READ: Dhoni on next IPL season: You'll see me in yellow but whether I'll play for CSK you never know

Most runs in CSK vs PBKS matches since 2018:

1. Faf du Plessis 335 runs in 6 innings

2. KL Rahul 267 runs in 7 innings

3. MS Dhoni 142 runs in 4 innings

4. Suresh Raina 139 runs in 4 innings

5. Shane Watson 127 runs in 4 innings

IPL 2021 in Dubai:

Matches: 9

Batting first team won:3

Batting second team won: 6

Average first innings score: 152

Highest successful run chase: 166 (PBKS vs KKR)

TOSS UPDATE: PUNJAB KINGS HAVE WON THE TOSS AND ELECTED TO BOWL.

2:55 PM: Five minutes to go for the toss. A must-win game for Punjab. If they lose, they are eliminated. A victory doesn't guarantee them a passage into the playoffs but they will still have the slimmest of chance.

MATCH PREVIEW

Winning is a lot about momentum. Particularly while entering the climactic phase of a high stakes competition.

After a stupendous run that saw it become the first team to qualify for the playoff, Chennai Super Kings (18 points from 13 matches) has suffered a slump of sorts, going down in its last two games.

Under the circumstances, M.S. Dhoni and his men will attempt to arrest the slump and get back on the highway to glory against Punjab Kings in its last game in Dubai on Thursday.

Punjab Kings (10 from 13) is a team that has discovered ways to lose from winning situations. Set batters have been unable to stay on and finish the job; the side has been consumed by the pressures of the chase.

Punjab Kings not just has to defeat CSK by a huge margin to get its run-rate above that of Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians, but also hope both these sides lose their last matches.

Drakes for Curran

CSK has named West Indies’ all-rounder Dominic Drakes as a replacement for all-rounder Sam Curran, ruled out with a lower-back injury. Drakes is a left-handed batsman and left-arm medium-pacer.

Punjab Kings needs to get everything right in this clash. Anil Kumble’s men have shown some promise without getting all the pieces together. Young leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi, left-arm seamer Arshdeep Singh and the hard-hitting Shahrukh Khan are all youngsters with talent.

Much focus will be on the in-form openers of both teams — Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis and K.L. Rahul and Mayank Agarwal.

WHERE TO WATCH IPL 2021 - CHENNAI SUPER KINGS VS PUNJAB KINGS LIVE?

IPL 2021 will be aired Live on Star Sports channels - Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD, Star Sports 3 and Star Sports 3 HD. It will be streamed live on Hotstar.

SQUADS

CHENNAI SUPER KINGS

Faf du Plessis, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, N. Jagadeesan (wk), Robin Uthappa, MS Dhoni (c&wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Sam Curran, Dwayne Bravo, Karn Sharma, R. Sai Kishore, Mitchell Santner, Imran Tahir, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Lungi Ngidi, Josh Hazlewood, KM Asif, Moeen Ali, K Gowtham, Cheteshwar Pujara, M Harisankar Reddy, K. Bhagath Varma, C Hari Nishanth

PUNJAB KINGS

KL Rahul (c), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Mandeep Singh, Prabsimran Singh, Nicholas Pooran, Sarfaraz Khan, Deepak Hooda, Murugan Ashwin, Ravi Bishnoi, Harpreet Brar, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh, Ishan Porel, Darshan Nalkande, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Shahrukh Khan, Nathan Ellis, Moises Henriques, Jalaj Saxena, Utkarsh Singh, Fabian Allen, Saurabh Kumar