Punjab Kings sealed a stunning four-wicket win over Chennai Super Kings with Sikandar Raza holding his nerve to knock off the required three runs off the final ball in a tense Indian Premier League match in Chennai on Sunday.
Chasing 201 for a win, Punjab needed nine runs from the final over bowled by Matheesha Pathirana who conceded just two from the first three deliveries. But Raza remained calm under immense pressure, scoring two runs each from the next two deliveries.
Raza (13 not out) sent the final ball towards the boundary, but Maheesh Theekshana stopped it just before the ropes in a brilliant fielding effort, but by that time the PBKS batters had completed three runs to the stunned silence of the home crowd at Chepauk.
Punjab finished at 201 for 6 as Prabhsimran Singh (42), Liam Livingstone (40), Sam Curran (29) and Jitesh Sharma (21) playing crucial roles as CSK opener Devon Conway’s brilliant knock of 92 not out went in vain.
Punjab batters did well to pull off a win after victory looked difficult in the middle overs before Livingstone and Curran turned things around. The 24 runs conceded by Tushar Deshpande in the 16th over proved crucial in the final analysis.
With 22 runs needed from 12 balls, Jitesh Sharma (21 off 10 balls) hit the first ball for a four and got two off the next. He fell off the fourth ball, caught by substitute Shaik Rasheed in the deep. The third umpire ruled the batter out after the fielder caught the ball and tripped back close to the boundary rope.
Deshpande finished with 3 for 49 from his four overs while Ravindra Jadeja took 2 for 32 in his quota of four overs.
Punjab batters began the run chase with a rapid stand between captain Shikhar Dhawan (28) and Prabhsimran Singh before the former fell to Deshpande. The openers brought up the 50 in the powerplay. Dhawan’s attempt to cut over the in-field saw him find Matheesha Pathirana off the top-edge.
Prabhsimran and Atharva Taide (13) added 44 runs in quick time before the latter became Jadeja’s first victim. Prabhsimran jumped out of the crease and saw the ball turn slightly, beating him for Dhoni to complete an easy stumping.
Taide was the next to go, caught and bowled by Jadeja for 13 as Punjab slipped to 94 for 3 in the 11th over.
Things seemed to slip away from PBKS as the batters could not find the big over and required run-rate kept climbing. But Raza and M Shahrukh Khan (2 not out) scored 15 runs from eight balls to see PBKS cross the target.
Earlier, CSK rode on Conway’s superb unbeaten 92 to post 200 for 4. Dhoni sent the home crowd into raptures with two sixes from the last two deliveries.
The talismanic Dhoni walked in at the fall of Ravindra Jadeja (12) to a massive roar from the crowd. He could not connect the first ball he faced from Sam Curran (4-0-46-1) and picked up a single from the next delivery, thumping one down the ground.
One delivery later, Dhoni hit a six from a wide delivery and then smacked a full toss for a maximum to finish on 13 not out as CSK finished the innings in style.
Opting to bat first, Conway, who struck 16 fours and a six during his 52-ball unbeaten knock, and his opening partner Ruturaj Gaikwad (37) added 86 for the first wicket to put the home team on the road to a good total.
For Punjab, Curran, Rahul Chahar, Arshdeep Singh and Sikandar Raza took one wicket apiece.
Conway and Gaikwad continued their impressive form with the bat as they got the team off to yet another strong start, raising 50 runs in the sixth over.
Conway hit two boundaries off Kagiso Rabada’s first over to set the tone and continued to bat fluently. He hit two consecutive fours in the sixth over bowled by Curran as CSK gradually stepped up the pace. The powerplay yielded 57 runs as the Punjab Kings bowlers struggled to make an impression.
Gaikwad fell against the run of play, jumping out to a Sikander Raza delivery to be stumped by Jitesh Sharma for 37.
The big-hitting Shivam Dube was pushed up the order and he hit two big sixes, including one off Rabada. He helped add 44 runs in 26 balls with Conway to enable the Super Kings up the ante.
Dube looked good for more when he fell while going for a big hit only to be caught by Shahrukh Khan in the deep for a 17-ball 28.