kl-rahul-six-fest-demolishes-chennai

KL Rahul six-fest demolishes Chennai

Punjab captain blasts eight sixes and seven fours to inflict a third straight defeat on Chennai Super Kings ahead of play-offs; Faf du Plessis hits 76 off 55 balls in vain for CSK as Arshdeep Singh (2-35) and Chris Jordan (2-20) impress

Last Updated: 07/10/21 3:09pm

    KL Rahul was in dominant mood as he propelled his Punjab Kings team to victory

    KL Rahul was in dominant mood as he propelled his Punjab Kings team to victory

    KL Rahul’s devastating 98no off 42 balls propelled Punjab Kings to a rampant six-wicket win over Chennai Super Kings, in Dubai.

    ​​​​​​Set 135 to win, Punjab won with a mammoth seven overs to spare as captain Rahul swatted his eighth six of a barn-storming innings.

    It means Chennai go into the play-offs having lost three matches in a row, while fifth-placed Punjab maintain the slimmest of hopes of qualifying in the top four but need Kolkata to lose their final match by a substantial margin and Mumbai to also taste defeat in their final group game.

    Chennai, put in to bat, posted 134-6 after collapsing to 42-4 thanks to a measured 76 off 55 balls from Faf du Plessis.

    The South African stood firm while the top order fell away against the combined force of Arshdeep Singh (2-35) and Chris Jordan, who returned to the side with 2-20.

    Chennai were quickly under pressure at 29-2 as Singh removed Ruturaj Gaikwad, caught at midwicket, and tickled the edge of Moeen Ali’s bat – the all-rounder departing for a six-ball duck.

    Punjab tightened their grip thanks to a fine sprawling catch at deep square by Harpreet Brar that sent Robin Uthappa back for just two in Jordan’s first over.

    The standard of the out-fielding remained high as Arshdeep cleanly clung on at deep point as Ambati Rayudu (four) flashed outside off stump, improving Jordan’s figures to 2-6.

    Chris Jordan bagged two early wickets for Punjab Kings as Chennai slipped to 44-2

    Chris Jordan bagged two early wickets for Punjab Kings as Chennai slipped to 44-2

    If the sight of MS Dhoni in the middle with the enduring du Plessis offered Chennai fans solace, it didn’t last long – Dhoni undone by a Ravi Bishnoi googly that found middle and off via a healthy inside edge.

    The burden of the innings fell heavily on the shoulders of du Plessis, who posted his fifty off 46 balls – his 21st fifty in the IPL – before stepping on the gas.

    Back-to-back boundaries off Jordan and three further maximums, including a 100m six off Arshdeep, helped give Chennai some late impetus before du Plessis fell top-edging a pull behind off Shami in the final over.

    Faf du Plessis struck two sixes and eight fours on his way to 76 off 55 balls

    Faf du Plessis struck two sixes and eight fours on his way to 76 off 55 balls

    The chase was brutal – KL Rahul quickly into his work despite being caught flush on the helmet in the second over of the innings by Josh Hazlewood.

    He dominated an opening stand of 46-1 off 4.3 overs, with Mayank Agarwal contributing just 12 before he swung across the line and was lbw to Shardul Thakur (3-28).

    The batting frailties that have plagued Punjab this season looked to be returning as Sarfaraz Khan fell for a third ball duck courtesy of a leading edge off Thakur.

    But KL Rahul was having none of it, racing to his fifty off 25 balls before going across his stumps and sweeping Deepak Chahar for six.

    Dwayne Bravo (0-32 off two overs) disappeared for three maximums on his 38th birthday and another six off Chahar travelled a distance of 101m down the park.

    Fittingly KL Rahul – the Orange Cap for the leading run-scorer in the tournament to date in his possession – sealed the win by despatching Thakur over the midwicket rope.

    It’s a double-header on Friday! Watch Sunrisers take on Mumbai in the IPL from 10.50am, on Sky Sports Cricket. Then from 2.50pm it’s RCB vs Delhi.