IPL 2021: KL Rahul’s unbeaten 98 leads Punjab Kings to victory over CSK

KL Rahul’s unbeaten 98 got here from simply 42 balls and included eight sixes
Indian Premier League, Abu Dhabi:
Chennai Tremendous Kings 134-6 (20 overs): Du Plessis 76 (55); Jordan 2-20, A Singh 2-35
Punjab Kings 139-4 (13 overs): KL Rahul 98 (42); Thakur 3-28
Punjab Kings received by six wickets

KL Rahul hit a surprising 98 not out from simply 42 balls to guide Punjab Kings to victory over Chennai Tremendous Kings.

The India opener hit eight sixes as his facet chased down a below-par 134 with seven overs to spare.

Earlier, South Africa’s Faf du Plessis scored 76 as CSK recovered from 61-5, with England’s Moeen Ali dismissed for a duck.

Regardless of the defeat, CSK stay in second place within the desk with their qualification place secured.

In the meantime, Punjab Kings are in sixth place and unlikely to progress. They’re counting on the outcomes of different fixtures to go their approach – though this fast victory may have boosted their internet run-rate considerably.

England’s Chris Jordan changed Nicholas Pooran within the Kings’ facet and made an instantaneous affect, taking 2-20.

Rahul’s masterclass leads the best way

The orange cap – awarded to the IPL’s main run-scorer – was in Du Plessis’ possession on the finish of CSK’s innings earlier than Rahul stole it again virtually instantly.

The opener offered a batting masterclass, exhibiting brutality down the bottom and deft touches previous the fielders.

His elegant knock included eight sixes and 7 fours – placing an finish to any debate about whether or not the pitch led to CSK’s collapse.

There weren’t sufficient runs to chase for him to succeed in a century, however he was nonetheless capable of end the match in model by sending Shardul Thakur – a shining mild for CSK with 3-25 – over the ropes.

Rahul needed to bat aggressively – as Kings’ probabilities of making the highest 4 depend on their internet run-rate being superior to that of the Kolkata Knight Riders, so that they needed to chase the overall down as shortly as potential.

Regardless of Rahul’s heroics, it won’t have been fast sufficient. However his beautiful innings has given them hope and with the T20 World Cup approaching, India will probably be delighted together with his kind.

Rahul’s knock was very completely different to that of Du Plessis within the first innings – with the South African having to play the anchor function.

His opening partnership with Ruturaj Gaikwad has contributed virtually half of their workforce’s runs in the course of the match to this point – that means the workforce face bother when one of many high two would not rating. Right here, Gaikwad fell early and so they slipped to 61-5 from 12 overs.

Solely a late flurry of runs from Du Plessis within the last overs, together with two sixes, allowed CSK to succeed in 134 – it by no means felt like sufficient, and so it proved.

What does the longer term maintain for MS Dhoni?

Former India captain Dhoni has led CSK to 3 IPL titles and into this yr’s play-offs – however his 2021 marketing campaign with the bat has been one to overlook.

Having taken some criticism for scoring too slowly within the latter phases of his profession, Dhoni scratched his technique to 18 from 27 balls within the earlier fixture towards Mumbai Indians and adopted it with a 15-ball 12 towards the Punjab Kings.

Granted, he was batting in a difficult scenario, coming in together with his facet struggling at 42-4, however there will probably be questions surrounding Dhoni’s place of their facet with a drastic reshuffle of the IPL coming in 2022.

Talking on the toss earlier than this sport, Dhoni stated: “You may see me in yellow subsequent yr however whether or not I will be enjoying for CSK, you by no means know. There are loads of uncertainties developing.”

Two new groups are being launched, and present groups are solely allowed to retain 4 gamers. Given the success of Gaikwad, Ravindra Jadeja and Shardul Thakur particularly this yr, it leaves CSK with an enormous resolution to make concerning their legendary captain.

MS Dhoni stats: Nine innings, 84 runs, high score 18, average 14, strike rate 97.
MS Dhoni has led Chennai Tremendous Kings to 3 IPL titles however has struggled for kind with the bat in 2021

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