Punjab Kings’ Spin Duo Shines in Victory over Chennai Super Kings In IPL 2024

Punjab Kings’ spinners, Brar and Chahar, showcased exceptional performance in their recent match against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at the Chepauk Stadiumin IPL 2024.

The duo delivered eight boundary-less overs, claiming four crucial wickets for a mere 33 runs, contributing significantly to Punjab Kings’ seven-wicket triumph over CSK.

Punjab Kings’ Spin Duo Shines in Victory over Chennai Super Kings In IPL 2024

Chennai Super Kings 162 for 7 (Gaikwad 62, Rahane 29, Chahar 2-16, Brar 2-17) were defeated by Punjab Kings 163 for 3 (Bairstow 46, Rossouw 43) by seven wickets.

At the Chepauk Stadium, Punjab Kings made it two victories in a row with a convincing seven-wicket victory, leaving the Chennai Super Kings stunned and maintaining a remote possibility of qualifying for the playoffs. They now share the distinction of being the second side, after Mumbai Indians, to defeat CSK five times in a row.

That was a long way from PBKS’ incredible victory over the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) that ended their three-game losing streak. Their spinners were the stars of the show this time, limiting CSK to 162 for 7. On a steaming Chennai evening, Rahul Chahar and Harpreet Brar took two wickets apiece and went boundaryless for their four overs, choking the batting opposition. Sam Curran had chosen to bowl. A disjointed 20 overs were kept together by Ruturaj Gaikwad’s 62.

Following his limping off after bowling the first two deliveries of the chase, CSK found themselves shorthanded in terms of bowlers. Even though Prabhsimran Singh was dismissed by Richard Gleeson to mark his IPL debut, Jonny Bairstow and Rilee Roussouw combined for 64 off 37 deliveries to put them ahead of the pace. Both were able to see their side home, and maybe they ought to have. With 13 deliveries remaining, Curran and Shashank Singh ultimately waltzed across the line.

Chennai Restricted by Punjab Spinners at Home

Saying that CSK was stuck in the middle of their innings would be a huge understatement. Following three consecutive fours from Ajinkya Rahane off Sam Curran to end the powerplay, the hosts went 55 deliveries without conceding a boundary off the bat, the greatest stretch this season, surpassing Gujarat Titan’s 38 against Delhi Capitals.

Rahul and Brar’s dual spin threat deserves all the praise. From the sixth over onwards, the left-arm spinner and the legspinner combined for seven overs at a rapid pace, immobilising the hosts. They took three wickets off CSK’s hand to snuff away any enthusiasm following their greatest opening stand of the season (64). In an attempt to counter the direction of turn of both spinners, CSK tried to frontload their batting card with left-hand batsmen, of which two were Shivam Dube and Ravindra Jadeja. Damn match-ups, it just didn’t work.

Brar delivered his four overs (2 for 17) quickly, wicket-to-wicket, offering the occasional batsman a chance to turn the ball but often leaving them little to work with. Rahul came back in the 19th and went for just three (more on that later), taking out Moeen Ali’s leg stump (another legbreak) on the way to finish with 2 for 16 himself, just when it appeared that he would be the star of the double act.

Alright, he was out trying to get a second run off the last pitch. However, the fact remains that MS Dhoni has not yet been removed from the game by a bowler in the 2024 IPL. Not that PBKS didn’t have his measure, mind you.

Spinner bowling at the death can be a dangerous game. Teams are using wristspinners more frequently, but not as late as the 19th over or with a wristspinner like Rahul, who has less experience than players like Rashid Khan or Yuzvendra Chahal.

Also Read: CSK Wins 2023 IPL Final to Crown Joint 5 Times Champions

Punjab Kings’ Spin Duo Shines in Victory over Chennai Super Kings In IPL 2024

However, Dhoni’s batting stroke has not been as effective against spin in a while, so CSK makes sure he arrives late enough to avoid having to cope with the turning ball. Before Wednesday, of the 37 balls he had faced this season, only three had come from spinners.

When Dhoni was on strike in the penultimate over of the innings, PBKS made a percentage-based decision to bowl Rahul. Chahar performed his task by directing the ball to the leg side, away from Dhoni’s hitting arc. Four balls were sent down, three of which went outside the off stump. Only when Dhoni attempted to generate something by going towards off did Chahar throw one down the leg, and that one narrowly missed leg stump.

Who knows how much worse things may have become for CSK if their captain hadn’t been there. The only notable and clear score of the season was Gaikwad’s fifth score of fifty or more. It also extended his incredible record of scoring at Chepauk, where he currently leads all CSK batters at home in an IPL season with 396 runs. Devon Conway’s 390 in 2023 was the previous record, and Gaikwad has one more knock at home during the regular season to add some luster to that honor.

He scored 30 of his 62 in the opening stand against Rahane, but when it fell, there was a brief collapse to 70 for 3. Gaikwad scored his final 17 runs from just nine deliveries, including a second six of the innings shortly after reaching a half-century off 44 balls.

Gaikward and the CSK administration have a lot to think about because the bowling stocks appear a little light with Mustafizur Rahman returning to Bangladesh and Matheesha Pathirana and Tushar Deshpande out due to illness and injury. Fortunately, the captain’s form is not an issue, but he would almost definitely forfeit his recently acquired orange headgear in order to win a toss.

Sameer Rizvi seemed relieved to see a scratched line beyond Jitesh Sharma’s gloves. It was not just his first boundary (off his 22nd delivery), but it also immediately put an end to the drought. An unwelcome new record.

Rizvi, who was brought on to replace Rahane, chose to puffed out his chest at the age of 21 off 22. He reasoned that Kagiso Rabada’s increased pace would enable him to lead more methodically behind square. He stepped across with his bat face fully extended to launch the ball into the distance. It was likely the cleanest touch he had made all evening. His contact with the ball was sharp.

Sadly, a catch came as a result of Harshal Patel‘s hustling from deep third. The impact substitution has drawn criticism for being suggested as the cause of this season’s dramatic increase in goals. This was an illustration of how it could go wrong.

Also Read: IPL Winners List From 2008 to 2023: Records, Teams, and Historic Moments

Gaikwad Acknowledges Challenges as CSK Falls Short on Chepauk Pitch

In a recent match at Chepauk, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) faced a tough challenge against Punjab Kings, with captain Ruturaj Gaikwad admitting that they fell short by 50-60 runs due to the difficult pitch conditions. Gaikwad highlighted several factors contributing to their defensive struggle, including injuries and the Impact Player rule.

The match saw CSK batting first and being restricted to 162 for 7, with only one batsman achieving a strike rate over 150. Gaikwad mentioned that the pitch wasn’t ideal for batting initially, and dew further affected their gameplay. He emphasized the Impact Player rule’s impact, indicating that it added to their challenges in defending a below-par score.

Punjab Kings’ Spin Duo Shines in Victory over Chennai Super Kings In IPL 2024

The CSK skipper acknowledged the team’s surprise victory in the previous match against Sunrisers Hyderabad but noted that conditions played a significant role in their struggles against Punjab Kings, especially with spinners like Harpreet Brar and Rahul Chahar posing difficulties for CSK’s batting lineup.

CSK’s bowling resources were limited, with key players like Tushar Deshpande and Matheesha Pathirana unavailable due to health concerns. This forced them to use Sameer Rizvi as an Impact Player for his batting skills. Additionally, Deepak Chahar’s injury during the match further depleted CSK’s bowling options, allowing Punjab’s batters to capitalize on the situation.

Despite the setbacks, Gaikwad remains optimistic, stating that there are still four games left in the season and expressing hope for a turnaround in their performance. CSK’s upcoming fixtures include an away game against Rajasthan Royals and a rematch against Punjab Kings in Dharamsala.

Overall, Gaikwad’s insights shed light on the challenges faced by CSK in adapting to pitch conditions, managing injuries, and navigating the Impact Player rule, all of which are crucial aspects in the context of competitive cricket.

CSK’s Bowling Woes: Deepak Chahar’s Injury Adds Pressure

In a recent development, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) coach Stephen Fleming expressed concern over Deepak Chahar’s injury, further complicating the team’s already thin resources in seam bowling. This setback comes at a crucial juncture in IPL 2024, disrupting CSK’s balance as they head towards the business end of the tournament.

Deepak Chahar, who had previously missed two games due to a niggle, suffered another setback after bowling just two balls against Punjab Kings and subsequently leaving the field due to an injury. This absence compounds CSK’s challenges as they were already without Matheesha Pathirana and Tushar Deshpande due to injuries and illness, respectively.

Fleming, while not detailing the exact nature of Chahar’s injury, hinted at its seriousness, stating that the initial assessment wasn’t optimistic. The absence of key players like Pathirana and Deshpande has forced CSK to make adjustments and explore options for their overseas bowling combination.

CSK’s overseas bowlers, particularly with Mustafizur Rahman’s departure and Pathirana’s visa-related absence, have raised questions about the team’s bowling strategy moving forward. Fleming acknowledged the challenges but remained hopeful of regaining some stability before their upcoming matches.

The recent debut of Richard Gleeson, who showcased promising skills with the new ball, offers a glimmer of hope for CSK’s bowling department. However, the team lacks a specialist overseas seamer beyond Gleeson and Pathirana, prompting suggestions from experts like Mitchell McClenaghan to consider alternative options like Mitchell Santner.

In addition to the bowling concerns, CSK’s batting lineup reshuffle against Punjab Kings also raised eyebrows, with Daryl Mitchell’s shift down the order and the inclusion of Sameer Rizvi as Impact Player attracting attention. Fleming explained these tactical decisions aimed at addressing specific challenges during the match but acknowledged the need for further evaluation and adjustments.

As CSK navigates through these challenges, their ability to find a balance between bowling resources, overseas player management, and batting strategies will play a crucial role in their performance in the remaining matches of IPL 2024.

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