The match belonged to CSK pacer Deepak Chahar, who sealed Punjab’s fate early with magical figures of 4/13, including a wicket maiden to ensure a nightmarish outing for Rahul’s men, who were put in to bat by Chennai.
SCORECARD | POINTS TABLE | AS IT HAPPENED
On a pitch that MS Dhoni reckoned would do a bit early on, the 28-year-old Chahar, the first Indian to take a hat-trick in T20Is, stood up to be counted, restricting Punjab to 106/8. The win was an extension of CSK’s complete recent dominance over Punjab. CSK beat them by 10 and 9 wickets in the previous edition played in the UAE.
In their hunt for 107, the men-in-yellow kept things simple with South African Faf du Plessis and Englishman Moeen Ali giving the right impetus to their innings after the loss of opener Ruturaj Gaikwad for a sluggish 16-ball 5.
IPL 2021: Chennai Super Kings beat Punjab Kings by 6 wickets
Earlier, Punjab Kings took liberties against fielding livewire Ravindra Jadeja and paid a big price. Jadeja first ran skipper KL Rahul (5) out with a rocket one-handed throw at the stumps before packing West Indies’ power hitter Chris Gayle with a full-length diving catch off Deepak Chahar.
Chahar got into the act on the fourth ball of the very first over with the wicket of Mayank Agarwal, who fell for a two-ball duck. It could have been a double disaster for Punjab had Ruturaj Gaikwad latched on to Gayle’s catch at backward point on the final delivery of the same over.
Gayle (10) managed to cash in on the reprieve with back-to-back boundaries, but the Jamaican’s flourish was cut short by Chahar, thanks to Jadeja’s brilliance. In the same over, Chahar accounted for Nicholas Pooran for a duck to reduce Punjab Kings to a precarious 19/4 by the end of the fifth over.
Dhoni’s ploy of finishing Chahar’s quota of overs paid dividends as the right-armer got rid of the in-form Deepak Hooda (10) with a regular swinging delivery in a wicket-maiden final over.
With half the side back in the dug-out for a mere 26, Punjab Kings were in dire need of some stability and it was left to the all-rounder Shahrukh Khan to undo some of the damage. The Tamil Nadu right-hander responded to the faith with a steady 31-run sixth-wicket stand with Jhye Richardson (15) that helped PK crawl past the 50-run mark.
It was nowhere near enough to be competitive.