Riding on a sensational opening spell by Deepak Chahar and Ravindra Jadeja’s fireworks on the field, Chennai Super Kings defeated Punjab Kings by six wickets to register their first win in the Indian Premier League season in Mumbai on Friday.
It was a victory on a milestone night for MS Dhoni as he turned up in yellow for the 200th time in his career.
Opting to bowl, Chahar returned with impressive figures of 4/13 as CSK dished out a clinical bowling and fielding display to restrict Punjab to a below-par 106/8.
Shahrukh Khan top-scored for Punjab with a 36-ball 47.
Chasing the paltry target, Moeen Ali made 46, while Faf du Plessis remained unbeaten on 36 as CSK reached home in 15.4 overs.
Mohammed Shami was the pick of the bowlers for Punjab with figures of 2/21.
Chahar’s superb opening spell stood out as CSK kept Punjab Kings on a leash throughout.
Tamil Nadu’s power-hitter Shahrukh was the only Punjab batsman to make an impression, with a 36-ball 47 (4X4s, 2X6s) before falling to Sam Curran in the final over as CSK was all over their opponent.
Sam Curran (1/12), Moeen Ali (1/17), Dwayne Bravo (1/10) were the other wicket-takers for CSK.
Aiming to bounce back after being outclassed by Delhi Capitals in their opening match, CSK bowlers justified skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s decision to bowl first by reducing Punjab to 26/4 in the powerplay (first six overs).
Chahar engineered the Punjab slide in the very first over by sending back Mayank Agarwal (0) with a beauty which nipped away from middle stump to hit the off stump.
Chahar kept up the pressure and increased CSK’s woes with his consistency and conceded only two fours in his four-over spell.
In-form Punjab skipper K L Rahul (5) was run-out by a brilliant direct throw from Jadeja fielding at short-cover as the batsman tried to scramble for a single.
Jadeja was in the act in the fifth over again, grabbing a superb catch diving full-length to dismiss Chris Gayle for 10 to give Chahar his second wicket.
Nicholas Pooran bagged his second straight duck, pulling a short delivery straight into the hands of Shardul Thakur at long-leg.
Deepak Hooda (10), who played a blinder in Punjab’s first match against Rajasthan Royals, could not repeat his heroics, lobbing a simple catch to Faf du Plessis as the team slipped to 26/5 in the seventh over.
Shahrukh and Jhye Richardson (15, 22 balls, 2x4s) added 31 runs for the sixth wicket in what was the best partnership of the innings.
M Ashwin (6) then added 30 runs with his Tamil Nadu teammate Khan to help Punjab’s cause in an otherwise nightmare night for them.
Deepak Chahar was adjudged player of the match.
(With PTI inputs)