Match 38 of the IPL 2022 edition saw the second reverse fixture of the season as Punjab Kings (PBKS) faced Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai on Monday evening (April 25). Opting to bowl first, Ravindra Jadeja & Co. couldn’t pick regular wickets and their fielding remained below-par as Shikhar Dhawan’s 88 and vital knocks from Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Liam Livingstone propelled Punjab to 187-4.
In reply, CSK were tottering at 40-3 and were behind the required run-rate before Ambati Rayudu’s scintillating 39-ball 78 kept the defending champions in the hunt. At one stage, Rayudu’s blitz reduced the equation to a gettable 47 off 24 balls before Arshdeep Singh and Kagiso Rabada’s brilliant death bowling led to Chennai needing 27 off 6 balls.
With MS Dhoni still in the middle, CSK fans hoped for a miracle. He started with a mammoth six, off Rishi Dhawan, before Punjab eventually beat the Yellow Army by 11 runs. Thus, Kagiso Rabada lauded Rishi for keeping his composure in a tough situation and getting the better of Dhoni (12 off 8 balls).
“Rishi, coming back and bowling that final over. He put his hand up. I don’t know if I’ve left anyone out. It’s still a bit nerve-wracking when you’re bowling at MS Dhoni, and there’s not one red shirt in the crowd, only yellow shirts chanting his name, but he held his nerve and came out on top. Huge credit to him,” the South African pacer said at the post-match presentation.
“Arsh (Arshdeep) has been the best death bowler in this comp; that’s what the stats say. He’s a youngster coming in, has got a lot of drive, a lot of ambition as well. And he’s just a good bloke, so, it’s nice to have him around. I always bowl at the death as well, so I know that, but Arsh has been magnificent; he’s been leading the way in that discipline,” Rabada added.
With this win, Punjab have now moved to the sixth position in the points table, with four wins and equal number of losses. They remain in contention for the playoffs spot, however, still have lots to catch up in order to progress ahead. Jadeja-led CSK are also alive — despite two wins from eight games — but are now in a must-win situation.