KL Rahul led-Punjab Kings went down to the Chennai Super Kings as the yellow army emerged victorious by six wickets to open their account in IPL 2021. Deepak Chahar’s opening spell broke the back Punjab Kings’ batting line-up, allowing them to never recover from that point. KL Rahul, who managed only five runs, thought that Punjab had made well below their par score and that 107 was not enough.
Deepak Chahar started the carnage when he castled Mayank Agarwal with a classy outswinger that disturbed his stumps in the fourth ball of the innings. Ravindra Jadeja’s brilliance on the field forced KL Rahul’s wicket as Chris Gayle ran after an LBW shout, causing the Punjab Kings’ skipper to find himself short at the striker’s end. Chahar came back to cause further turmoil in Punjab Kings’ camp by removing Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, and Deepak Hooda.
All-rounder Shahrukh Khan’s top-scored with 47 and avoided a complete capitulation of Punjab Kings, lifting them from an embarrassing 26-5 in the seventh over. Khan shared a couple of thirty-plus stands with Jhye Richardson and Murugan Ashwin as Punjab Kings dragged themselves to 106 in 20 overs, giving their bowlers something to bowl to. Chahar’s best bowling figures in IPL of 4-0-13-1 did not let the opposition let away.
Chennai Super Kings were off to a cautious start before left-arm seamer Arshdeep Singh struck in the fifth over to dismiss Ruturaj Gaikwad for 5. But Moeen Ali and Faf Du Plessis were not in any mood to let the opposition back in the game. The pair added 66 together before Ali holed out to mid-wicket for 46. Du Plessis and Sam Curran completed the formalities after Suresh Raina and Ambati Rayudu perished, leading a wobbly Super Kings to victory.
Meredith and Richardson did execute the plan and it was good to see them come back: KL Rahul
KL Rahul admitted that the pitch played differently and it’s challenging to recover when any team loses five wickets within seven overs. The 28-year old underlined that Deepak Chahar used the knuckle bowls well and felt that Punjab should have made 150-160. KL Rahul praised Riley Meredith and Jhye Richardson for bouncing back well from the first match and hopes to work on key areas to come back well. The Karnataka-born cricketer wants his team to learn from their mistakes and play well in the following games.
“There’s not much more to say. When any team loses five wickets in the first six or seven overs…. It [The pitch] did [play differently]. It was more sticky and tacky than what it looked like. Deepak with his knuckle ball got a couple of wickets. Myself getting run-out. It wasn’t a 110-wicket, maybe 150-160. We have pace in our attack and we obviously want to use that. Playing in India can be tough and cruel. Meredith and Richardson did execute the plan and it was good to see them come back. We will review the key points that we spoke before the game and like you mentioned yourself that’s how cricket goes. You smile and see how you can do better if we get a similar situation when we play at the Wankhede again. It’s important to learn from our mistakes, that’s the kind of team that we want to be,” Rahul told in the post-match presentation.