Chennai: Kings XI Punjab got themselves back on the winning track after beating defending champions Chennai Super Kings by seven runs in their IPL 5 game at the Chepauk on Saturday.
Chasing a modest total of 157, Chennai could only manage 149 for 8 as Punjab registered their fourth victory of this season. Azhar Mahmood was instrumental for Punjab, picking up 3 for 25 while Piyush Chawla also got 2 for 20.
The Chennai openers Faf du Plessis (29) and S Badrinath (25) put on 47 runs in 33 balls before the former was caught and bowled by Mahmood. Du Plessis faced 20 balls and smashed three fours and two sixes off Praveen Kumar and Bipul Sharma respectively. Badrinath hit four crisp boundaries before perishing to a spectacular catch by substitute fielder Paras Dogra at deep square-leg off Mahmood. Chennai got another jolt when Suresh Raina was stumped for 15 by Nitin Saini off Chawla.
Ravindra Jadeja (17) got a life when he was dropped by Chawla off Parvinder Awana at short midwicket and the left-hander made the opposition pay for it by clearing the long-on boundary off left-arm spinner Bhargav Bhatt. But he departed in the next over of Chawla when his miscued hit was caught by David Hussey at covers. Wriddhiman Saha (6) couldn’t make use of the opportunity and was bowled by Hussey. But Chennai got the biggest setback when their skipper MS Dhoni was run out for just one run. Dwayne Bravo kept the home side in the game by sending Praveen Kumar for a straight six in the penultimate over but his wicket in the same over finished CSK’s hopes of overhauling the Punjab total.
Electing to bat first, Punjab failed to capitalise on the solid start provided by Mandeep Singh (56) and Shaun Marsh (32). The two batsmen shared 68 runs for the opening wicket, scoring 43 in the mandatory powerplay. Mandeep hit five fours and a six off R Ashwin in his 50-ball knock, while Marsh’s 22 ball-innings consisted of four boundaries and a straight six off Shadab Jakati.
Marsh was the first Punjab batsman to be dismissed when he was unfortunately run-out in his follow through at the non-strikers’ end. Mahmood, who was sent up the order as a pinch-hitter, made his intentions clear by hitting two maximums off Jadeja but his innings was curtailed when he was trapped lbw by Bravo for 18 off 12. David Miller too contributed with 19 off 15 before he was caught behind off Albie Morkel.
But losing five wickets for just 27 runs proved costly for Punjab at the end. From 127 for 3 in 15.5 overs, the visitors' batting collapsed to 156 for 8 in 20 overs. Morkel was the most successful of the Chennai bowlers, taking the wicket of Miller, Hussey (7) and Chawla (0). Bravo too chipped in with the wickets of Mandeep and Mahmood.