Deepak Chahar bowled a brilliant opening spell to help Chennai Super Kings beat Punjab Kings by six wickets on Friday, giving them their first win in the Indian Premier League’s 14th edition. After Moeen Ali (46, 31 balls, 7x4s, 1×6) and opener Faf du Plessis (36 not out, 33 balls, 3X4s, 1X6) helped CSK restrict Punjab to a below-par 106 for eight, Moeen Ali (46, 31 balls, 7x4s, 1×6) put on 66 runs for the second wicket to seal the win for the three-time champions.
In 15.4 overs, CSK were reduced to 107 for four, with Sam Curran (5 not out) scoring the winning runs.
With the goal in sight, CSK lost Suresh Raina (8) and Ambati Rayudu (0) in consecutive balls in the 15th over to Mohammed Shami (2/21).
Ali came out swinging after a shaky start, hitting some beautiful drives and a major six.
With CSK needing 17 runs to win, he was holed out to Shahrukh Khan in the deep off leggie Murugan Ashwin (1/32).
Punjab got off to a quick start when Arshdeep Singh caught a struggling Ruturaj Gaikwad (5) at deep mid-wicket.
For the second game in a row, the Australian pace pair of Jhye Richardson and Riley Meredith were unable to make an impact.
Chahar had previously stunned the Punjab batting line-up with a brilliant four-over spell in which he took four wickets, including “Universe Boss” Chris Gayle.
CSK bowlers justified skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s decision to bowl first by reducing Punjab to 26 for four in the powerplay (first six overs) and then to 26 for five in the second six overs before M Shahrukh Khan (47 off 36, 4X4s, 2X6s) led a brief revival.
In the first over, Chahar began the Punjab collapse by sending back Mayank Agarwal (0) with a beauty that nipped away from middle stump and hit the off stump. With his accuracy, Chahar kept up the pressure and added to CSK’s woes, conceding just two fours in his four-over spell.
As the batsman tried to scramble for a single, in-form Punjab skipper K L Rahul (5) was run-out by a brilliant direct hit from Ravindra Jadeja, who was fielding at short-cover.
In the fifth over, Jadeja was at it again, grabbing a superb full-length catch to dismiss Gayle for 10 and give Chahar his second wicket.
Nicholas Pooran pulled a quick delivery straight into the hands of Shardul Thakur at long-leg for his second straight duck.
Deepak Hooda (10) could not replicate his heroics from Punjab’s first match against Rajasthan Royals, lobbing a simple catch to du Plessis as the team fell to 26 for five in the seventh over.
The only Punjab batsman to make an impact was Shahrukh Khan of Tamil Nadu, who fell to Sam Curran in the final over as CSK dominated their opponents.
In the best partnership of the innings, Shahrukh Khan and Jhye Richardson (15, 22 balls, 2x4s) added 31 runs for the sixth wicket.
Murugan Ashwin (6) and his Tamil Nadu teammate Khan then added 30 runs to support Punjab in what was otherwise a nightmare night for them.
CSK’s other wicket-takers were Sam Curran (1/12), Moeen Ali (1/17), and Dwayne Bravo (1/10).
Dhoni won the toss and chose to bowl in his 200th game for CSK.