Battle of the Kings, CSK vs PBKS

CSK opted to bowl vs PBKS at Brabourne Stadium earlier this afternoon after winning the toss. It has been a winless season for CSK so far, facing losses to both KKR and debutants LSG. In contrast, PBKS have won convincingly against RCB while losing to KKR last Friday.

Skipper Ravindra Jadeja sent rookie Mukesh Choudhary to bowl against Punjab’s openers Agarwal & Dhawan. The first ball flew to the boundaries for a four, as Agarwal looked to be in good form. However, the second ball, a length delivery bowled wide off quickly brought the innings to an end. Robin Uthappa proves to be a gun fielder with his catch at cover.

Rajapaksa joins Agarwal at number 3, hoping to take advantage of the powerplay. Soon, the balls were being deposited for sixes and fours. Chris Jordan steps in for CSK to target the Sri Lankan batsman. Fans are able to witness a great display of fielding as Dhoni strikes the stumps with his quick reflexes.

New entrant Liam Livingstone smashes his way through the CSK bowlers to reach an impressive half century. As luck would have it, Rayudu’s drop catch gave him extra life to carry on the innings to an impressive total of 60runs. Dhawan eventually mistimes his shot as the ball travels towards extra cover where Jadeja takes an easy catch. Rayudu is also able to redeem himself in the next over after a short delivery allowing him to catch near the outside edge.

Shahrukh and Jitesh at number 5 and 6 take full advantage of the lack of yorkers and clumsy fielding. CSK continued to rotate their bowlers and field placement to limit Punjab to 180 runs, despite the projected score being in excess of 213 at one point. It could be said that the bowlers performed much better nearing the end of the first innings, especially Dwaine Pretorius & Dwayne Bravo.

The second innings started off with Uthappa & Gaikwad opening the bat versus newbie Vaibhav Arora, a right arm medium fast bowler. Gaikwad hasn’t been among runs so far this season – his hopes remaining fruitless as he gets a thick outside edge  departing to Dhawan’s catch at first slip. Uthappa & Mooen Ali also joined him at the dugouts soon after, succumbing to Arora’s impressive run with the ball. The quick succession of falling wickets was concerning for fans, as their hopes of registering 2 points seemed further away than ever.

Punjab’s lengths and lines remained tight, conceding no extra runs against Jadeja and Rayudu in at number 4 and 5. Mayank executed all his plans brilliantly, fans are seeing a new side to this franchise. Having sent in Arshdeep to clean up Jajeda, CSK’s skipper goes without scoring any runs on the board.

All hope seemed to be lost at 41 for 5 after 9 overs for the super kings, the franchise scraped their way to a total of 128 runs, which was 54 runs too short in the end.

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