In Match 41 of TATA IPL 2023, Punjab Kings secured a thrilling victory over Chennai Super Kings by 4 wickets at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. Sikandar Raza hit a six off the last ball of the match to take his team past the finish line.
Punjab Kings’ collective batting effort saw Prabhsimran Singh (42 off 24), Liam Livingstone (40 off 24), Sam Curran (29 off 20), and Jitesh Sharma (21 off 10) make valuable contributions.
Devon Conway (92* off 52) scored his fifth half-century of the season, leading CSK to 200/4. Mahendra Singh Dhoni contributed with two sixes off the final two balls, much to the delight of the home crowd.
In the toss, the captain of Chennai Super Kings opted to bat. Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway started strong for CSK, with Gaikwad hitting a cover drive for four in the first over from Arshdeep Singh and Conway following up with two consecutive fours off Kagiso Rabada in the next over. They continued to dominate in the Powerplay, with Ruturaj hitting two more fours and Conway hitting three consecutive fours off Curran.
However, PBKS spinners, Rahul Chahar and Sikandar Raza, managed to slow down CSK’s momentum and Raza finally broke the 86-run partnership by stumping Gaikwad for 37 (31). CSK scored 33 runs and lost one wicket in the 6-10 over phase, reaching 90/1 at the halfway mark.
Shivam Dube and Conway picked up the pace again in the 12th over, with Dube hitting a six off Chahar and Conway scoring his fifth half-century of the season with a reverse-swept four. They took on Rabada in the next over and added 14 runs to the scoreboard. However, Arshdeep came back to dismiss Dube for 28 off 17 with a slower delivery.
Conway and Moeen Ali kept the pressure on PBKS with three fours off Liam Livingstone in the next over and 12 runs off Curran in the 16th over. Chahar struck again in his final over, getting Moeen stumped for 10 off 6, but Conway remained aggressive and hit two more fours off Chahar.
PBKS managed to pull things back in the final overs, but MS Dhoni’s two sixes off the last two balls of the innings took CSK to a formidable total of 200/4 at the end of 20 overs.
In pursuit of 201 runs, Shikhar Dhawan started the innings with attacking intent, hitting two fours off the first over bowled by Akash Singh. Prabhsimran Singh then hit a well-timed six over a deep square leg off Tushar Deshpande.
Dhawan continued to attack, hitting a six and a four off the next over bowled by Akash Singh. PBKS were 62/1 at the end of the powerplay.
Prabhsimran Singh kept the scoreboard ticking but was eventually stumped by Dhoni off Ravindra Jadeja’s bowling. Jadeja then dismissed Atharva Taide in the next over.
PBKS slowed down after that, but Liam Livingstone hit three sixes off Deshpande’s over to bring the equation down to 48 off 24 balls. Sam Curran then hit two sixes and 17 runs off Jadeja’s over. Pathirana cleaned up Curran, but Jitesh Sharma scored a crucial boundary in the penultimate over.
As the game approached its final over, the tension in the air was increased. With just 9 runs needed off 6 balls, Pathirana stepped up to bowl and conceded only two runs off the first three deliveries, putting the batting side under immense pressure. However, Raza managed to hit a couple of well-placed shots to the leg side, scoring two crucial runs and bringing the equation down to just 3 runs off the final ball.
With the fate of the game hanging in the balance, Raza kept his cool and connected with the last ball, sending it flying over backward square leg. The fielder made a valiant effort to stop the ball from crossing the boundary, but the batters seized the opportunity and completed a quick three runs, securing victory for their team.
The scene that followed was one of pure joy and jubilation, as the team erupted into wild celebrations, hugging and high-fiving each other to mark the hard-fought win.
Also Read: IPL 2023: 3 Reasons Why Ambati Rayudu Should Be Dropped From CSK’s Playing XI