MUMBAI, India (AP) — Punjab Kings' fast bowlers squeezed Chennai Super Kings in the death overs to clinch an 11-run victory in the Indian Premier League on Monday.
Shikhar Dhawan anchored Punjab to 187-4 with an unbeaten 88 off 59 balls then Arshdeep Singh, Kagiso Rabada and Rishi Dhawan bowled magnificently in the last four overs to restrict Chennai at 176-6.
Punjab’s fourth win in eight games lifted it to sixth on the table.
Chennai’s topsy turvy tournament continued as it was lurching just four points above last-placed Mumbai Indians, who have lost eight consecutive games.
Ambati Rayudu made a whirlwind 78 off 39 balls and brought Chennai’s chase back on track by smashing Sandeep Sharma for 23 runs in the 16th over, which featured three successive sixes and a boundary.
But Arshdeep leaked only six runs in the following over and Rabada, who took 2-23, cleaned up Rayudu with a yorker.
Needing 27 runs off the last over, Mahendra Singh Dhoni pulled Rishi Dhawan for a six off the first ball but the fast bowler sealed the game for Punjab when Dhoni was caught at midwicket off a wide delivery down the legside.
“I thought Arsh bowled exceedingly well,” Punjab skipper Mayank Agarwal said. "Throughout the season, he’s stood up in tough moments and he’s bowled the tough overs … even Rabada was fantastic.”
After being put in to bat, Punjab lost Agarwal for 18 when he was caught at backward point off Sri Lanka spinner Maheesh Theekshana in the last over of the batting powerplay.
Dhawan and Bhanuka Rajapaksa (42) featured in a 110-run stand for the second wicket and dominated fast bowlers Dwaine Pretorius (0-50) and the experienced Dwayne Bravo, who finished with expensive figures of 2-42.
Dhawan hit nine fours and two sixes and stayed till the end. Liam Livingstone provided a finish flourish with 19 off seven balls.
Rajapaksa missed out on his half-century when he perished in the 18th over, caught at extra cover while attempting to hit big against Bravo.
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