Sikandar Raza and Rahul Chahar celebrate after winning the match against Chennai Super Kings in Chennai on Sunday night. AP
Sikandar Raza pulled off a last-ball heist to help Punjab Kings beat Chennai Super Kings by four wickets on Sunday night in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Needing three runs off the final ball, the Zimbabwe batter pulled to the vacant square leg area and ran three with Shahrukh Khan to reach 201-6 as Punjab won the “Battle of the Kings.”
Choosing to bat first, Chennai had scored 200-4 thanks to Devon Conway’s 92 not out off 52 balls. Punjab’s chase was propelled by 42 from opener Prabhsimran Singh and Liam Livingstone’s 40 off 24 balls.
Conway and Ruturaj Gaikwad (37) gave Chennai another good start, adding 86 off 58 balls. It was a slower start compared to their earlier partnerships but provided a platform for the other batters.
Gaikwad was out stumped at the halfway mark and big hitting Shivam Dube was then sent in at No. 3. He hit two sixes off 17 balls to score 28 and put on 44 off 26 balls with Conway.
The Kiwi opener reached 50 off 30, including nine fours and a six. Conway then accelerated with another seven fours off the next 22 balls, adding 42 in the second half of his knock.
It was his fifth half century in nine matches and Conway climbed to second (414 runs) in the most runs’ tally behind Faf du Plessis’ 422 for Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Chennai didn’t get the desired momentum from its middle order. Moeen Ali fell for 10 and Ravindra Jadeja was out for 12, leaving much to do for crowd favourite MS Dhoni. The Chennai skipper smashed two sixes off the last over, scoring 13 not out off four balls, as Conway was stranded eight short of his hundred.
In reply, Prabhsimran gave Punjab a rollicking start as he smacked two sixes and four fours off the 24 balls he faced. Shikhar Dhawan contributed 28 as the duo put on 50 off 26 balls for the opening stand.
Tushar Deshpande took 3-49 in four overs. Dhawan was his first dismissal before Atharva Taide fell to Ravindra Jadeja for 13.
Jadeja had Prabhsiman stumped to help reduce Punjab to 94-3 in 10.2 overs. Just when the chase looked like fading away, Livingstone regained his scoring touch with four sixes.
He put on 57 off 33 balls with fellow Englishman Sam Curran, who scored 29 off 20.
Despite Livingstone falling to Deshpande, Punjab continued on its path with a 10-ball 21 from Jitesh Sharma. He was Deshpande’s third wicket, while Matheesha Pathirana bowled Curran. Raza’s innings then kept Punjab’s knockout qualification hopes alive.
Mumbai Indians take on Rajasthan Royals in Sunday’s second encounter, the 1,000th game in IPL history.