Nicholas Pooran’s wretched start to the newly minted Indian Premier League season continued yesterday with a two-ball ‘duck’, as Punjab Kings slumped to a six-wicket defeat to Dwayne Bravo’s Chennai Super Kings in a low-scoring contest.
Pooran’s franchise and West Indies teammate, veteran left-hander Chris Gayle also failed with 10, leaving Punjab’s short of a seriously competitive total at 106 for eight off their 20 overs, despite Shahrukh Khan’s top-score of 47 batting at number six.
New-ball seamer Deepak Chahar conjured up a brilliant spell of four for 13 from four superb overs, to wreck the innings and earn Man-of-the-Match honours.
In reply, CSK cruised to their target in the 14th over, courtesy of Englishman Moeen Ali’s 46 off 31 deliveries and South African Faf du Plessis’s unbeaten 36 off 33 balls. Like Kings, CSK have now won one and lost one, to be among six teams on two points.
Sent in, Kings were reduced to 26 for five in the seventh over, with both Gayle and Pooran among the carnage, as Chahar scythed through the top order with his four-wicket haul.
Gayle was third out in the fifth over with score on 19, driving loosely to short cover where Ravindra Jadeja took the catch diving forward.
And the left-handed Pooran, who suffered the indignity of a first-ball ‘duck’ last Monday, followed two balls later in the same over, failing to keep down a pull and holing out to deep square.
Shahrukh salvaged pride for his side, striking four fours and two sixes off 36 deliveries, while adding 31 for the sixth wicket with Jhye Richardson (15) and a further 30 for the seventh wicket with Murugan Ashwin (6), enabling Punjab to squeak past the 100-run mark.
Bravo claimed one wicket from two overs which cost ten runs.
In reply, CSK lost Ruturaj Gaikwad for five in the fifth over but Moeen and du Plessis put on 66 for the second wicket to erase any doubt over the result. Moeen belted seven fours and a single six while du Plessis stroked three fours and a six.