After Ambati Rayudu ransacked 23 runs off Sandeep Sharma’s final over to shift the momentum in Chennai Super Kings’ favour in Match 39 of IPL 2022 against Punjab Kings at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai on Monday, it took a superlative effort from Kagiso Rabada and the young Arshdeep Singh to stave off the CSK threat and hand their team a well-earned two points. Rayudu’s assault of 23 runs of Sandeep over had taken CSK equation from an improbable 70 runs from 30 balls to a gettable 47 runs from 24 balls. But, Kagiso Rabada and Arshdeep put their hands up and between them bowled three overs to give away just 20 runs in the next three overs, setting up the game for PBKS. Rishi Dhawan was left to defend 27 off the final, over which he did, including taking the wicket of MS Dhoni.
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While Rabada has always been a tough customer at the death overs, young Arshdeep held his nerve bowling the 17th and the 19th over and kept CSK’s MD Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja at bay. He eventually returned impressive match figures of 4-0-23-1. Speaking after the match, Rabada termed his teammate the best death bowler in the IPL currently.
“I think Arsh [Arshdeep] has been the best death bowler in this comp. That’s what the stats say. He’s a youngster coming in. He’s got a lot of drive, a lot of ambition and he’s got talent as well. And he’s just a good bloke. So it’s nice to have him around,” he said, adding, “I’ve always bowled at the death as well so I know I’m going to bowl at the death but Arsh has just been magnificent and been leading the way in that discipline.”
Arshdeep currently has the best economy rate in the IPL among bowlers who have bowled a minimum of 25 deliveries with 5.67, ahead of the likes of Sunil Narine, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami.
Adding more on the win, Rabada felt the team had a slow start but Shikhar Dhawan and Mayank Agarwal stuck to their guns and then Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Liam Livingstone helped the team to a competitive total. “In the Powerplay, we were a bit behind the rate, but I must commend Shikhar and Mayank for the way they held their nerve, and then the way Shikhar and Bhanu played was just unbelievable. They set the platform for our batters to come in and play freely and then Liam Livingstone came in and hit a few gentle strokes out of the park and that set us up nicely, said Rabada, who returned 4-0-23-2.
Shikhar Dhawan, for his 88 off 59 balls, walked away with the Player of the Match award. It was a memorable game for Dhawan as he reached his 6000 IPL runs, only the second after Virat Kohli to reach the milestone and he also became only the eighth player to play 200 or more IPL games.
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