Chennai Super Kings vs Punjab Kings Highlights:
Sikandar Raza shouldered Punjab Kings to 201 in a final-ball thriller against Chennai Super Kings at Chepauk in their Indian Premier League game on Sunday.
Riding on Devon Conway’s unbeaten 92 and his 86-run opening wicket stand with Ruturaj Gaikwad (37) helped Chennai Super Kings give a perfect start. Dhoni promoted Shivam Dube to number three and he added 44 runs for the second wicket alongside Conway. Once Dube departed, CSK sent two more left-handers to bat but they couldn’t do well. Moeen Ali and Ravindra Jadeja failed to deliver and Conway too, slowed down after flying past his fifty.
Conway struggled after crossing his 80s and was unbeaten on 92 off 52 balls, while MS Dhoni’s sixes brought the momentum back and CSK finished at 200/4 in their allotted 20 overs.
It was Sikandar Raza’s moment under the glittering IPL skies. The only player from Zimbabwe in this league, the all-rounder’s acquisition was ridiculed. His continued selection in the playing eleven questioned. But here he was, holding his nerves and scraping Punjab Kings to a last-ball thriller for ages. He did not do it the flamboyant way. His team required seven of the last four balls of the game. He missed the first, inside-edged the next ball for a couple to deep midwicket, and mistimed another double to square. Three required of the last ball, he hung back anticipating a short ball from Matheesha Pathirana. A short of length cutter it turned out to be and Raza threw the proverbial kitchen sink at it. He could not get ample wood onto the short-ball, but found the perfect placement as the ball dribbled into the space between deep fine leg and deep midwicket. Raza and his partner Shahrukh Khan ran the run of their lives to complete the three. Raza once aspired to become a fighter jet pilot. And like a jet plane he jetted off to the embrace of his onrushing teammates.