'This has helped us win the game': Punjab's Agarwal opens up as CSK braces up the hat-trick defeat!

Sundays are meant to have double-headers in IPL but this time it was only one game where the two Kings, Chennai Super Kings and the Punjab Kings, clashed with each other. A win was a must for both teams as the CSK had lost their first two games and Punjab had won one from their two matches. Both the teams look strong on paper and only the execution mattered.

The CSK always had an edge against Punjab in IPL history and the fans were eager to know who would triumph this time. CSK won the toss and decided to field first as Jadeja had calculated to have an advantage in chasing, given the history of Barbourne stadium, which has recorded a remarkable mark of victories through chasing. The recent CSK vs LSG match, where LGS chased 210 runs was a piece of vivid evidence of the trend at Barbourne. 

As CSK decided to field first, Punjab's Mayank and Rajapaksa opened the innings only to have a quick walkout. Both of them were dismissed early with Dhoni making a stellar runout to dismiss Rajapaksa. Punjab has lost the first two wickets for 14 and It was Livingstone's day with the bat for the Punjab Kings. He smashed the balls everywhere and the CSK bowlers had no clue as they braced up an aggressive attack from this English batsman. He was well supported by Dhawan who scored 33 runs.

Livingstone scored 60 runs in just 32 balls, which included 5 boundaries and 5 sixes, thanks to Jadeja who dismissed him, but when Livingstone walked out, he gave a comfortable position to the Punjab Kings to score 200 but the quick fall of wickets reduced their total to 180 in 20 overs. As the pitch supports chasing, the Chennai fans had hoped that the Men in Yellow will blow Punjab Kings and register their first victory. Later, they braced up the opposite trend. 

The openers of the Chennai Super Kings couldn't make a mark as Ruturaj and Uthappa were dismissed very early. Ruturaj's poor form continues to be a concern for the CSK. Moeen Ali, Jadeja and Rayudu were also dismissed and at one point, CSK had lost 5 wickets for just 36 runs and two of the top five batsmen- Moeen Ali and Jadeja were dismissed for zero. The pressure was fully on the CSK as the game has completely gone out of the hands of defending champions within the powerplay.

All eyes were on Dhoni and Dube to rescue the team and they had indeed made a good partnership with Dube scoring 57 runs from just 30 balls. Their partnership poured 60 runs and Dhoni was dismissed for 23 runs off 28 balls. Then came all-rounder Bravo and he further broke the hope of fans by getting dismissed for zero in his first ball. As the top order of CSK had fallen quickly in the team's campaign for a chasable score, another loss was inevitable for the CSK and eventually, the chasers had scored only 126 runs and lost all the wickets. They lost the game by 54 runs and that's a huge margin and it is surely the time for the CSK to do some real homework.

On the other hand, Punjab Kings bowlers had a good spell as they brilliantly contained the CSK and restricted the chasers 50 runs behind the target. While Punjab batsmen put 72 runs on board in the mandatory powerplay of the first six overs, their Chennai counterparts were only able to score 26 runs, which clearly implies that a lot needs to improve in CSK's top order. For Chennai fans, they braced up for the fact that the CSK has recorded a hat-trick defeat. 

CSK, Mumbai, and Hyderabad are the only teams that are yet to open the victory account. While CSK has played and lost three matches, Mumbai and Hyderabad had played and lost two and one matches respectively. As Jadeja's captaincy has come under scrutiny, the CSK must fix the flaws and come back to the league from the upcoming matches to refrain from more debacles. Addressing the post-match presentation ceremony, Jadeja has admitted that the chasers had lost too many wickets in the powerplay and they had failed to grasp the momentum. 

He said, "We lost too many wickets in the powerplay, we didn't find the momentum from ball one. We need to find a way to get better and come back stronger. (On Gaikwad) We need to give him confidence, we need to back him, we all know that he's a very good player. We'll definitely back him and I am sure that he'll come good. He (Dube) has been batting so well, he batted well today, keeping him in a good frame of mind would be the key. Definitely, we'll try our best, work hard, and come back stronger." 

Punjab's captain Mayank Agarwal has cited that his side has won taking wickets with the new ball, which has helped them win the game. He said, "We were thinking we were 5-7 short, but we knew chasing 180 wasn't going to be easy, especially if we took wickets with the new ball and that's exactly what we did. Winning that part of the game won us the game.:" Speaking about Livingstone's batting, Agarwal said, "Everyone holds their breath when he is batting. Some of the shots he hits are spectacular." 

"Vaibhav (Arora) was with us a couple of years back. Saw the talent there. He is different, he's young and has got some good skills. With Jitesh, Anil (Kumble) bhai had seen him when he was in MI. He said we have got to get this kid. He has got good intent. Standout thing about him is his attitude. You can see the hunger, you can see the want. Definitely looking to play hard and positive cricket. Have to be emotionally intelligent when it doesn't come off", Agarwal added. CSK will take on Sunrisers Hyderabad on April 9 at Dr Patil Sports Academy Stadium in Navi Mumbai. Jadeja's fleet has ample time to fix the flaws and frame new strategies.