It was a joyous day in north India as Punjab breached the home fortress of Chennai as they outplayed them in all departments of the game. While Chennai did well to restrict Punjab to a competitive 156, they could only get to 149 losing the game by a close margin of 7 runs. In the absence of Gilchrist, the crowd saw the men in red perform beyond expectations. The experienced Azhar Mahmood shone along with the young Mandeep Singh much to the relief of the Punjab supporters.
The vast experience of the cricketer has helped Punjab in the tournament so far. Being a good player in the short format of the game, he has managed to transfer his form to the IPL as well. With Albie Morkel picking up 3 wickets or 29, he bettered it with his bowling effort of 3 wickets for 25. Being known as one of the best all rounders of the game, he has proved himself with the bat as well and would be vital to Punjab’s cause, going ahead. A few days ago he spoke about the inclusion of other Pakistani players in the league as well and we just wonder how much more enthralling the tournament would be then:
“I cannot really answer as to why the Pakistan players are still not a part of IPL, but I think the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) needs to look into this. I don’t think the doors were ever closed for professionals from Pakistan to be part of the IPL. I played in Mumbai for the first time the other day and the crowd was amazing. I have always loved playing cricket here.”
The 20 year old youngster was the name around the ground today. His excellent innings of 56 was responsible for Punjab’s good batting performance. Shaun Marsh missed the spotlight but if they both get going on the same day, the team’s batting issues may come to an end. Having played just 17 T20 games, he averages a decent 31 runs. He batted for 17 overs today which in this short format of the game is a remarkable feat for a person with such less experience.
The wagon wheel shows that he played all around the pitch and that made it difficult for the bowlers to find his weakness.
Whether this form is here to stay, is the big question though. Overall, a good game for Punjab, as they look to catch up with the other teams while Chennai seem to be struggling, going through a period with ups and downs.