Punjab Kings (PBKS) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have developed a fierce on-the-pitch rivalry since the early seasons of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Both teams faced off in their first-ever IPL match back in 2008, which set the tone for the inaugural edition of the tournament. Legendary batsman Michael Hussey set the stage on fire by scoring 116 (of 54 balls) in that match to help CSK win by 33 runs in the end.
The latest chapter in this storied rivalry will unfold on Friday as the MS Dhoni-led CSK face PBKS in Match 8 of IPL 2021 at the Wankhede Stadium on April 16. In 24 encounters between both teams so far, CSK have won 15 games while PBKS emerged victorious in 9 matches. The Chennai-based franchise have had the upper hand recently against PBKS, winning seven out of their last ten duels.
The presence of numerous match-winners across both teams' batting line-ups is an appealing factor for the fans. The Wankhede Stadium pitch for yesterday's game at the same venue assisted bowlers. The batters need to be alert and have makeshift plans in case run-scoring gets difficult yet again.
When was the last IPL match between CSK and PBKS in Mumbai?
Mumbai has hosted CSK vs. PBKS on just two occasions so far, and both teams have won one game apiece. The last instance was in the second qualifier of IPL 2014.
MS Dhoni won the toss and invited the Punjab Kings to bat first on a belter of a pitch at Wankhede Stadium. Punjab opener Virender Sehwag turned back the clock and played a vintage knock of 122 (of 58 balls) to steer his side to a mammoth first inning total of 226/6. Manan Vohra (34) and David Miller (38 of 19 balls) played the supporting roles to Sehwag's spectacular performance.
CSK faced an early blow in the chase as opener Faf du Plessis departed off the second ball of the innings. It brought Suresh Raina to the crease very early in this pressure knock-out game. As it turned out, the fall of the first wicket was just the calm before the storm. The following six overs saw a carnage of the highest quality in IPL history.
Suresh Raina was the protagonist of this destruction, as he demolished the opponent's bowling attack single-handedly and scored 87 runs in just 25 balls. During this epic knock, he scored his runs at an astonishing strike rate of 348 and ended up hitting 12 fours and six maximums.
Raina's onslaught came to an unfortunate end when he was run-out off the first ball in the 7th over. By then, CSK's scoreboard read 100/3 in 6.1 overs and they were clear favorites to win the game, thanks to Raina's enchanting knock. But Punjab spinners Axar Patel(1/23) and Karanvir Singh (0/32) bowled well in the middle-overs and put the break on CSK's scoring rate.
In the end, Chennai fell short and lost the match by 24 runs. MS Dhoni remained unbeaten on 42 (of 31 balls) but could not take his side home in this knock-out match. Raina's brutal innings is etched in history as one of the greatest IPL knocks, even though it came in a losing cause. Virender Sehwag received the player of the match award for scoring a scintillating century in the first innings.
The other instance came way back in 2008. It was the second semi-final of the inaugural IPL tournament. Unlike their match in the 2014 qualifiers, this was a low-scoring, one-sided affair. Punjab batted first and ended their innings at 112/8 after 20 overs. Pace trio Makhaya Ntini (2/23), Manpreet Gony (2/14), and Albie Morkel (2/27) were the star performers for CSK with the ball.
The Chennai-based franchise made quick work of the chase and made a strong statement. Parthiv Patel (51*) and Suresh Raina (55*) played attacking knocks and helped them chase down the target in just 14.5 overs to win the match emphatically by nine wickets.