IPL

Raza the final-ball hero as Punjab stun CSK

By Sports Desk April 30, 2023

Sikandar Raza scored the winning runs off the final ball as Punjab Kings beat Chennai Super Kings by four wickets in a thrilling Indian Premier League contest.

Devon Conway's highest IPL score of 92 off 52 balls took CSK up to 200-4 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Sunday, but the in-form batter's brilliant knock was in vain.

Prabhsimran Singh (42 off 24), Liam Livingstone (40 from 24) and Sam Curran (29 off 20) kept Punjab in the hunt to pull off the highest successful run chase against Chennai in their own backyard.

Needing 12 to win off the final over from Matheesha Pathirana, Raza hoisted the final delivery towards the square-leg boundary and scampered through for the three runs that were required for victory.

Conway put on 86 for the first wicket with Ruturaj Gaikwad, who was stumped for 37, giving Raza the charge in the 10th over.

Shivam Dube made a brisk 28 before he was sent on his way by Arshdeep Singh and Moeen Ali fell cheaply, but Punjab were unable to see the back of Conway.

He struck a six and found the rope 16 times in another masterful knock, falling just short of a century and watching on at the other end as MS Dhoni struck Sam Curran for back-to-back sixes to end the innings in style.

Prabhsimran and Shikhar Dhawan got the run chase off to a flying start, putting on 50 before the captain became the first of Tushar Deshpande's (3-49) victims.

Ravindra Jadeja (2-32) made it advantage CSK by removing Prabhsimran and Atharva Taid, but England duo Livingstone and Curran kept the game in the balance.

They put on 57 before Livingstone was caught in the deep off the bowling of Deshpande and Pathirana struck another blow by cleaning Curran up.

Jitesh Sharma fell for 21 in the penultimate over, but Raza ensured Punjab moved just behind CSK in fifth place with their fifth win of the season.  

Conway shows the way for CSK

New Zealand opener Conway has been a revelation for CSK at the top of the order, this being his fifth half-century in six knocks.

The left-hander needed just 31 balls to reach his latest fifty, taking his tally of runs for the tournament to 414. 

Only Faf du Plessis (422) has more runs in the 2023 IPL than Conway, who averages 59.14 at a strike rate of 144.25.

Livingstone looking ominous

Punjab had to start the tournament without Livingstone as he recovered from injury, but he certainly appears to have his eye in again.

The all-rounder gave a demonstration of his power and timing, clearing the rope four times in a crucial knock to keep the target within reach.

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