All-Round Livingstone powers Punjab Kings to victory against Chennai Super Kings

All-Round Livingstone powers Punjab Kings to victory against Chennai Super Kings

The Chennai Super Kings have lost their opening three matches in the Indian Premier League for the first time in their history as Ravindra Jadeja’s succumbed to a disappointing 54-run defeat against the Punjab Kings at the Brabourne Stadium on Sunday. On a ground that suited the team batting second, CSK capitulated in their run-chase as the four-time champions were bowled out for just 126 thanks to an excellent collective bowling effort from the Punjab Kings.

The victory for Mayank Agarwal’s side was set up by a superb all-round performance from Liam Livingstone. The Kings had paid big money (INR 11.5 Cr) to acquire Livingstone’s services at the auction, and following a quiet opening two games of the season, the power-hitter came to the fore at the Brabourne Stadium. After Mayank Agarwal and Bhanuka Rajapaksa fell early on, Livingstone walked in to bat in just the second over of the innings and powered the Punjab Kings to the second-highest powerplay score this season.

The Englishman pounced on the inexperience of Mukesh Choudhary, creaming the left-armer for two boundaries in the third over before taking the 25-year-old for 26 runs in the fifth, which included three fours and two monster sixes. Livingstone’s aggression also allowed Shikhar Dhawan to ease into his innings, and the left-hander eventually got going against Dwayne Bravo, taking the West Indian for three boundaries in the final over the powerplay to help Punjab put up 72 runs in the first six overs.

Livingstone continued to punish the Chennai bowlers as he reached his maiden IPL half-century off 27 deliveries, but the all-rounder did benefit from some good fortune as both Ambati Rayudu and MS Dhoni dropped the Englishman. Following a 95-run partnership, Dhawan eventually perished against Dwayne Bravo in the tenth over, and Livingstone followed suit four balls later, with Rayudu making no mistake at the second time of asking. Barring a fun cameo from the debutant Jitesh Sharma (26 off 17), none of the Punjab batters were able to continue the momentum Livingstone created as Dwaine Pretorius & Chris Jordan picked up two wickets each at the death to restrict the Kings to 180.

Considering the dew effect, CSK might have fancied their chances of chasing down the total, but the defending champions suffered a dramatic top-order collapse from which they couldn’t recover. Openers Ruturaj Gaikwad and Robin Uthappa departed within two balls of each other, while all-rounders Mooen Ali and Ravindra Jadeja failed to trouble the scorers as Chennai were reeling at 27 for four to end the powerplay. Shivam Dube scored a valiant fifty to keep Chennai briefly in the hunt, but the Punjab spinners – Liam Livingstone and Rahul Chahar – picked up five wickets through the middle to bowl out the Super Kings for 126 and complete a thumping 54-run victory.