After PBKS posted 187/4 in 20 overs, thanks mainly to a majestic unbeaten 88 by Shikhar Dhawan and his 110-run partnership with Bhanuka Rajapaksa (42), Ambati Rayudu (78) propelled CSK to a position from where they could have gone for victory.
From 40/3, Rayudu helped Chennai reach 153/5 with vital partnerships with Ruturaj Gaikwad (30) and Ravindra Jadeja (21 not out), needing 47 runs off 24 balls to win the match.
But Arshdeep and Rabada bowled two good overs, giving away runs in single digits, and the equation came down to 27 off the last 6 deliveries.
CSK fell short by 11 runs.
Punjab skipper Agarwal picked bowling by Arshdeep and Rabada as the turning point of the match.
“I thought Arsh bowled exceedingly well. I must credit him. Throughout the season, he’s stood up in tough moments and he’s bowled the tough overs. He’s always put his hand up and said, ‘Give me the ball’. So he’s been great for us. Even Rabada was fantastic. To get (Gaikwad) and Rayudu at that time was very crucial. I can’t really pinpoint, but I would say these two with the ball really changed the game towards us,” Agarwal said during the post-match presentation.
Rabada, who cleaned up the dangerous Rayudu with a superb yorker, hailed Arshdeep as the best death bowler in the camp.
“I thought each and every individual in our bowling attack put their hand up. I think Arsh has been the best death bowler in this comp. That’s what the stats say. He’s a youngster coming in. He’s got a lot of drive, a lot of ambition and he’s got talent as well. And he’s just a good bloke. So it’s nice to have him around.
“I’ve always bowled at the death as well, so I know I’m going to bowl at the death; but Arsh has just been magnificent and been leading the way in that discipline,” said Rabada after the match.
He said the entire bowling unit did its work, following the plan to defend the total.
Rabada also praised Rishi Dhawan for the way he handled the pressure to bowl the final over.
“Everyone else knows their role. Spinners bowl when they have to. Rahul (Chahar) is a key spinner for us. Sandeep (Sharma) has a lot of experience and he’s come in today and got a wicket in the Powerplay.
“Rishi (Dhawan) coming back and bowling that final over, he put his hand up. It’s still a bit nerve-wracking when you’re bowling at MS Dhoni and there’s not one red shirt in the crowd, only yellow shirts chanting his name. I think it can be a bit nerve-wracking, but he held his nerve and came out on top, so huge credit to him.”
He also gave credit to batters Dhawan and Rajapaksa for the way they batted and guided the team to a defendable total.
“In the Powerplay, we were a bit behind the rate, but I must commend Shikhar and Mayank for the way they held their nerve, and then the way Shikhar and Bhanu played was just unbelievable. They set the platform for our batters to come in and play freely, and then Liam Livingstone came in and hit a few gentle strokes out of the park. That set us up nicely. We got ourselves a winning total,” said Rabada.