England all-rounder Ben Stokes did not look impressed with the track at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. He went on to criticise the pitch, hoping that teams competing in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 do not end up playing as they are regularly making low scores because the wicket at Chepauk is “trash”.
Stokes, whose IPL stint in the fourteenth season with Rajasthan Royals (RR) was ended by a fractured finger, reckoned that for an entertaining T20 match, a score has to be in the range of 160 to 170.
The reaction of the English cricketer came after the Friday night fixture between Mumbai Indians (MI) and Punjab Kings (PBKS).
Put to bat first, the five-time winners could only manage to post 131/6 on the board in their allotted 20 overs. Captain Rohit smashed a half-century and made 63 off 52 balls with seven boundaries, including two sixes.
In reply, PBKS chased down the paltry target in 17.4 overs, with Rahul and Chris Gayle scoring unbeaten 60 and 43 to take their side over the finish line.
“Hope the wickets don’t get worse as the IPL gets deeper into the tournament..160/170 minimum not scraping to 130/140 cause the wickets are trash,” tweeted Stokes.
Hope the wickets don’t get worse as the @IPL gets deeper into the tournament..160/170 minimum not scraping to 130/140 cause the wickets are trash..
— Ben Stokes (@benstokes38) April 23, 2021
So far in the competition, Chennai has hosted nine IPL games, including the one between PBKS and MI, and only twice has the team batting first scored more than 170. The first instance of such happened between Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) when the Virat Kohli-led side had posted 204 runs on the scoreboard.
Similarly, the second episode took place in the match between KKR and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), when Eoin Morgan and Co. had scored 187 on the board.
Chennai will host its last IPL game of the season on Sunday when Delhi Capitals (DC) will face SRH before the action shifts to Ahmedabad and New Delhi.