Brief scores from KKR vs CSK: Chennai Super Kings 220/3 in 20 overs (Faf du Plessis 95*, Ruturaj Gaikwad 64; Varun Chakravarthy 1/27)
Kolkata Knight Riders 202/10 in 20 overs (Pat Cummins 66*, Andre Russell 54; Deepak Chahar 4/29)
In what was one of the matches played between Chennai and Kolkata to date, the Men in Yellow managed to scrape an upper hand at the final moments of the game to seal a hat trick of wins, and at the same time, acquire the top spot in the IPL 2021 points table.
Winning the toss, Chennai opted to bat first on what has been a gem of a wicket for the batters in the season so far. The likes of Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis weaved a majestic partnership of 115-runs, leaving no part of the stadium untouched with their frequent boundary hitting during their stay in the middle.
Post Gaikwad’s dismissal in the 13th over, it was then Moeen Ali’s turn to ensure that the carnage continued, and he delivered just what was expected, striking a 12-ball 25 to propel CSK past 160. Skipper MS Dhoni looked in great touch with the willow as he hammered a few shots outside the fence and alongside an in-form Du Plessis steered the side to a winning total.
In response, Kolkata had one of the forgettable starts to the run-chase, as they were reduced to 31/5 in the powerplay. The likes of Dinesh Karthik (40), Andre Russell (54), and Pat Cummins (64*) kept the two-time champions in a chase till the last over, but fell short by 20 runs, eventually suffering their third loss of the season.
Here are the talking points from KKR vs CSK match –
Ruturaj ends the wait, fires maiden fifty in IPL 2021
For someone who grabbed 3 Man of the Match awards at the fag end of CSK’s run in 2020, to being unable to perform to the potential in 2021 and recording scores of 5, 5 and 10, it would’ve been a frustrating time for the 24-year-old.
Fortunately, the string of low tallies ended against Kolkata and what followed was a charismatic knock of 64 in 42 deliveries, comprising 6 fours and 4 sixes, that helped CSK reach a dominating position at Wankhede.
Ruturaj, in only the second over of the match, smashed a 4 and 6 to Pat Cummins, then drove CSK to 54 runs at the end of the powerplay, and 82 runs by the end of ten overs.
Batting on 43 off 31 deliveries, Ruturaj then slogged a massive six to Kamlesh Nagarkoti and followed with a single down the long-on to stamp his first fifty of the season. The carnage continued, with him bashing Prasidh Krishna for a four and a six in the 11th over, and it was only a delivery from leggie Varun Chakravarthy that finally brought his innings to an end.
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Du Plessis’ sublime form continues
It’s evident from the numbers that the Protea cricketer is going through a purple patch in his career. His experience of the format and the tournament too is paying rewards.
Du Plessis stitched a 115-run opening stand alongside Ruturaj, then put up quick partnerships with Moeen Ali (50 runs), MS Dhoni (36 runs), and finally with Ravindra Jadeja (19 runs) while being unbeaten throughout the innings.
In the process, the 36-year-old clobbered a 60-ball 95*, a knock that comprised 9 fours and 4 sixes, which is now his second-highest score in IPL and 17th fifty in the cash-rich tournament.
Some of the highlights from his herculean inning include the three consecutive fours to Andre Russell in the 18th over, and two sixes off Pat Cummins in the last over that thrust CSK to 220 in 20 overs.
Russell, Cummins’ fifties in vain; Chahar’s 4/29 sweeps KKR
At one point it looked as if Kolkata would be bowled out under 100, considering they lost their core batting order in Nitish Rana (9), Shubman Gill (0), Rahul Tripathi (8), Eoin Morgan (7) and Sunil Narine (4), within the first six overs.
It was at that point the duo of Dinesh Karthik and Andre Russell fetched an 81-run partnership, with Russell torching MS Dhoni & Co. with a 22-ball 54 that brought Kolkata back among the favorites.
Russell’s dismissal to Sam Curran brought in Pat Cummins, who exhibited one of his ferocious knocks in the T20 league. Cummins forged a 34-run stand alongside Karthik for the 7th-wicket, then went berserk post the latter’s ouster in the 15th over, smashing 30 runs off Sam Curran in the immediate over that followed.
Though Cummins remained unbeaten on 64 and almost pulled off what could have been a historic chase, he was unfortunate to fall short of partners from the other end that brought curtains to their innings with five balls to spare.
A wicket that supported batsmen at every stage of the feud, a huge part of the credits goes to the bowling duo of Deepak Chahar (4/29) and Lungi Ngidi (3/28) for paving way for CSK’s triumph at Wankhede.