Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) came back in a heroic fashion as they defeated Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and scripted a 10-run victory in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
Chasing a total of 168, The Men in Yellow came into the contest on the back of a thumping win over Kings XI Punjab and looked like the stronger side at the start of the second innings.
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Opener Shane Watson (50, 40b) carried the form from his previous outing and established a 30-run stand for the opening stand alongside Faf du Plessis (17). The latter’s dismissal in the 4th over didn’t affect the team and their scoring ability, as Ambati Rayudu (30, 27b) kept the scoreboard ticking with singles and twos and the occasions fours.
However, things started to pan out differently for CSK from the 13th over when pacer Kamlesh Nagarkoti lured a well-set Rayudu on the first delivery, followed by Watson’s being plumbed in the 14th over courtesy spinner Sunil Narine.
With 64 runs needed off 36 balls, and both Sam Curran and skipper MS Dhoni on the crease, the chase still looked in CSK’s favor. Curran smashed a four and a six in the 16th over that brought the asking rate to 44 off 24 deliveries.
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This was when KKR came back in the contest as they first got the wood on Dhoni (11) while he was attempting to slog Varun Chakravarthy and then the much-coveted wicket of Sam Curran (17) in the 18th over, courtesy of a short delivery from Andre Russell.
The duo of Ravindra Jadeja and Kedar Jadhav could add merely 3 runs in that over, followed by 10 runs in the penultimate over bowled by Sunil Narine, which to a large extent changed the outcome of the game.
With 6 balls remaining, CSK needed 26 runs, and though they struck 15 runs with a six and two back to back fours in the last three deliveries, they lost the game by 10 runs.
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Jadhav remained unbeaten on 7 off 12 deliveries with a sole boundary while Jadeja scraped 8-ball 21* with 3 fours and a six.
In KKR’s bowling department, Pat Cummins (0/25) and Varun Chakravarthy (1/28) bowled economical spells. Veteran Sunil Narine kept his nerves in his last over and ended with figures of 4-0-31-1 with the crucial wicket of Shane Watson. Both Kamlesh Nagarkoti (1/21) and Shivam Mavi (1/32) bowled 3 overs each and managed to get the better on Rayudu and du Plessis respectively.
Rahul Tripathi roars at the top-order
After opting to bat first, things started just as planned for the Men in Purple and Gold, with openers Rahul Tripathi (81, 51b) putting up a sparkling exhibition and taking on the ante from the very delivery.
While his partner, Shubman Gill (11) was dismissed in the 5th over, runs still kept on pouring for the Knight Riders as Tripathi forged a 33-run partnership with southpaw Nitish Rana for the second wicket.
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Rana (9), in an attempt to slog-sweep leg-spinner, Karn Sharma, gave away his wicket and brought curtains to what could be have been a formidable stand. Left-hander Sunil Narine played a cameo comprising 17 runs off 9 deliveries with a six and a four each, but he too was taken care of by Karn, who ended his spell with figures of 4-0-25-2 and emerged as the most economical bowler for the Men in the Yellow.
Once again in the ongoing season, there occurred a collapse in KKR’s middle-order as Eoin Morgan (7), Andre Russell (2), and skipper Dinesh Karthik (12) were sent back to the pavilion at the earliest possible, and the scorecard now reading 162/7 at the end of 19th over. Dwayne Bravo just swept the tail as he grabbed the wickets of Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Shivam Mavi for ducks.
From CSK bowlers, Deepak Chahar (0/47) had a forgettable run at work while fellow pacers, Dwayne Bravo (3/37), Shardul Thakur (2/28), and Sam Curran (2/26) ending the day on a positive note.
With this win, KKR has jumped to the 3rd spot in the points table with 3 wins in 5 matches, an NRR of +0.002. They will face the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in the first match of the double-header on October 10 in Abu Dhabi.
On the other hand, CSK is at the 5th spot with 2 wins in 6 matches, 4 points, and an NRR of -0.371. Dhoni & Co. will look to rebound in the game against Royal challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the second match of the double-header on October 10 in Dubai.
Here’s how Twitterati reacted to KKR’s stunning comeback in the later stages of the game.
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