A late onslaught from Pat Cummins (66*) and Andre Russell (54) went in vain as Chennai Super Kings registered a thrilling 18-run win against Kolkata Knight Riders in their Indian Premier League (IPL) match here at the Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Batting first, CSK posted 220/3 in their allotted 20 overs riding on a brilliant 95 not out from Faf du Plessis and a well-compiled 64-run knock from Ruturaj Gaikwad. In response, knocks from Cummins and Russell kept the KKR alive till the last over of the match but the Kolkata-based franchise failed to cross the line. Chasing a mammoth target of 221, KKR had a horrible start as both the openers Shubman Gill (0) and Nitish Rana (9) went back to the dressing room inside the first three overs. Deepak Chahar bagged both the wickets for CSK with the new ball.
Skipper Eoin Morgan and Rahul Tripathi also couldn’t stay long in the middle. Chahar first removed Morgan (7) and then Sunil Narine (4) in the fifth over to leave KKR reeling at 31/4.
Things turned from bad to worse very rapidly for KKR as Tripathi (8) was picked by Lungi Ngidi in the last over of the powerplay.
After Tripathi’s dismissal, Russell joined forces with Dinesh Karthik and took on the CSK bowlers. He scored 54 off 22 balls with the help of 6 sixes and three fours.
Russell and Karthik accumulated 81 runs off just 39 balls for the sixth wicket. The partnership kept KKR’s hope alive in the encounter but just when things seemed to go in favour of Morgan and boys, Sam Curran clean bowled Russell in the 12th over.
Pat Cummins joined Karthik in the middle and kept the run-rate at par with the required rate. The duo added 34 runs for the seventh wicket before Ngidi scalped the wicket of Karthik (40) in the 15th over.
The match was all but gone for KKR. However, Cummins had other plans. He kept on smashing boundaries and was in no mood of giving up on the total. He scored 30 runs off Curran in the 16th over.
In the last two overs, KKR needed 28 runs.
In the penultimate, Curran gave eight runs and took a wicket but Cummins kept the strike with him on the last ball of the 19th over. In the final over, Prasidh Krishna got run out as KKR got bundled out for 202 in 19.1 overs. Cummins remained unbeaten on 66 off 34, smashing six sixes and four fours.
For CSK, Chahar bagged four wickets while Ngidi grabbed three scalps.
Earlier, after being asked to bat first, Gaikwad and du Plessis provided a solid foundation to CSK. The openers gave a flying start to the side and played their shots freely all-around the park.
They added 115 runs before spinner Varun Chakravarthy dismissed Gaikwad at his individual score of 64. The right-handed batsman smashed four sixes and six fours.
After Gaikwad’s dismissal, Moeen Ali joined the party and kept the scoring rate ticking. Moeen scored 25 off 12 and stitched a 50-run partnership with du Plessis. The England international became Narine’s victim in the 17th over.
CSK skipper MS Dhoni, who promoted himself up in the order, played a quickfire knock of 17 off seven balls before he was sent back to the pavilion by Russell in the 19th over.
Ravindra Jadeja scored a six off the one ball he faced as CSK’s inning came to an end at 220/3. For KKR, Narine, Russell, and Chakravarthy bagged one wicket each.
Brief scores: CSK 220/3 (Faf du Plessis 95*, Ruturaj Gaikwad 64; Sunil Narine 1-34); KKR 202/10 in 19.1 overs (Pat Cummins 66*, Andre Russell 54; Deepak Chahar 4-29).