Wednesday’s encounter between the Kolkata Knight Rider’s (KKR) and the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) saw runs galore as both teams sniffed victory for most parts of the game. A flat pitch at the Wankhede set up the match for a run-scoring feast. Having lost two consecutive games before Wednesday, a win was indispensable for the Kolkata franchise. CSK, on the other hand, came into the game fresh from a comprehensive victory over the Rajasthan Royals. KKR won the toss, and put CSK into bat, however, CSK managed to post a colossal target on the board, as KKR’s batting order collapsed early on in their innings.
Francois Du Plessis and Rituraj Gaikwak opened the batting for CSK, with both openers looking in great touch from early on. Du Plessis put the pressure back on the KKR bowlers within the first three overs; not allowing the new ball bowlers to settle. The openers scored at a rate of above 10 runs per over within the four overs bringing up their 50 run partnership at the end of the power-play. The pair took full advantage of the power-play overs, scoring 54 runs for the loss of no wickets. The openers set a strong foundation, seeing out the next few overs carefully. By the halfway point CSK posted 82 runs on the board, with both batsmen looking set to get big scores. Gaikwad brought up his half-century in the 11th other; setting the pace in middle-overs, and the pair brought up their 100 run-stand in the next over. The pair managed to put on 115 runs for the opening partnership before Gaikwad was dismissed by Varun Chakravarthy in the 13th over. Du Plessis played second fiddle to Gaikwad in the middle-overs, reaching his half-century in the 14th over, after setting the pace, early on in the innings.
CSK looked well set to post a huge target with their middle-over given the license to score freely in the death overs. Moeen Ali scored at a lightning pace, contributing 25 of 12 balls, and also put up a 50 run-stand alongside Du Plessis in 26 balls, before being dismissed by Sunil Narine in the 17th over. The KKR pacers leaked runs, failing to contain the onslaught from the CSK batsmen. MS Dhoni, too, accelerated early on, before being dismissed in the 19th over. CSK ended up taking 34 runs of the final two overs of their innings. Prasidh Krishna and Pat Cummins were the most expensive bowlers, conceding 49 and 58 runs respectively. Du Plessis came close to a century, scoring 95 runs without losing his wicket. CSK’s relentless run-scoring through most parts of the game ensures they set a mammoth total of 220 runs for KKR to chase.
The target was challenging and KKR started aggressively but a crucial wicket in the early stage of the innings. CSK lent their first blow in the first over itself when Deepak Chahar sent Shubman Gill back to the dressing room for a duck. Chahar kept the pressure on the KKR’s batsmen picking up two wickets within the first three overs of the chase. Nitish Rana was dismissed by Chahar in the third over as the CSK bowlers kept it tight. Chahar returned to bowl his third in the power-play picking up the KKR captain, Eoin Morgan, and Sunil Narine’s wickets in the 5th overs, having the chasing team struggling at 31 for 4 at the end of the 5th over. KKR lost another wicket in the next over as Rahul Tripathi lost his wicket to Lungi Ngidi following an excellent catch by Ravindra Jadeja. Andre Russell came in all guns blazing from the start, propelling KKR to a decent score of 45-5 at the end of the power-play.
Russell began putting the pressure back on CSK as he aggressively countered CSK’s bowlers in the middle-overs. Russell played the big shots while Dinesh Karthik steadied the innings alongside him with the pair bringing up their 50 run partnership, as Russel smacker Shardul Thakur for 24 runs, in the 10th over. Russell’s aggressive batting seemingly began to turn the tide in favor of KKR, as he brought up his half-century in 21 balls in the 11th over. Meanwhile, Karthik kept the flow of the innings by keeping the run rate within reach; scoring more than a run a ball himself. In the 12th over, however, Sam Curran managed to knock the stumps of Russell; sending him back to the dressing room. The run rate began to creep up as Karthik managed to hit the odd boundary after Russell’s departure. In the 15th over Ngidi dismissed Karthik with Pat Cummins looking dangerous on the other side. Cummins managed to score 30 runs of Sam Curran in the 16th over, with a victory still in sight for KKR. He brought up his 50 of 23 balls in the 18th over, with wicket tumbling on the other side.
Cummins last-ditch effort saw KKR needed 20 runs of the final over with only a wicket to spare. Prasidh Krishna was run out in the final over of the game, with CSK emerging victorious with 18 runs to spare. Du Plessis was awarded the man-of-the-match award for the brisk contribution in the first innings. KKR will look to bounce back after three consecutive defeats on Saturday, as they face the Rajasthan Royals in a must-win game.
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