Riding on Faf du Plessis’ brilliant unbeaten 95 (60b, 9×4, 4×6) and Ruturaj Gaikwad’s 64 (42b, 6×4, 4×6), Chennai Super Kings continued its winning momentum beating Kolkata Knight Riders by 18 runs at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Wednesday.
The openers came together for a 115-run partnership to help CSK post a mammoth score of 220 for three. However, the three-time champion’s third win did not come easy as Knight Riders gave CSK a run for its money.
The chase got off to a disastrous start after Deepak Chahar ran through the top-order with four wickets in his first three overs. When Lungi Ngidi had Rahul Tripathi caught behind, KKR was struggling at 31 for five.
Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik and Pat Cummins then came out all guns blazing, staging a brilliant counterattack.
Russell slammed a 22-ball 54 with six sixes and added 81 runs in just six overs with Dinesh Karthik to bring Knight Riders right back into the game.
The West Indian was brutal on Shardul Thakur, taking him for 24 runs in just one over, hitting three sixes and a four.
However, in the 12th over, Russell inexplicably tried to move away from a back of length ball from Sam Curran aimed at his hips only to see the ball clip the bail.
Karthik did his part with a 24-ball 40 before being trapped leg-before by a slower one from Ngidi.
Pat Cummins’s heroics with the bat couldn’t take KKR past the finish line. – BCCI/IPL
Cummins cuts loose
Just when CSK thought it had things under control, Cummins unleashed his fury on Curran, smashing the left-arm medium-pacer for 30 in the 16th over with four sixes and a boundary.
The Australian did well to shepherd the lower order by farming strike and landed some lusty blows to make an unbeaten 66 (34b, 4×4, 6×6). But he ran out of partners.
Earlier, Du Plessis and Gaikwad went after Cummins and Varun Chakravarthy, putting pressure on KKR straightaway.
The Maharashtra opener played some delightful drives through the off-side and was quick on his feet when challenged with the short-pitched ball, playing some well-executed pull shots.
Even as Gaikwad was taking the KKR attack on, du Plessis was not far behind. He assumed charge of the innings towards the latter half.
The South African played an array of shots – be it standing tall and clearing the straight boundaries or getting down on one knee for his trademark scoop over short fine-leg.
CSK ended its innings with three sixes off the last over from Cummins, two by du Plessis and one from Ravindra Jadeja. It proved to be the difference in the end as the Knight Riders slumped to its third straight defeat.