Despite beginning with a bang, Chennai Super Kings came a cropper in the middle and slog overs and could not put up a challenging total. After Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum made a blistering start to take the score past 40 in the 5th over, the departure of the exciting duo brought a horrible slowdown. Raina, du Plessis and Jadeja were the only ones, who scored some runs but all of them just crawled along against some very fine spell from KKR bowlers. The final score of 134/6 in 20 overs can only be called too poor for a side that is endowed with explosive batting prowess. As a matter of fact Kolkata Knight Riders went about the chase very creditably as they went past 50 in just five overs even after losing Gautam Gambhir for a duck. But after Uthappa departed, the rot set in. KKR emulated the performance of their opponents, who had also begun well and crumbled afterwards. Six KKR batsmen had a combined total of just 6 runs and four of them fell for ducks. Only Ryan Ten Doeschate stood there and his heroics could have also brought the victory but he ran out of partners and KKR lost by mere 2 runs. Dwayne Bravo was the hero for Chennai as the West Indian snapped up three wickets in 3 overs for 22 runs and brought off two splendid catches.
Gautam Gambhir won the toss and asked CSK to bat first. Based on their last match against KXIP, even Dhoni would have opted to bat first since CSK has the most exciting opening pair this IPL. Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Smith began their innings as expected and mounted the assault from the second over afterwards. In a matter of minutes, when the score reached 42, McCullum was trapped LBW by Piyush Chawala. Gambhir called China-man specialist Brad Hogg after realizing that the CSK batsmen could be susceptible against the slow stuff. Hogg’s arrival slowed things down as Raina couldn’t get to score. In the 9th over, Hogg drew Raina into playing on the offside with the turn. Having been tied down by the Australian, Raina wanted a release as he called Smith for a non-existent single. Yusuf Pathan at short third man was accurate with the direct throw as Smith was caught short in an unfortunate run-out dismissal. At this stage, CSK were 64/2. Smith’s departure brought a slowdown and even a usually aggressive Raina found difficult to score. For company, Raina had du Plessis but they couldn’t propel the scoring rate. Raina fell at a labored 21-ball 17 and Dhoni followed him soon. Runs came in trickle as wickets kept tumbling. Bravo and Jadeja also fell to spin as CSK crawled to 134/6 in 20 overs.
Coming in for the 135-run chase, KKR began by losing Gambhir in the first over from Ishwar Pandey as the batsman fished at an away going ball and the nick was taken by Dhoni. But Robin Uthappa was nonchalant as he continued in his own aggressive way to reach 39 off 16 balls before falling to the guile of R Ashwin. He went for a huge sweep but Brendon McCullum took a great catch at short midwicket. In his next over, Ashwin accounted for Manish Pandey, who was dropped by Dhoni earlier. If the spin worked in the CSK innings, it was on display yet again as Jadeja and Raina collectively bowled 6 overs and though they couldn’t get wickets, they yielded just 23 runs between the two of them. Suryakumar Yadav was tied down for 26 balls in scoring just 16 runs while Pathan, who refused singles, scored 13 off 18. Then CSK also removed the Dangerman Andre Russell, who fell victim to a misunderstanding with Doeschate and couldn’t make his ground in time to be run out for 4. Pat Cummins, Piyush Chawala and Umesh Yadav collected ducks after their skipper had done that at the start of the innings. Only Tendo stood there and though he ran out of partners, he brought the match to the wire. He struck some heavy blows towards the close of the innings but a couple of dot balls helped CSK as they romped home with a 2-run victory in the end.
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