Pursuing 168, the Chennai side slips up from 99 for one; Rahul Tripathi’s 51-ball 81 sets up the Kolkata team’s 10-run win
Chennai Super Kings squandered a good start and stumbled in its chase, losing to Kolkata Knight Riders by 10 runs at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
Chasing 168 for victory, CSK was 90 for one at the end of 10 overs before KKR fought back strongly, led by Sunil Narine, to record its third win of the season.
Shane Watson continued his good run from the previous match, scoring 50 (40b, 6×4, 1×6) as he set a good platform with Ambati Rayudu (30).
But once the two were dismissed in quick succession, first Rayudu followed by Watson — leg-before to Narine — the game slipped away.
The West Indian spinner was ably supported by Kamlesh Nagarkoti, C.V. Varun and Andre Russell, all of whom chipped in with crucial wickets.
The CSK middle-order looked out of sorts, as M.S. Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav and Sam Curran struggled to get the remaining runs.
It was a puzzling decision by the team management to send an out-of-form Jadhav (7 n.o., 12b, 1×4) ahead of powerful hitters such as Dwayne Bravo and Ravindra Jadeja.
Boundaries dry up
CSK could not strike any boundaries between the 11th and 15th overs, scoring only 20 runs.
Earlier, Rahul Tripathi justified his promotion to the top of the order by smashing a 51-ball 81 (8×4, 3×6) and guiding KKR to a respectable score of 167.
Led by leg-spinner Karn Sharma’s brilliant spell (4-0-25-2) in the middle overs, CSK came back strongly. Karn, who replaced Piyush Chawla, was playing his first match of the season.
In top gear
Tripathi, who shot into the limelight in the 2017 IPL as an opener for Rising Pune Supergiant, made full use of the opportunity to go after the bowling in the PowerPlay.
After being hit for a six by Tripathi in his opening over, Karn made a grand comeback. He varied his length and pace cleverly and did not concede another boundary in his spell.
Pulling things back
The Kolkata side, at 93 for two after 10 overs, was well placed for a strong finish. But CSK medium-pacers Shardul Thakur (two for 28), Curran (two for 26) and Bravo (three for 37) ensured that KKR’s momentum was arrested.
In the end, however, KKR had enough runs on the board to hand CSK its fourth defeat of the season.