One of Kolkata Knight Riders’ most valued assets is their bowling strength, which worked its magic once again. Spinner Sunil Narine and Piyush Chawla ensured that the wickets kept falling and Chennai Super Kings don’t reach a score over 200. Both players gave away only 89 runs in 12 overs and took five wickets together.
In favorable chasing conditions, KKR cruised home with 14 balls to spare, Shubman Gill’s first fifty of IPL and fast cameos from Dinesh Karthik and Narine. The result meant Sunrisers Hyderabad displace CSK from the number 1 spot.
Batting first in the Eden Gardens, it was difficult to decide the right target on this ground. A score of 190+ could have saved the day for CSK, but it, unfortunately, didn’t happen. Last time, KKR had to score 200 to beat Delhi Daredevils and the dew buildup in the second innings makes it difficult for bowlers to stop runs. That’s what openers Faf du Plessis and Shane Watson had in mind when they began the innings.
Du Plessis managed 27 runs in 15 balls with 4 fours and one six. He was bowled by Piyush Chawla, slogging across the line in an attempt to further increase the scoring rate.
Watson was more careful, picking his deliveries to attack. He managed 36 runs in 24 balls to keep the run-rate going. However, he mistimed a shot and gave his wicket away at the deep midwicket. The duo played 40 balls together and put up 63 runs on the board.
Before this game, Dhoni had found his fluency and form, having scored three unbeaten fifties in eight games this season. Three quick wickets and a risk of losing the batting resources forced Dhoni to retract from the attacking from the beginning.
He scored five runs from his first nine balls. He hit 30 off his next 11 balls, including four sixes. CSK scored 56 runs from the last five overs Dhoni scored 39 of those
With 177 to defend, KKR needed early momentum and Chris Lynn, and Sunil Narine did a great job doing exactly this. Lynn was caught on slip and Jadeja, the best fielders in the game, dropped two consecutive catches to bring CSK under pressure. The fielder was then punched in the midriff with the ball, and he finally got Narine out before dropping another overhead catch.
KKR looked in control when they came out to bat. When the team needed 81 runs off 50 balls, Gill and Karthik did a great job in helping pull the game in their favor. It ended with Karthik throwing the ball across the boundary to bring a great finisher to his team.
It is apparent that the game was a live-wire sporting event with the energetic crowd of Kolkata. The Knight Riders need to continue their momentum to hopefully reach the top of the points table and solidify their position in the knockout round. However, CSK will have to buckle up and win all the matches. It already has an advantage over other teams, excluding Sunrisers Hyderabad and may very well maintain it.