CSK face another hiccup in their march towards the playoffs.
Brilliant Gill and Captain’s cameo take KKR home. The U-19 star exhibited his batting talent with a fine fifty, ably supported by Dinesh Karthik’s effective finishing skills as KKR get a much-needed win against an in-form CSK side.
With a target of 178, Chris Lynn played a hit or miss innings as he was dismissed after hitting two sixes. Uthappa failed again with the bat as he mistimed a pull to mid-on. Jadeja dropped Narine twice off consecutive balls and the West Indian all-rounder made full use of it. He kept throwing his bat at everything as KKR made 56 runs for the loss of two wickets at the end of first six overs. Narine’s luck finally came to an end when he got out for 32 off 20 balls. Dhoni tried to tie down young Shubman Gill and Rinku Singh by introducing spin at both ends. Rinku Singh(16 off 18) gave away his wicket trying to slog one out of the park. Shubman Gill put on a match winning partnership with his skipper as the pair made 83 runs to take give their team a much needed two points. The game was in the balance at the end of 14 overs as the equation read, 68 needed off 36. KM Asif’s 15th over went for 21 runs tilting the balance towards KKR’s side. Gill’s composure in the crease was a striking factor along with Karthick’s new found love of finishing games with quickfire runs. Gill and Karthick remained unbeaten on 57 and 45 respectively. Harbhajan had a decent outing with the ball while the rest of the bowlers went for plenty and failed to make any crucial breakthroughs.
Harbhajan Singh rang the customary bell at Eden gardens to get things underway after Dinesh Karthik won the toss and elected to field first.
Faf du Plessis and Shane Watson gave a solid start for Chennai by scoring boundaries at a regular interval. However they failed to rotate the strike often and survived a few run out scares. Mitchell Johnson conceded 19 runs in the 5th over to give the much needed momentum for Chennai. Piyush Chawla foxed Faf du Plessis with a wrong-un to become the second highest wicket taker for Kolkata Knight Riders, with only Sunil Narine ahead of him. Raina looked in imperious touch as he executed an array of good looking shots to perfection. After the powerplay, Chennai had put on 57 on the board and laid the perfect platform to launch themselves. Kolkata pulled things back nicely by picking up the priced wickets of Shane Watson(36 off 25 balls) and Suresh Raina(31 off 26 balls). Ambati Rayudu, the Orange Cap holder, had a very short stay in the crease as he was bowled by Sunil Narine for 21. Dhoni, who currently looks like the Dhoni during his haydays, once again made an useful contribution down the order by scoring 43 off 25 balls including 4 sixes and a solitary four. Jadeja played a silent run-a-ball 12 runs.
KKR’s spin to win mantra once again bailed them out as their three spinners put together conceded only 89 runs off their 12 overs picking up all the five wickets. Narine’s figures (4-0-20-2) looked particularly good while Mitchell Johnson had a forgetful night as he went wicket-less and conceded 51 runs.
CSK cannot takeaway anything except Dhoni’s hitting form. The bowling unit’s weaknesses keep getting exposed as they struggled to pick up early wickets and also contain the run-flow at the death overs. On top of all that, the fielding display doesn’t seem to improve at all and the pressure is too much on the batsmen to score 200 runs in every single match.
What’s next for CSK?
Chennai lock horns with Bangalore this Saturday at Pune. Bangalore’s explosive top order can cause so much damage to Chennai’s weakened bowling attack. It’s going to be CSK’s batting vs RCB’s batting and it’s a must win game for RCB. It promises to be a thriller as one more loss for CSK would press the panic button in the CSK dugout.