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Hogg, Uthappa and Russell topple CSK

Kolkata Knight Riders 169 for 3 (Uthappa 80*, Russell 55*) beat Chennai Super Kings 165 for 9 (McCullum 32, Hogg 4-29) by seven wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

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O'Brien: An unbelievable run chase from KKR

Knight Riders seem virtually unbeatable at home but Chennai showed some good intensity in posting a decent total after losing few early wickets

Brad Hogg was looping the ball up, spinning it both ways and smothering the batsman in his own uncertainty. The result was 14 dot balls, four wickets, and only 29 runs given away. Chennai Super Kings' spinners, despite 165 to defend, were flat - both with their lengths and their intent. Their six overs cost 48 runs and a catch off a long hop and the reason for such figures were Robin Uthappa and Andre Russell, who helped themselves to unbeaten half-centuries and a seven-wicket victory.

That the winning runs were scored with only a ball remaining should not take anything away from Knight Riders' dominance. Batting had not been easy on a slow Eden Gardens pitch that was almost nepotistic towards spin. Given those conditions, and a required rate above eight, Uthappa, with 80 off 58, and Russell, with 55 off 32, were excellent.

Poking around against the turning ball was not an option. Riding it out wasn't one either considering Dhoni's prowess in squeezing a side with his slower bowlers. The best way forward was to deflect the pressure back. The 41 singles that Russell and Uthappa took played into that plan as much as the 15 boundaries they struck.

It was apparent that Knight Riders were fueled by the Chennai defeat and did not want a repeat. Gautam Gambhir had admitted too many batsmen had got stuck two days ago when they could not chase down 134. On Thursday, Russell was pushed up to No.5 to beat the spinners off their lengths and it worked like a charm.

Not that there weren't any chances created. Pawan Negi made a sound first appearance of the season - 1 for 23 and could have had another had Dhoni been able to convert a stumping when Uthappa was on 28. As much of a problem was Ravindra Jadeja at the other end, tricked into bowling quicker and flatter than necessary and leaked 25 off his two overs.

Ideally, Knight Riders would have preferred a smaller target. But Super Kings' ample batting resources allowed them to play like a car without brakes careening downhill. Nine fours, three sixes and 64 runs were found in the first five overs. And then came a Hogg-shaped speed bump. Brendon McCullum, who had bashed his way to 32 off 12, was thrown out of the driver's seat, Faf du Plessis had barely settled in when he was hoodwinked by a googly and Dhoni walked out with the score on 69 for 4 to a slip, silly point, short leg and leg slip.

Hogg was liberal with his googly, often packing three in an over, with the Super Kings batsmen failing to pick them. Dwayne Bravo and Jadeja were among them. But they persevered to add 57 runs off 58 balls to fan hopes of a competitive total. The Kolkata crowd's nerves were stretched further when Negi hammered four fours and a six in a 13-ball 27. But Hogg was around again to restore parity, with a second double-strike in the 19th over.

Man for the occasion

194.02

Andre Russell's strike rate in this IPL - the second-best among batsmen with at least 100 runs this season.

Another landmark

4

Number of openers to score 4000 T20 runs before Gambhir, who becomes the fifth opener to do so after Gayle, Warner, McCullum and Lumb.

The exclusive club

3000+

Runs by Gautam Gambhir in the IPL - he is only the third batsman to 3000 runs after Suresh Raina and Rohit Sharma.

Cummins' worst

54

Runs conceded by Pat Cummins in this match - the most he has conceded in any T20 game.

Rearguard action

2

Number of fifty partnerships by Super Kings for the sixth wicket in the IPL before today. This is only the third.

Brakes applied

64/2

CSK's score in the first-five overs; in the next five they scored only 24 and lost three wickets.

Powerplay stat

69/4

CSK's Powerplays-score - the most any team has scored against KKR and the most wickets CSK have lost in the Powerplay.

Raina's landmark

3500

Runs completed by Suresh Raina in the IPL. He's the first to the milestone, followed by Rohit Sharma with 3147 runs.

Field first, but of course

2012

Last time KKR lost a game fielding first at the Eden Gardens. They have won six consecutive matches fielding first here since then.