<
>

Knight Riders contrive to lose in small chase

Chennai Super Kings 134 for 6 (Chawla 2-26, Russell 2-26) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 132 for 9 (Uthappa 39, Bravo 3-22, Ashwin 2-5) by 2 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

play3:57
O'Brien: KKR left their charge for too late

Iain O'Brien appreciates that CSK could pull off a tight chase without Ashwin bowling out and feels that KKR lost this as much as CSK won

Kolkata Knight Riders had no business losing this. Having restricted Chennai Super Kings to 134, they were rushing towards the target at 52 for 1 in five overs, but they contrived to play headless shots and the excellent Super Kings fielders were only too happy to oblige. The asking rate had come down to under a run a ball when Super Kings went to spin, but possibly out of that fear of spin and also because of some ordinary batting from Yusuf Pathan and Ryan ten Doeschate, they contrived a defeat. Super Kings have now won nine home matches in a row, and are at the top of the table with a match in hand.

Robin Uthappa was batting like a dream in reaching 39 off 16, fielding was getting a bit rattled with MS Dhoni refusing to go for a catch as the fifth over ended, and now R Ashwin came on to bowl the sixth over. Uthappa looked to dominate, swept the first ball powerfully, and Brendon McCullum took a special catch at short midwicket. Super Kings had been given a lifeline. In Ashwin's next over, Manish Pandey, the man reprieved by Dhoni, went for a slog sweep and found deep midwicket. If they were worried about spin terrors, they had brought them to life by panicked batting with the asking rate comfortable.

Ravindra Jadeja and Suresh Raina then slipped in four overs for 12 runs even before you could realise. What you did realise, though, was Yusuf's staunch refusal to run singles and his lack of manoeuvring against good bowling as he also depicted against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Knight Riders' previous match.

If Knight Riders were bent on destruction, Super Kings were effective without being dramatic. The drama was to follow soon. Mohit Sharma came back in the 13th over with Ashwin injured and off the field, and the under-pressure Suryakumar Yadav mis-hit one towards the 30-yard circle at mid-on with no man stationed there. Faf du Plessis from mid-off and Dwayne Bravo converged. A collision seemed imminent, but du Plessis showed great awareness. He didn't give up the catch, but dived low as Bravo ran in upright. At the last moment Bravo leaned in, dived forward, got one hand - the left - to it, and the ball stuck.

Bravo went off on a celebratory, and Super Kings began to run away with the game. With nine overs without a boundary, the asking rate reached nine an over for the last five overs. Now Dhoni went to Bravo the bowler, who bowled like a spinner on a turning pitch, dealing almost exclusively in cutters. Yusuf wasted no time in playing one on. When he came in, Knight Riders needed 74 off 67. He scored 13 off 18, and left the side 44 to get off 28.

With ten Doeschate too struggling, Knight Riders had one hope: Andre Russell, whose aggressive bowling earlier had kept Super Kings down. Ten Doeschate ran him out, calling him for a second, realising it wasn't on, and then turning back to safety. Bravo's slower balls and Ashish Nehra's yorkers then took Super Kings to victory, with ten Doeschate unbeaten on 38 off 28 - 14 of his runs came off the last three balls with the requirement having reached 17.

Knight Riders will be filthy with themselves after having done excellently with the ball. Super Kings had got off to a streaky start - Dwayne Smith scored 14 off edges in his first 20 - but 38 for 0 in four overs looked menacing. With Sunil Narine - reported again for a suspect action again - missing, Piyush Chawla, Brad Hogg and Russell handcuffed Super Kings in the middle overs. The three conceded only 70 in their 12 overs, and took five wickets too, but as it turned out with some questionable batting from their side, the bowlers needed to do more.

They keep quacking

4

Number of ducks by KKR batsman today, an unprecedented number for them in an IPL game.

Quack Quack

11

Number of IPL ducks for Gautam Gambhir, the joint-most with Harbhajan Singh.

Stable

0

Changes made by CSK to their playing XI in 7 games this IPL. Every other team has made at least 3 changes

Defending Record

6

Number of times CSK have successfully defended a total of 150 or less, the second-most times after KKR (7)

The Tumbling Top

46

Runs for which Chennai lost 5 wickets, going from 42-0 to 88-5.

Golden Oldie

44

Brad Hogg's age, making him the oldest ever player in the IPL going past Rajasthan's Pravin Tambe (43).

Twin Failures

1

Number of times this IPL that both Chennai openers have scored 25 runs or less - today was the first such instance.

Home Advantage

4-2

Chennai's win-loss record against Kolkata at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chepauk.