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61st Match (N), Chennai, May 14, 2023, Indian Premier League
(18.3/20 ov, T:145) 147/4

KKR won by 6 wickets (with 9 balls remaining)

Player Of The Match
54 (43)
Cricinfo's MVP
76.2 ptsImpact List

Rinku Singh, Nitish Rana silence Chepauk and keep Kolkata Knight Riders alive

Narine hits form too, meaning a question mark still hangs over CSK's playoff spot

Kolkata Knight Riders 147 for 4 (Rana 57*, Rinku 54, Chahar 3-27) beat Chennai Super Kings 144 for 6 (Dube 48*, Conway 30, Narine 2-15, Varun 2-36) by six wickets
Kolkata Knight Riders tripped Chennai Super Kings in their last home game of the league season, out-spinning them and out-batting them on a tricky Chepauk pitch to stay in contention for the playoffs. CSK would have become the first team to seal a playoffs spot if they had won; they're still in a good position to go through, but this defeat may have hurt their chances of a top-two finish.
KKR's mystery spinners played a massive role in restricting CSK to 144 for 6, with Varun Chakravarthy continuing his excellent season and Sunil Narine returning to wicket-taking ways after taking just one in his last eight games. KKR were always favourites from there, particularly with dew setting in, but they kept the contest interesting by losing three wickets within the powerplay before Rinku Singh and Nitish Rana put them back on top with a 99-run stand for the fourth wicket.
KKR eventually won with nine balls to spare. They may have hoped for a more comprehensive win, but Rinku and Rana had little choice but to put NRR considerations on the back burner after KKR lost three early wickets.

Varun, Narine dominate after Dhoni chooses to bat

Interviewed at the end of the game, MS Dhoni said CSK would have needed 180 to have any chance of defending a total once dew set in, but there was no way they could have scored 180 in the conditions that prevailed through the first innings.
It was, of course, Dhoni's decision to bat first. Their innings began promisingly enough, with the first two wickets putting on 31 and 30 respectively. Varun ended both partnerships, with his carrom ball turning significantly both times to have Ruturaj Gaikwad and Ajinkya Rahane caught off miscues.
Rahane's wicket sparked a collapse, as CSK slumped from 61 for 1 to 72 for 5, with Shardul Thakur dismissing a scratchy Devon Conway for 30 off 28 balls before Narine struck twice in the 11th over to send back Ambati Rayudu and Moeen Ali.

Dube repairs CSK innings from one end

With the odd ball stopping on the batter or turning sharply, or both, and with not a lot of batting to come, Shivam Dube and Ravindra Jadeja cut out risk-taking and looked to take the innings deep. But while Dube still found the boundary every now and then, Jadeja stagnated; he hit just the one six and no fours while scoring 20 off 24 balls.
Dube, though, ensured CSK passed 140, hitting Suyash Sharma for two sixes, and clearing his front leg to clatter Varun for another in the 18th over. He found a way to score even when Varun bowled his typically strangulating lengths, working the ball between long-on and deep midwicket for a pair of doubles in that 18th over.

Chahar picks up an unusual three-for

At the innings break, it felt as if the result would hinge on how KKR dealt with CSK's spinners. As things happened, though, the powerplay was all-pace, with Deepak Chahar from one end and Tushar Deshpande from the other. Chahar struck in each of his overs, but this was no vintage display of swing bowling: the wickets, instead, came off catches to deep point, short third and short third.

Rinku and Rana bat CSK out of the game

By the time the powerplay was done, Rana and Rinku had already showed signs of rhythm. Rana had whipped Chahar off his hip for six in the fifth over, and Rinku had hit Deshpande for a straight six to end the sixth over.
Spin came on immediately, with Dhoni bringing on his two offspinners against the two left-handers. They began well, conceding just seven runs across the seventh and eighth overs, before Rinku relieved the pressure with a pair of fours off Moeen Ali in the ninth.
Moeen continued to go for runs thereafter, with Rana hitting him for three fours across his third and fourth overs - a reverse-sweep and two inside-out drives. In all, he took 34 off 22 balls against the offspin pair of Moeen and Maheesh Theekshana. It was a demonstration of a well-known fact, that Rana is among the best left-hand batters against offspin in the IPL.
Rinku usually prefers pace onto the bat, but on this day he was excellent against the spinners too, and made sure that he dominated his favourable match-up, hitting Jadeja for two sixes.
It didn't help Super Kings that they put down the one chance they got to break this partnership when it could have still mattered, with Matheesha Pathirana putting Rana down at deep backward square leg when he miscued a sweep off Moeen in the 11th over. Rana was on 18 at that point.
Both batters went on to bring up their fifties before Rinku was run out in the 18th over, attempting to take a tight single that would have brought up the century stand. By then, the contest was all but over, with KKR needing just 13 from 17 balls.

Karthik Krishnaswamy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Win Probability
KKR 100%
100%50%100%CSK InningsKKR Innings

Over 19 • KKR 147/4

KKR won by 6 wickets (with 9 balls remaining)
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