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33rd Match (N), Eden Gardens, April 23, 2023, Indian Premier League

CSK won by 49 runs

Player Of The Match
71* (29)
Cricinfo's MVP
79.96 ptsImpact List

Rahane, Dube and Conway blow KKR away

Roy and Rinku threw a few punches in pursuit of 236 but couldn't prevent CSK from topping the table

Shashank Kishore
Shashank Kishore
Chennai Super Kings 235 for 4 (Rahane 71, Conway 56, Dube 50, Khejroliya 2-44) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 186 for 8 (Roy 61, Rinku 53, Theekshana 2-32, Deshpande 2-44) by 49 runs
For a while, the IPL record for most sixes in an innings (21), which was coincidentally set on this day in 2013, was in danger of being toppled. Chennai Super Kings fell just three short of that mark, but muscled a record first-innings score at Eden Gardens courtesy swashbuckling knocks from Ajinkya Rahane, Shivam Dube and Devon Conway.
Kolkata Knight Riders lost two wickets inside the first three overs and merely played catch up for much of their chase. They eventually stumbled to their fourth successive loss. This meant MS Dhoni's men are now top of the leaderboard with five wins in seven matches, two clear of a logjam that has five teams on eight points apiece.

CSK set the pace

Leading the six-hitting spree was Rahane, who smashed five of them in a 29-ball 71 to take Super Kings through the gears in the middle order, along with Dube.
The raw numbers from their partnership read like this: 85 runs, 32 balls, four fours, eight sixes. This came on the back of another stellar knock from Conway, who hit a fourth straight half-century to set the innings up with Ruturaj Gaikwad.
Their 73-run opening stand in just 7.3 overs was another fine exhibition of timing, power, wrist work and plenty of muscle. KKR's bowlers went with length into the pitch up front when they discovered there wasn't much swing, but it backfired as Conway was superb at picking lengths and hitting them square on both sides.

Suyash's strike offset by sustained aggression

All the elements that make for compelling viewing when a legspinner is on were at play in Suyash Sharma's first over - drift from wide of the crease, flight, rip and turn to beat the inside edge. Gaikwad was stunned. But the relief was quickly offset with Conway skipping down to launch Sunil Narine for a massive six down the ground.
The 100 was up in the 11th over and CSK seemed bullish. Conway eventually perished when he couldn't quite get the elevation off Varun Chakravarthy, but Dube got into the act with two massive hits in the same over. The first of those was a 100-metre hit to deep midwicket when Varun attempted a carrom ball into the pitch. Then, when Varun went full, he was tonked down the ground, over the sight screen.

Rahane takes the attack to Umesh

In the very next over, the 14th, Rahane made it three sixes in a row for CSK when he played a stunning pick-up shot, using Umesh Yadav's pace and letting his wrists take over. It was instinct-driven batting out of the top drawer, free of any shackles that might have been holding him back in previous seasons. He seemed to feed off this role clarity. He was an anchor no more; he was instead unlocking his destroyer avatar.
The over would fetch another six that would be hoisted over fine leg and one of the most gorgeous extra cover drives you could see - feet to the pitch, leaning into the stroke and lacing the ball through the off side.
That was the start of a fascinating passage as Rahane and Dube - another batter who seems empowered to play the game he has long threatened to - had fun and made the bowling attack look pedestrian. Rahane got to his fifty off 24 balls, Dube off 20. The last five overs went for 75 as KKR went into the break a deflated lot.

KKR stumble early

Narine saw his off stump cartwheel in the first over of the chase and N Jagadeesan was out to Ravindra Jadeja's athleticism in the second. Venkatesh Iyer and Nitish Rana then swung hard and connected from time to time, before Moeen Ali and Jadeja struck in consecutive overs. Venkatesh was out lbw sweeping a full ball, Rana dragging a slog sweep to Gaikwad at deep midwicket.

Roy's blitzkrieg

Jason Roy came in at this point, and hardly took time to settle in, going 6, 6, 6 off his second, third and fourth balls - all off Moeen. The first two were powerful slogs to the leg side, and when Moeen fired one full in trying to correct his line, he was reverse-swept behind point. Roy was in the mood to mow the ball down and connected more often than he missed to race away to a 19-ball half-century. By then the equation had touched 109 off 36.

Sri Lankan flavour to finish

Roy continued to hit out. After taking Maheesh Theekshana for two fours to begin the 15th though, he was out off the third ball to a full delivery that dipped and slid underneath his powerful swing. Even after all that magic, KKR's win percentage was less than 1%.
Two overs later, when Theekshana's Sri Lanka team-mate Matheeshan Pathirana sent back Andre Russell, you got the sense that it was game over. And so it was, despite everything Rinku Singh did at the other end to make a half-century of his own.

Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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

Over 20 • KKR 186/8

CSK won by 49 runs
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