Chennai beat KKR to stretch lead at the top

VIVO IPL….

Sunil Narine

(IPL) Chennai Super Kings continued its win streak, defeating Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) by five wickets to stretch their lead at the top of the VIVO IPL points table last evening.

After winning the toss and choosing to bowl at the Eden Gardens, MS Dhoni’s bowlers pulled KKR back, restricting them to 161-8 from 20 overs. Chennai then held their nerve to reach the target with two balls to spare.

KKR, who have now lost three matches on the bounce, including both their fixtures against CSK, began their innings in blazing fashion thanks to the return of regular opener Chris Lynn, who top-scored with 82 from 51 balls. Their 50 was brought up soon after the Powerplay, and the 100 came up shortly after the 13th over.

Andre Russell

KKR seemed as if they were setting up for a final flourish, but CSK’s spinners struck at regular intervals and didn’t allow the home side to get away.

Imran Tahir’s four-wicket haul sparked an unlikely collapse for KKR, and an even rarer failure for Andre Russell, whose run of scores over 40 finally came to an end as he perished to Tahir for 10. KKR’s innings failed to get going after Lynn’s wicket, and they could only add 39 runs from their last six overs. After Lynn’s 82, the next highest scorer in the KKR line-up was Nitish Rana with 21, as CSK’s spinners shared five wickets between them.

In reply, CSK’s run chase also followed a similar pattern as the KKR spinners controlled the middle overs, but Suresh Raina’s first half-century of the 2019 VIVO IPL ensured the visitors victory.

Shane Watson and Ambati Rayudu’s single figure scores put pressure on the rest of the batsmen, and none of Faf du Plessis, Kedar Jadhav or Dhoni converted their starts, perishing to the KKR spinners.

Dhoni’s dismissal in the 16th over put pressure on Raina and Jadeja, but with 24 needed off the last two overs, Jadeja thrashed the first three balls of Harry Gurney’s 19th over for boundaries to bring the equation down to a more manageable one. Raina, who remained unbeaten on 58, and Jadeja’s unbeaten 31 ensured CSK finished on the winning side in the last over, although under less dramatic circumstances than against Rajasthan Royals in their previous game.

CSK’s victory over KKR was their first at the Eden Gardens since 2013.

Narine dismissed Dhoni for the first time in the VIVO IPL.

Chris Lynn reached 1000 runs for KKR in the VIVO IPL.

Man of the Match: Imran Tahir, for his figures of 4-27.

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