Chennai Super Kings got off to the best of starts, thanks to Shane Watson and Ambati Rayudu
The pre-match affair was a messy one at Chennai, with the crowd putting up a resistant fight over the prevailing tensions in Chennai with the IPL fixture between Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders looming on.
The contest of IPL, just like any other match was a tale of two innings and in particular two tales of two cameos. While it was Andre Russel who sparked off the innings for KKR in the first innings, it was Sam Billings who knocked the ball home for the home side.
While not only this match of IPL went until the death overs, but it was a perfect platform for a comeback game for the home side while the away side had to settle for second best on the night. The toss was delayed by at least 15 minutes, with the game officials failing to reach the stadium within time thanks to the protest outside the ground.
In the return match, MS Dhoni called it right and won the toss as he opted to chase after the first encounter of IPL heroics. A strong KKR side awaited the Super Kings, as they looked to maintain their strong record at their fortress.
A loss to Kedar Jadhav meant that Barcelona had to make two changes with Sam Billings slotting in the middle order for Mark Wood as Shardul Thakur replaced the English pacer. For KKR, fellow Englishman Tom Curran made his IPL debut, as Australia’s Mitchell Johnson saw himself restricted to the bench following the first match .
This IPL match saw a similar pattern for both the sides, as Sunil Narine continued his carnage at the top of the order before he skied one to the fielder. A brief cameo partnership between Chris Lynn and Robin Uthappa saw the away side taking control of the match. However, a false shot from Lynn saw his pegs go down, as Uthappa continued to play alongside skipper Dinesh Karthik.
A middle order collapse ensured that KKR were reeling to reach a respectable total. However, skilful and powerful innings from the West Indian Andre Russel ensured that KKR got over 200 on a batting-friendly track. A knock of 88 runs from just 38 deliveries in this IPL inning ensured that KKR got to 202 for the loss of six wickets in this match.
Chennai Super Kings’ reply:
Unlike KKR, Chennai got off to the best of starts in this IPL match, with Shane Watson and Ambati Rayudu giving Dhoni’s side a blazing start. After missing out on the first two deliveries, Watson got 16 runs from the rest of the over.
Further, it was Rayudu who knocked the leggie Piyush Chawla to all parts of the ground. With 75 runs already added on the scoreboard, Watson tried to flick Curran over the leg-side boundary getting out hitting straight to the fielder.
CSK needed 129 runs in 14 overs in this IPL match, with the deliveries becoming tougher to middle with Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni in the crease. The ask got tougher, with Raina going down injured and eventually skying one straight to the fielder. A slight pick up in pace from MS Dhoni gave Sam Billing the confidence to go all-out.
Billings knocked the ball out of the middle of the bat, with an audacious scoop over the keeper as Russell ran on to bowl another of his delivery. The ending got tougher as Billings hit one straight to Uthappa during the end of the IPL innings of this match with CSK needing 17 runs from the last over.
An experienced Vinay Kumar was handed with the job of defending 17 runs from the final over of this clash, and a beamer ensured that CSK had to get only 10 runs from the over. With 4 runs needed from two deliveries, Jadeja knocked the ball up and above the park to get CSK off to a grinding start in the 2017 IPL with two wins in as many matches.
Kolkata Knight Riders 202/6 after 20 overs (A Russell 88*; S Watson 2/39)
Chennai Super Kings 205/5 after 19.5 overs (S Billings 56, S Watson 42, A Rayudu 39)
Match Result: Chennai Super Kings won by 5 wickets