The Indian Premier League 2021 happens to be the 14th edition of the fruitful Twenty20 league, currently being played in India. Kolkata Knight Riders is a former two-time champion, last winning in 2012. Chennai Super Kings has won the IPL on three occasions before.
Former champion Chennai Super Kings came up with an exquisite show to trump Kolkata Knight Riders by 18 runs in Match 15 of the 2021 Indian Premier League at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Wednesday. While Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis played splendid twin innings with the bat, pacer Deepak Chahar's four-for floored KKR to quite an extent before the latter made a swift recovery to nearly outclass CSK.
Winning the toss, KKR skipper Eoin Morgan elected to bowl and made a couple of changes, bringing in pacer Kamlesh Nagarkoti and mystery spinner Sunil Narine. As for CSK, skipper MS Dhoni brought in pacer Lungi Ngidi for all-rounder Dwayne Bravo.
The CSK openers were off to a superb start, contributing 115 runs and maintaining nearly a run rate of ten runs per over. As Gaikwad and du Plessis bright up the 100 runs for the side in just over ten overs, the former scored his fourth IPL half-century in the process.
Nevertheless, in the 13th over, Gaikwad's swift innings came to an end after spinner Varun Chakravarthy made him caught by Pat Cummins. As all-rounder Moeen Ali joined du Plessis in the middle, the latter continued to go after the bowlers, as he too brought up his 17th IPL 50 during this phase.
Meanwhile, in the 17th, Moeen was stumped for 25 by Narine, bringing an end to the 50-run stand for the second wicket. As Dhoni joined du Plessis, the duo contributed 36 more before the former departed for 17 to pacer Andre Russell after being radiantly caught by Morgan at extra cover, at 201, in the 19th over.
Nonetheless, du Plessis and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja plundered 19 runs in the final over Pat Cummins. As CSK finished on 220/3, du Plessis remained unbeaten on 95.
For KKR, six bowlers were pressed into the attack. While three of them attained success, Chakravarthy was the most economical of all.
As KKR came out for the chase, it was nothing more than a horror start. It lost half of its side within the powerplay itself, as the score read 45/4 at the end of the same. All the batsmen during this phase were dismissed in single figures, with Rahul Tripathi being the top scorer of eight.
Meanwhile, as Dinesh Karthik and Russell took charge, out came an 81-run stand for the sixth wicket out of nowhere. The latter also scored his ninth IPL half-century, coming in just 22 deliveries before departing for 54 to pacer Sam Curran, who cleaned him up in the 12th over.
Having maintained the run rate, KKR still had a chance, as Karthik managed to score 40 before being trapped leg-before by Ngidi in the 15th over. Cummins then decided to put on a show, while 30 runs later, Kamlesh Nagarkoti departed for an unfortunate duck as the former continued his performance, slamming Curran for 30 in the 16th over.
In the process, Cummins also scored his second IPL 50. However, as he ran short of partners at the other end, the job was done for CSK and won by 18 runs.
As for CSK, it utilised just five bowlers, with Chahar being the most successful. Meanwhile, Ngidi had the second-most success, besides being the most economical one.
Brief scores: CSK 220/3 (Gaikwad- 64, du Plessis- 95; Russell- 1/27) defeats KKR 202 in 19.1 overs (Karthik- 40, Russell- 54, Cummins- 66*; Chahar- 4/29, Ngidi- 3/28) by 18 runs.
Last Updated Apr 21, 2021, 11:38 PM IST