IPL 2021, CSK vs KKR: Chennai pulls off a thriller in the final ball as Kolkata's glorious run ends
It was the ultimate thriller as Chennai Super Kings edged past Kolkata Knight Riders by just two wickets in IPL 2021 on Sunday. Consequently, CSK is back in the top spot.
Former champion Chennai Super Kings (CSK) came up with a spirited performance to creep past fellow former champion Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the 2021 Indian Premier League's (IPL) Match 38 at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Sunday. CSK secured a two-wicket win off the final ball, as it has crawled back to the top spot in the points table.
Winning the toss, KKR skipper Eoin Morgan elected to bat first, moving in with the same XI. As for CSK, MS Dhoni brought in Sam Curran for Dwane Bravo.
KKR was off to a fiery but shaky start, losing openers Shubman Gill (9) and Venkatesh Iyer (18) within the Powerplay, at the score of 50. As Morgan walked in, he looked rusty and could contribute just eight before falling to pacer Josh Hazlewood in the tenth over, 20 runs later.
In walked Nitish Rana (37*), while Rahul Tripathi played a blitz of 33-ball 45 before being knocked over by leg-spinner Ravindra Jadeja in the 13th, at 89. It was followed by a 36-run stand between Rana and all-rounder Andre Russell (20) before the latter played it on to pacer Shardul Thakur in the 17th over.
The pitch had started to slow down, but the KKR batters seemed adamant about getting past 170, as Dinesh Karthik played a cameo of 11-ball 26 before departing to Hazlewood in the final over, at 166. At the same time, Rana ensured that KKR finished at a competitive total of 171/6.
CSK utilised five bowlers, with Thakur and Hazlewood gaining the most success. However, it was the former who was also highly economical.
The CSK openers, Ruturaj Gaikwad (40) and Faf du Plessis (43) were off to a fiery start, contributing to a 74-run opening stand before the former fell to pacer Russell in the ninth over. It was 28 runs later when du Plessis departed to pacer Prasidh Krishna in the 12th.
The top-order continued to contribute, while at 119, Ambati Rayudu (10) fell to mystery spinner Sunil Narine in the 15th after being knocked over. However, just 19 runs later, Moeen Ali (32) departed to pacer Lockie Ferguson in the 17th over.
Hereon, CSK lost some quick wickets in the form of Suresh Raina (11) and MS Dhoni (1) by the 18th, while all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja plundered 22 runs in the 19th over to Krishna. As the equation came down to four off six, Narine got rid of Sam Curran (4) and Jadeja (22), while Deepak Chahar hit the winning run off the final ball to seal the win by two wickets and reclaim the top spot.
For KKR, six bowlers were put into the attack, with Narine earning the most success. In the meantime, Iyer nailed it with his economy.
Brief scores: KKR 171/6 (Tripathi- 45, Rana- 47*; Thakur- 2/20) lost to CSK 172/8 (Gaikwad- 40, de Plessis- 43, Moeen- 32; Narine- 3/41) by 2 wickets.