Knightmare for Kings
CHENNAI: A captain's knock of 63 by Gautam Gambhir and some tidy bowling by Kolkata Knight Riders ensured the visitors a thrilling fivewicket win over defending champions Chennai Super Kings in an IPL match at Chepauk here on Monday.
Kolkata did well to restrict CSK to 139 for 5 and chased down the target with Gambhir being in great form. Full marks to Debrarta Das for playing the final overs smartly.
Chasing 140 for win, Kolkata made a poor start losing Brendon McCullum cheaply.
Gambhir and Jacques Kallis stitched a partnership to steady Kolkata. Gambhir was more attractive of the two. He picked the gaps admirably and also stepped out and drove the spinners to boundaries.
Kallis ensured that Gambhir the man in form gets as much strike as possible.
Kallis made 26 before getting out to Dwayne Bravo. The pair added 70 for the second wicket. In the 15th over of Bravo, Gambhir notched up two boundaries ad brought down the asking rate.
When the equation read 16 off 12 balls, Bravo bowling the 19th over dismissed Gambhir lbw but Yusuf Pathan and Das added 10 runs to get Kolkata closer to the target.
From the final over, Kolkata needed 6 off 6 balls to win.
Ravichandran Ashwin bowling the final over dismissed Yusuf from the third ball. Das struck the next ball to the ropes to seal Kolkata's win.
The crowd was shocked by the defeat, but one man who was happy in the stands was KKR owner Shah Rukh Khan. CSK were outplayed in all departments of the game by KKR.
Earlier, opting to bat, CSK lost a wicket early. In-form Faf du Plessis fell cheaply to Brett Lee, who was bowling around 140 kmph, beat Du Plessis with a quicker one.
The South African went for a slash and the ball took an edge from somewhere off the bat on the way to keeper McCullum. The third umpire was consulted before a decision was arrived.
Mike Hussey and Suresh Raina did the mini rescue act. Raina was in ominious touch carting Lee for a six over long off. Hussey (18) moved his feet well and was sharp in taking singles and twos. He was run out due to a brilliant piece of fielding by Lee.
Raina was involved in another partnership ' this time with Bravo - with both contributing in equal measure.
Raina was positive from the word go. He played 'cricketing' shots as runs flowed from the meat of his blade.
He swept, cut and pulled with panache and the point to be noted is he was in control off his shots. It was a timely return to form for Raina. His flick off Kallis was his best shot because of timing and footwork.
After Bravo holed out while trying to up the run-rate, Raina along with MS Dhoni prospered for a while. Dhoni was finding it difficult to force the pace, but Raina was fluent.
A sudden rush of blood saw Raina (44; 34b) go for a slog as Yusuf made no mistake of the skier with Kallis bagging his second wicket.
Dhoni remained unbeaten on 34 and helped his side post a respecta ble total. CSK made two ch a n ges. Hussey and Yo Mahesh came in place of Nuwan Kulasekara and Wriddhiman Saha respectively.
News Posted: 1 May, 2012
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