CSK edge KKR in last-ball thriller in Abu Dhabi

SUMMARY: Chennai Super Kings 172-8 (Faf du Plessis 43, Ruturaj Gaikwad 40; Sunil Narine 3-41) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 171-6 (Rahul Tripathi 45, Nitish Rana 37*; Shardul Thakur 2/20) by two wickets


Chennai Super Kings (CSK) held their nerves and in a last-ball thriller, edged out the spirited Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Match 38 of the VIVO Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

Needing 172 runs to win, CSK were off to a cracking start as Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis came to the party once again. The CSK opening pair took off from where they had left in the last game and went after the KKR bowling, scoring 52 runs in the powerplay.

Gaikwad then hit a six each in the seventh and ninth over before Andre Russell broke the opening stand, dismissing Gaikwad 40.

Moeen Ali was quick to get off the blocks and hit a four and a six each in the 10th over before du Plessis creamed two fours in the next over as CSK zoomed past hundred.

But du Plessis got out in the 12th over as Lockie Ferguson took a fine catch in the deep off Prasidh Krishna. While Moeen stayed put, Sunil Narine struck to dismiss Ambati Rayudu.

KKR then landed three big blows in the space of two overs as CSK lost Moeen, Suresh Raina and captain MS Dhoni. While Ferguson dismissed Moeen and Raina was run-out, Varun Chakaravarthy let one sneak through Dhoni’s bat and pad to disturb the timber.

Jadeja though turned the game in CSK’s favour as he creamed two sixes and as many fours in the penultimate over bowled by Prasidh Krishna.

While CSK needed just four runs off the last over, Narine kept his calm and took the match to the last ball, conceded just three runs on the first five balls, scalping two wickets – dismissing Sam Curran and Jadeja.

But Deepak Chahar made sure to take CSK across the finish line.

Earlier, KKR, who remained unchanged, elected to bat against CSK, who brought in Sam Curran.

While Shubman Gill survived an LBW decision in the first over, he was run-out in the same over.

Rahul Tripathi, who replaced Gill in the middle, announced his intentions straightway, creaming the second ball he faced for four.

The right-hander enjoyed a stroke of luck even as MS Dhoni took a stunning grab as a Sam Curran delivery was called a no-ball for height. The KKR batsman then hit a six before Venkatesh Iyer creamed two fours in the fifth over.

However, CSK struck in the final over of the powerplay as Shardul Thakur dismissed Iyer and went on to bowl a wicket-maiden.

CSK kept the things tight and got the success as a Faf du Plessis’ boundary-rope special helped the team see the back of KKR skipper Eoin Morgan. Tripathi was the next man to get out after scoring a fine 45 as Ravindra Jadeja disturbed the timber.

Nitish Rana and Andre Russell then hit two sixes and two fours between them in the space of two overs as KKR moved to 118/4 after 15 overs. However, Shardul broke the 36-run stand, dismissing Russell in the 17th over.

Dinesh Karthik then joined Rana in the middle and played a blitz – 26 of 11 – with the help of three fours and a six as the pair added a quickfire 46 runs before Rana, who scored an unbeaten 37, took KKR to 171-6. (IPL)

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