IPL

Chennai crush Kolkata

2014-05-02 21:47
Dwayne Smith (YouTube)

Johannesburg - Opener Brendon McCullum starred with the bat while Ravindra Jadeja did the business with the ball, as the Chennai Super Kings romped to a comfortable 34-run victory in their rain-affected Indian Premier League encounter with the Kolkata Knight Riders at the JCSA International Cricket Stadium in Ranchi on Friday, the supersport.com website reports.

An expectant Ranchi crowd were made to wait for the start of the 2014 competition's first game to be played on Indian soil, as the heavens opened shortly after CSK skipper MS Dhoni won the toss and chose to bat.

A delay of more than 90 minutes saw the game reduced to 17 overs a side, but McCullum smashed five boundaries and two sixes in a vital knock of 56 from just 40 deliveries that propelled his side to a competitive 148 for three.

The visitors struggled to keep pace in reply, and left-arm spinner Jadeja decimated the middle order to finish with incredible figures of four for 12 in his four overs.

Seamer Mohit Sharma (3-0-22-3) also chipped in with three wickets, as Kolkata finished on a dismal 114 for nine.

Only Robin Uthappa (47) and Yusuf Pathan (41) offered significant resistance, as the Knight Riders suffered a third successive defeat to remain in fourth place in the standings.

For the high-flying Super Kings, the emphatic triumph continued their momentum, and they now find themselves level on points with the table-topping Kings XI Punjab having amassed five wins from six.

Earlier McCullum's revered partnership with fellow opener Dwayne Smith (16) produced 20 quick-fire runs before the latter was trapped plumb in front during the third over by Shakib Al Hasan, whose figures of two for 25 in four overs were the pick of the KKR bowlers.

The loss of Smith breathed life into McCullum though, and he led the way in a crucial 49-ball stand of 70 with Suresh Raina, who made his way to 31 before holing out off Al Hasan midway through the 11th over, leaving CSK well placed at 90 for two. Dhoni, who was playing his first IPL game in his hometown of Ranchi, then strode to the crease and was greeted by huge roars from the crowd.

McCullum later blasted his way to fifty with a sensational pull shot for six off Jacques Kallis (1-0-10-0) in the 15th over, and despite his dismissal shortly after, Dhoni and new-man Jadeja sustained the necessary impetus to finish undefeated on 22 and 17 respectively, and leave their side in a strong position.

The Kolkata reply was a poor one from the start, as Gautam Gambhir's miserable run of form continued when he was run out for six in the third over. Kallis (4) was next to go, as he top-edged a sweep into the hands of the fielder on the deep square-leg boundary, and when Jadeja produced a double strike in the sixth over, the Knight Riders were in disarray at 38 for four.

Uthappa had stood tall amid the carnage, and, after Suryakumar Yadav (8) became Jadeja's third victim, he eventually found a modicum of support in Pathan.

But when Uthappa's reverse sweep off the rampant Jadeja lobbed up off the gloves and into the hands of Dhoni, any faint hopes of a Kolkata victory had vanished.

Pathan at least gave his teammates something to smile about, as he belted Australian Ben Hilfenhaus (3-0-23-0) for a trifecta of sixes in the penultimate over, but it was far too little, too late, and he fell in the final over to put the cherry on top of a fifth successive victory for Dhoni's team.

Teams:

Chennai Super Kings: DR Smith, BB McCullum, SK Raina, F du Plessis, MS Dhoni (captain, wciketkeeper), M Manhas, RA Jadeja, R Ashwin, BW Hilfenhaus, IC Pandey, MM Sharma

Kolkata Knight Riders: G Gambhir (captain), JH Kallis, MK Pandey, Shakib Al Hasan, RV Uthappa (wicketkeeper), YK Pathan, SA Yadav, AD Russell, PP Chawla, R Vinay Kumar, SP Narine

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