IPL

Knight Riders crush CSK

2014-05-20 20:30
Kolkata - Robin Uthappa and Shakib Al Hasan have batted superbly to guide the Kolkata Knight Riders to an eight-wicket victory, with 12 balls to spare, over the Chennai Super Kings in an Indian Premier League clash at Eden Gardens on Tuesday.

The supersport.com website reports that, chasing a target of 153 runs in 20 overs, Kolkata cantered to 156 for two with two full overs remaining after Chennai, who were sent into bat first, scored 154 for four thanks mainly to Suresh Raina (65).

But the day belonged to Uthappa and Shakib Al Hasan who demolished the Super Kings’ bowling attack. Uthappa gave the hosts the perfect start, smashing 10 boundaries and one six in his innings of 67 off just 39 balls.

Uthappa used his fortune to great effect as he was given a life by Ravichandran Ashwin with his score on six. Ben Hilfenhaus (0-38) found the outside edge of Uthappa’s bat and the ball flew to Ashwin in the slip cordon. Ashwin was unable to hold onto a simple catch, which ultimately cost his side dearly.

Shakib Al Hasan continued from where Uthappa left off after the right-handed opener was caught at long-off by Faf du Plessis from the bowling of Ravindra Jadeja (1-23), striking six boundaries and two maximums in an undefeated 21-ball knock of 46.

Uthappa and Gautam Gambhir launched the chase in perfect fashion, adding 64 runs for the first wicket off just 44 deliveries before the veteran left-handed Gambhir edged a ball from Ishwar Pandey (1-31) onto his stumps.

The breakthrough did not quell the fire in the Knight Riders’ belly as Uthappa and Manish Pandey (18 not out) added 34 for the second wicket before Uthappa fell. Shakib Al Hasan saw to it that they would gather as much profit in terms of net run rate that they could get as he orchestrated an undefeated third-wicket partnership of 58 off 38 balls to take his side home.

Only Aswhin held his head high on the bowling front, returning figures of 4-0-24-0, despite dropping Uthappa in the first over.

Earlier, Raina scored his second consecutive half century when he struck three boundaries and five maximums in a 52-ball knock of 67.

Raina found support in Du Plessis (28) as the pair shared in a third-wicket partnership of 62 from only 37 deliveries. Du Plessis was the perfect foil for Raina, rotating the strike easily which allowed Raina the freedom to extend his arms.

Raina and Brendon McCullum (28) had posted a second-wicket stand of 55 off 56 balls, although th pair had reached the 50-run mark off only 46 balls but Shakib Al Hasan (0-30) and Umesh Yadav (0-30) restricted the pair after the Power-Play overs.

Jadeja (nine not out) and MS Dhoni (22 not out) produced a late flurry as the pair posted 26 runs from the final 16 deliveries, but ultimately, it was not enough.

Pat Cummins (1-29) made the early breakthrough for the hosts, removing the in-form Dwayne Smith (five) in the second over and could have had more economical figures had McCullum not despatched him for 16 through two sixes and a four.

Sunil Narine was his ever-present miserly self, conceding just 24 runs in his four overs along with the wicket of McCullum.

Kolkata remain fourth on the table behind the Rajasthan Royals on net run rate after the victory. Both sides are now just two points behind the Super Kings with two games left in the group stage.

Despite the loss, Chennai are secure in the knowledge that they have qualified for the play-offs by virtue of the Royal Challengers Bangalore’s defeat to the Sunrisers Hyderabad earlier on Tuesday.

Teams:

Kolkata Knight Riders: RV Uthappa (wicketkeeper), G Gambhir (captain), MK Pandey, YK Pathan, Shakib Al Hasan, RN ten Doeschate, SA Yadav, PP Chawla, PJ Cummins, UT Yadav, SP Narine

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

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