Proteas captain Faf du Plessis and leg-spinner Imran Tahir starred in the Chennai Super Kings’ seven-wicket triumph over the Kolkata Knight Riders in Tuesday’s Indian Premier League fixture at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chepauk.
Tahir relished the key dismissals of middle-order batsmen Shubman Gill and Dinesh Karthik en route to telling figures of two for 21 in four overs. He is currently the second-highest wicket-taker in the 2019 tournament, after countryman and Delhi Capitals fast bowler Kagiso Rabada, who has 11.
The Knight Riders were limited to 108 for nine – the fifth-lowest total in this year’s competition. The tally would have read substantially less, too, had West Indian all-rounder Andre Russell not weighed in with a near standalone 50 not out. He relished two reprieves after Chennai’s unsuccessful lbw review and fielder Harbhajan Singh’s dropped catch.
Du Plessis ultimately spearheaded the pursuit, once Australian veteran Shane Watson had provided the initial push. Watson’s brisk cameo paved the way for Du Plessis to craft a patient 43 not out, which ensured victory with 2.4 overs to spare.
The result consolidated Chennai’s lead in the 2019 IPL’s six-team standings, while Kolkata remains in second position. Wednesday will bring an intriguing clash between the Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab at the Wankhede Stadium.
Photo: SPORTZPICS for BCCI | Ron Gaunt