Sam Billings’ late half-century helped the Chennai Super Kings snatch a five-wicket win against the Kolkata Knight Riders in Chennai on Tuesday.
On the Chennai Super Kings’ return to the MA Chidambaram Stadium, MS Dhoni sent Kolkata Knight Riders in to bat.
Andre Russell silenced the home crowd with an exceptional innings-saving knock after losing their top five for 89 runs.
The Caribbean big-hitter smashed 11 sixes and one four for his 36-ball 88 at a strike rate of 244.44, as KKR posted the first 200-run score of the tournament.
CSK’s three spinners hassled KKR up front, Harbhajan Singh and Ravindra Jadeja removing the visitors’ dangermen Sunil Narine (12) and Chris Lynn (22).
Shane Watson ended as CSK’s best bowler after taking 2-39, which included visiting skipper Dinesh Karthik (26) and Nitish Rana (16).
The CSK bowlers could not match their performance in the first 10 overs, which saw them reduce the visitors to 89-5. KKR capitalised thanks to Russell, who blasted KKR to 202-6.
The home side got off to an incredible start, they raced to 75-0 in the first six overs, but their aggressive approach soon caught up with them when Watson was dismissed after a 19-ball 42. Ambati Rayudu followed shortly after for a 26-ball 39 saw the hosts fumble to 85-2 after 8.3 overs.
CSK managed to get past the 100-run mark, but Suresh Raina’s injury made running impossible as he lost his wicket on 16 while aiming to hit Narine over the ropes.
Needing 100 off 48 balls the home supporters were stunned into silence, but skipper Dhoni got the crowd riled up after a four and six in the middle of the 14th over.
Partnered by Billings, the pair strung together 54 to take the hosts to 155 halfway through the 16th over, but a hush fell over the crowd once again when ‘Captain Cool’ found a bottom edge to the keeper on 25.
After Dhoni’s dismissal, Billings brought the hosts within 19 runs from victory with eight balls remaining, but he lost his scalp to fellow countryman Tom Curran in the 19th over after a 23-ball 56 (2×4, 5×6).
With 17 required from the final over, Dwayne Bravo hit a six, ran two from a free hit and a single. Then after a wide, Jadeja hit a single and Bravo added another to leave Jadeja on strike for the final two deliveries.
Needing four from two balls the spinner smashed a six to seal the game for his side.
Photo by: Faheem Hussain/IPL/SPORTZPICS