Chennai, April 11: Sam Billings played a little gem as Chennai Super Kings once again pulled off a thrilling chase beating Kolkata Knight Riders by five wickets in an IPL 2018 encounter, here on Tuesday night (April 10).
Chasing a stiff target of 203, CSK won the match with a ball to spare as Ravindra Jadeja deposited military medium stuff from R Vinay Kumar into stands.
The India discard bowled a forgettable final over where CSK needed 17 runs to win. This was after Englishman Billings set it up nicely with a magnificent 56 off 23 balls that five huge sixes apart from a couple of boundaries.
The pressure put by Mahendra Singh Dhoni's slow batting (25 off 28 balls) was neutralised by Billings. Chasing a target of 203 needed a blazing start and veteran Shane Watson was up for a challenge, hitting 42 off 19 balls with three fours and equal number of sixes in a 75-run opening stand with Ambati Rayudu (39 off 26 balls).
Tom Curran making his IPL debut got rid of Watson with a short ball and Rayudu was accounted by Kuldeep Yadav as he tried an inside-out shot.
Suresh Raina (14) sustained a calf muscle injury which hampered his running between the wickets with Sunil Narine sending him back. Dhoni and Billings got the chase back on track with a 54-run stand.
With 17 required in the last over, Ravindra Jadeja and Dwayne Bravo ensured the CSK had a perfect homecoming after a gap of three years. 'Sir Jadeja' had the last laugh as he took his team home with a stunning six and one ball to spare. Impressed with CSK's sensational finish in a massive run chase, cricketers and enthusiasts took to Twitter to laud the Yellow Brigade for a 'Whistle Podu' performance.
Here's how Twitterati reacted to CSK's win:
What a thriller... Well done @ChennaiIPL.. Thanks jaddu 😄😄— Kartik Murali (@kartikmurali) April 10, 2018
Bravo the other night & Billings tonight. Story of CSK’s IPL so far.#CSKvKKR— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) April 10, 2018
CSK CSK CSK what a match... @sambillings you beauty 👊 @ShaneRWatson33 superb job once again with bat an ball @RayuduAmbati hitting the ball sweet... thanks all the fans for coming and cheering in big numbers #yellowarmy #whitslepodu @ChennaiIPL pic.twitter.com/1uncBIV933— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) April 10, 2018
Over 400 runs. Chasing 200 + runs. Last over finish. What more advertisement for cricket and for the IPL. People who witnessed it LIVE have more reasons to remember this match for a long time. @ChennaiIPL on a roll. Amazing victory 👏#CSKvKKR— Hemang Badani (@hemangkbadani) April 10, 2018
Over 400 runs scored & the Chennai crowd deserved it,having waited for almost 3 years. Russell’s hitting was of the highest class but in the end Sam Billings batted wonderfully under pressure and Chennai have now won both games from a difficult situation. Congratulations #CSKvKKR— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) April 10, 2018
What a welcome back to the IPL for Chennai. First Russell’s 11 sixes , then Billings ‘ brilliance and a Chennai victory. Romba Nalla ! #CSKvKKR— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) April 10, 2018
Sam living up to his billings here #CSKvKKR— Gaurav Kalra (@gauravkalra75) April 10, 2018
Must feel for Russell whose extraordinary hitting came to nought. But what a knock by Billings! Then Bravo & Jadeja finishing it in style— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) April 10, 2018