Chennai, April 9: Defending champions Chennai Super Kings managed to crack the Andre Russell code as they notched up another clinical performance to beat dominant Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) by 7 wickets at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Tuesday (April 9).
Chasing a low total of 109, Chennai reached home in 17.2 overs with seven wickets in hand and that win propelled them hosts at the top of the table.
MS Dhoni-led CSK, who beat Kings XI Punjab at the same venue rather convincingly, maintained their domination at home by registering their fifth win in the tournament.
Deepak Chahar was awarded a man of the match for his brilliant figures of 3/20 from his four overs and returned as the pick of the bowlers for CSK. Harbhajan Singh (2/15), Imran Tahir (2/21), Ravindra Jadeja (1/17) bowled economically to restrict a star-studded Kolkata batting line-up.
Andre Russell (50 off 44) remained unbeaten and helped his team go past 100, which seemed almost impossible at one stage. None of the KKR batsmen applied themselves well and paid the price of not reading the pitch well. Eight KKR batsmen failed to touch the double figures thanks to a brilliant captaincy by Dhoni as the 37-year-old rotated his bowlers astutely and made superb fielding placements.
When they walked into the middle to chase the below-par total, Chennai didn't feel any pressure for there was hardly any scoreboard pressure to take. Shane Watson (17) and Suresh Raina (14), who started their innings on an aggressive note, failed to capitalise upon the good start as they both were dismissed by Sunil Narine in the powerplay. But Ambati Rayudu and Faf du Plessis - who slammed a fifty in the previous game - kept the scoreboard ticking with ones and twos even as the boundaries dried up after the powerplay.
Rayudu, who came in to bat no. 4, played a slow knock of 21 off 31 deliveries but along with Du Plessis ensured his team do not wobble up in the middle overs. However, the Hyderabad cricketer was dismissed by Piyush Chawla in the 15th over while trying to up the ante.
Later Du Plessis (43* off 45) and Kedar Jadhav (8* off 8) remained unbeaten when a wide ball from Narine went towards the fine-leg boundary and CSK got the winning runs in the form of extras.
These two teams have now faced each other 20 times, CSK won 12 and KKR have tasted win on 7 occasions, while one match ended in no result.
Here's how the match between CSK and KKR panned out:
Deepak Chahar, Man of the Match: (On bowling most of his over in powerplay) I think I knew we are going to play a lot of games at Chennai. So, I worked on my slower ball and yorkers. (On spending time with Dhoni) I spend a lot of time in the dressing room with MS while playing TT and I have got to learn a lot. With Bravo injured, I have got an opportunity to bowl at the death.
MS Dhoni: (On Chennai's love for Dhoni) I have been here for a long time. The crowd loves CSK. It is a special connection and they have adopted me. Losing Bravo, it is slightly difficult for us to get the combination. I don't think we want to be playing on these tracks. It becomes too low scoring. The age is on their side. Bhajji has done well in whatever games he has played. I have fallen back on Tahir and he has done the job. He has confidence in me. He has got a very good flipper. He is someone who if you tell that this is the right pace to bowl on, he does it most of the times. I feel its important not to have the same plans for batters.
Dinesh Karthik: Definitely not enough runs on the board. These are tricky games and you don't know how many runs to set with the dew and everything, but when the game finishes you feel you should gave got 20 more runs, so it's always a catch-22 situation. When you lose four wickets in the powerplay, you are always behind the eight-ball. Then you have to consolidate and probably hope to go well towards the end, but we couldn't do that. But credit to Russell, he showed a lot of maturity and I am pleased with the way he's shaping up. I was happy with the general attitude, I like the way we tried defending a small total, especially the spinners with the wet ball. I don't think it was a lack of concentration from our side with the bat. We have been on the road for three games, but have won two in five days and we shouldn't be too greedy. We've tried hard and as a captain, I am okay with not coming up on top every day. When we return, we need to regroup. Two good teams playing and it should be a good match against Delhi next. My message to the team would be enjoy, forget today, next game is a new game, a new day.
It's all over!! Chennai Super Kings register another comfortable win for MS Dhoni-led side. They prevail over KKR by 7 wickets and top the points table. Faf du Plessis (43*) and Kedar Jadhav (8*) remain unbeaten.
12 leaked by Gurney from that over. 100 comes up for Chennai in that over. CSK - 105/3 after 17 overs. 4 needed from 18 deliveries.
Four! Consecutive fours! Short-pitched delivery from Gurney and Faf du Plessis pulls him towards fine leg boundary.
Four! Free-hit delivery from Gurney and Faf du Plessis hits him over the cover region for a boundary.
8 runs came from that over bowled by Prasidh Krishna. CSK - 93/3 after 16 overs. 16 required from 24.
Four! Kedar Jadhav too opens his account with a boundary. CSK reach 85/2 after 15 overs as they need 24 more runs to win from 30 balls.
Wicket! Not lucky the second time. Rayudu's innings comes to an end for 21. Mistimes Chawla and Nitish Rana takes a simple catch. His struggle with the bat continues in IPL2019.
Dropped! Poor fielding from Prasidh Krishna and Ambati Rayudu gets a breather on 18.
5 runs came from that over bowled by Chawla. CSK - 73/2 after 13 overs.
1,1,1,1,1,0! 5 came from that over bowled by Narine. CSK - 68/2 after 12 overs. They are dealing only in singles. 41 needed from 48 deliveries.
Four! Faf du Plessis pulls the fuller-length delivery from Kuldeep Yadav and guides the ball towards the long-on boundary.
Four! A much-needed boundary from Rayudu. The last one came 42 deliveries before. CSK 57/2 after 10 overs. They need 52 more runs to win from 60 deliveries.
50 up for Chennai with a single on the first ball of that Gurney over.
3 runs came from that over bowled by Kuldeep Yadav. CSK - 49/2 after 9 overs. The spinners are doing well against Chennai batters. Both Rayudu and Du Plessis are spending their time into the middle.
Another tidy over! 3 runs came from that over bowled by Piyush Chawla. Spinners are bowling well on a sluggish track. CSK - 46/2 after 8 overs. They need 63 from 72 deliveries at 5.25 runs per over.
Sluggish track, sluggish over-rates, sluggish cricket.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) April 9, 2019
Tidy over from Kuldeep as he concedes just three from it. CSK - 43/2 after 7 overs. They need 66 from 78 balls.
After 6 overs, CSK reach 40/2. A decent start for Chennai with the bat but they've lost two wickets in the process. KKR would be looking to put the hosts under pressure by picking up a few wickets.
Wicket! Suresh Raina (14) plays a lofted shot off Narine and Piyush Chawla takes a brilliant catch near the boundary. Both the batsmen who dismissed have themselves to be blamed. CSK - 35/2 5 overs.
SIX!! A lofted drive from Suresh Raina and the ball sails into the CSK dugout. Jadeja takes a catch outside the boundary. Raina opens his account in style.
Wicket! Shane Watson (17) pulls the short-pitched delivery from Narine but finds Piyush Chawla at fine-leg. He has to depart. He got a boundary on the previous delivery and looked to hit another, but failed to connect it well and finds the fielder directly. Brilliant field placement from Dinesh Karthik. CSK - 18/1 after 2.2 overs.
Good start from Prasidh Krishna as he concedes just two from it. He kept probing the CSK openers with his line and length. CSK - 14/0 after 2 overs.
Faf du Plessis guides the ball from Prasidh Krishna towards the gully region and opens his account with a single.
Prasidh Krishna bowls the second over for KKR as Faf du Plessis faces his first ball.
SIXX! Shane Watson goes on the backfoot and dispatched Chawla for a maximum over long-on. The ball sailed way back into the stands. CSK - 12/0 after 1 over.
Four! Shane Watson opens his and team's account with a brilliant off-drive off Chawla. It was the first delivery of the innings.
Faf du Plessis and Shane Watson will open the innings for Chennai as they chase 109. Kolkata Knight Riders to start with a spinner. Chawla bowls first over.
Four! A boundary on the final delivery and Russell brings up his fifty off 44 deliveries. 15 runs came from the final over bowled by Kuggeleijn and KKR manage to 108/9 after 20 overs. Overall it was a brilliant effort from Chennai bowlers but Russell's composed knock ensured KKR weren't all out. Harbhajan Singh gave him a reprieve early on.
Four! Russell pulls Kuggeleijn and a misfield near the ropes by Rayudu costs a boundary. He moves on to 46*.
SIX!! Hundred comes up for KKR with a maximum off Andre Russell. It was hit with great power.
19.1! Gurney takes a single, Russell ON STRIKE! 5 balls left.
Just 6 came from the 19th over bowled by Chahar and Russell didn't get to rotate the strike on the final delivery. Gurney will take the strike in the final over. He has a reputation of hitting sixes. #KKR - 93/9 after 19 overs.
SIX!! Russell hits Chahar high in the air but it was connected well and the ball landed just before sightscreen for a maximum.
Deepak Chahar will be bowling the 19th over for CSK. Russell on strike.
8 runs came from that over bowled by Kuggeleijn. #KKR - 87/9 after 18 overs. 12 balls are remaining. Can Andre Russell finish with a flourish??
Four! Russell muscles Kuggeleijn and the ball races towards the long-on boundary. Powerful stroke from the Jamaican.
2 runs came from that over bowled by Ravindra Jadeja. KKR 79/9 after 17 overs. Andre Russell will take the strike in the next over. All hopes with him.
Wicket! Prasidh Krishna also departs for a duck. Harbhajan takes the catch and Jadeja gets a wicket. KKR - 79/9 after 16.3 overs.
A single on the final ball of the spell bowled by Harbhajan. Russell is on strike. KKR - 77/8 after 16 overs. Superb spell from Harbhajan - 4-0-15-2 comes to an end.
Run Out! Kuldeep Yadav (0) sacrifices his wicket for Andre Russell. The set batsman ran towards the crease to take the strike but there wasn't a single for the taking. KKR - 76/8 after 15.4 overs.
Wicket! Piyush Chawla (8) has been stumped by MS Dhoni. Harbhajan Singh bowls it wide, watching the batsman stepping down the ground and Dhoni does the rest with his gloves. Slow stumping from MSD. KKR - 76/7 after 15.3 overs.
Review lost! A desperate appeal from Imran Tahir against Andre Russell. Dhoni - who wasn't convinced - went upstairs. The ball tracking showed the ball was missing the stumps. KKR - 75/6 after 15 overs.
Four! Hammered down the ground. There was hardly Tahir or the fielders could do against the power of Andre Russell.
7 runs came from that over and KKR reach 70/6 after 14 overs.
Four! Andre Russell pulls Kuggeleijn and gets a boundary. DRE RUSS is looking to attack the NZ pacer.
Brilliant work in the deep by Ravindra Jadeja and he converts a maximum from Russell to just 1.
SIX!! Piyush Chawla too joins the party as he hits Imran Tahir for a maximum. He will have to take some risks before Russell settles down and attacks CSK pacers.
Dropped! Russell skies Tahir and Harbhajan Singh failed to catch it. How costly it is going to be for them?
Good comeback by Harbhajan after being hit for a maximum off DRE RUSS. 7 came from it. KKR - 50/6 in 12 overs.
SIX!! First maximum of the night and it came from the bat of DRE RUSS. Harbhajan has been hit for a biggie.
Wicket! MS Dhoni stumps Shubman Gill for 9. Gill failed to read the googly from Imran Tahir and misses the ball. The veteran strikes again and Kolkata Knight Riders are in all sorts of trouble. Superb stumping from MSD. KKR - 47/6 after 10.1 overs.
Wicket keeping is not as easy as dhoni makes it look 👀 . That was a tough stumping done with such ease 🤲 #KKRvCSK— Shreevats goswami (@shreevats1) April 9, 2019
Wicket! Imran Tahir strikes as he gets rid of Dinesh Karthik for 19. KKR skipper looked to slog sweep the spinner but Harbhajan took a brilliant catch at short mid-wicket. KKR - 44/5 after 8.4 overs.
Four! Dinesh Karthik plays Tahir too fine and was lucky that the ball didn't hit the stumps, gets a boundary.
Harbhajan finishes his second over by conceding 4 from it. KKR reach 37/4. Gill and Karthik are looking to rotate the strike and revive their team.
Harsha Bhogle praises Harbhajan.
Wonderful watching the crafty Bhajji bowl. Class doesn't grow old!— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) April 9, 2019
4 runs came from Kuggeleijn's first over. KKR are 33/4 after 7 overs.
At the end of the powerplay, KKR reach 29/4 after 6 overs. Good start from CSK but there is an opportunity for Shubman Gill and local boy Dinesh Karthik to play a good knock.
Four! Brilliant shot from Karthik towards point off Jadeja. Top quality shot from the KKR skipper.
Wicket! Deepak Chahar comes back strongly after being hit for two fours and lures Robin Uthappa (11) to pull him again, but this time Kedar Jadhav was present in the deep to catch him. #KKR - 24/4 after 4.4 overs.
Four, Four! Robin Uthappa hits Deepak Chahar for back-to-back boundaries. Good batting from the senior-pro. KKR - 24/3 after 4.2 overs.
Four! Dinesh Karthik gets an edge and the ball races towards third man boundary off Jadeja. It went fastly down the ground after beating Shane Watson at slip. First boundary for KKR with the bat.
Brilliant over from Chahar has he concedes just 1 (via wide) and picks up the wicket of Nitish Rana. KKR - 9/3 after 3 overs.
Wicket! Nitish Rana too departs for a duck as he tried to pull Deepak Chahar but finds Rayudu at short mid-wicket. Excellent bowling from Chahar. #KKR 9/3 after 2.3 overs.
Wicket! Harbhajan Singh strikes in his first over and gets rid of Sunil Narine (6) cheaply. The batsman mistimed Harbhajan and Deepak Chahar took a good catch at point. KKR - 8/2 after 1.5 overs.
Wicket! Chris Lynn (0) has been trapped in front by Deepak Chahar and the umpire raises his index finger. The pacer has once again struck with the new ball for CSK. KKR - 6/1 after 1 over.
5! Overthrow from Ambati Rayudu and the ball goes towards the boundary.
Deepak Chahar will start with the new ball for Chennai Super Kings. Lynn and Narine are going to be a tough opponent for the pacer.
1st Innings! Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine are going to open the innings for KKR and Chennai Super Kings are stepping into the field.
The dew is going to play a major role here.
So Dhoni chooses to chase. Says dew is the reason. It is a pity that for all the preparation, the analytics, the match-ups, the biggest factor in a game is something players have no control over.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) April 9, 2019
KKR (Playing XI): Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, Robin Uthappa, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik(w/c), Shubman Gill, Andre Russell, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Harry Gurney, Prasidh Krishna.
CSK (Playing XI): Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni(w/c), Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Scott Kuggeleijn, Deepak Chahar, Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir
Dinesh Karthik: We would have bowled first as well due to the dew factor. But now that we're batting first, need to put runs on the board. Yes, the bowlers practise it a lot but it's not easy at all. We're unchanged.
MS Dhoni: We'll bowl first. We're getting consistent dew here over the last few days and so, we want to chase. Not much (regarding belief in player match ups). At the end of the day, you need to focus on your own strengths. If some of our bowlers are doing really well and has a good chance of getting a particular batsman out, we might try. We're playing the same team.
Both the teams are playing unchanged.
Tonight, it is going to be a battle between Chennai's local boy Dinesh Karthik and Chennai's adopted son MS Dhoni.
KKR co-owner and Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan was in Chennai to support his team last year.
Shubman Gill slammed his maiden IPL fifty when the last time these two teams faced each other. KKR came out victorious in that game.