Kolkata, April 14: Imran Tahir's four-wicket haul preceded a classy fifty from Suresh Raina as the Chennai Super Kings defeated the Kolkata Knight Riders in a top-of-the-table Indian Premier League clash.
Veteran spinner Tahir returned his best IPL figures of 4-27 as the Knight Riders were limited to 161-8 at Eden Gardens.
The recalled Chris Lynn made 82 of those for KKR but the supporting cast failed to supplement his efforts as the home side left an attainable target.
Sunil Narine (2-19) and Piyush Chawla (2-32) did their bit to restrict high-flying Chennai and the loss of MS Dhoni in the 15th over left the visitors 121-5 with 26 balls remaining.
Raina - who was unbeaten on 58 - remained a composed figure, though, and his sixth-wicket partnership with Ravindra Jadeja proved crucial for table-topping CSK, who have lost just once in eight matches.
'Lynnsanity' in full swing
Lynn played like a man with a point to prove after being dropped for the defeat to the Delhi Capitals last time out.
The big-hitting Australian smacked six sixes and seven fours in an electric 51-ball knock, which looked like it would take KKR towards the 180 mark.
Unfortunately, no one was really in the mood to stick around with him and Tahir had plenty of reason to celebrate…
Terrific Tahir tears through KKR
Tahir had already made Nitish Rana (21) hole out to Faf du Plessis by the time the same combination sent Robin Uthappa packing for a duck, with the South African pouching a rip-roaring catch on the run from long-off.
But it was Tahir's dismissal of the dangerous Lynn – ending a 42-run stand with Dinesh Karthik – in the 15th over that was pivotal, the opener swinging one to Shardul Thakur in the deep.
Andre Russell smacked Tahir over long-on in the same over. But from the next ball, the West Indian dangerman put a shorter one into the hands of substitute fielder Dhruv Shorey, much to the delight of the bowler.
For his stupendous bowling figures of 4/27, Imran Tahir is adjudged the Man of the Match at Eden Gardens 🤝🤝 pic.twitter.com/mkPeFQUq7a— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) April 14, 2019
Raina steers CSK home
It was not always a textbook chase for Chennai as a steady flow of wickets kept KKR in the hunt.
Raina and Dhoni put on 40 for the fifth wicket until the latter, fined for entering the field after a no-ball controversy against Rajasthan Royals last time out, was trapped leg before by Narine.
But Raina, whose 42-ball knock included seven fours and a maximum, was kept company by Jadeja (31) as the duo put on 41 to seal the victory with two balls to spare.