Opting to bat first, KKR were troubled initially by the CSK bowlers before a partnership between Eoin Morgan and Nitish Rana rekindled their hopes of putting a big score, eventually scoring 169. However, in the evening, that was not enough as Dhoni - Jadhav gave the finishing touch to the encounter.
The home side started the fixture on the wrong foot, losing both their openers in the span of the first two overs in the innings, with the score reading just nine. However, post the early debacle, English skipper Eoin Morgan and southpaw Nitish Rana combined for a steady-paced partnership of 125 runs to give a new life to the hosts’ batting order before Rana was dismissed by Imran Tahir. However, his partner, Morgan ended up playing throughout the innings, scoring 66 while getting support from both Dinesh Karthik and Andre Russell to finish the innings on a high, taking the score to 169.
In reply, CSK’s start was slow yet steady at the same time, as the openers - Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis scored 45 runs for the first wicket. However, after that, partnerships were tough to find for the visitors, as they lost wickets in a heap before putting themselves under the pump. Despite the futile attempt from Suresh Raina and Ambati Rayudu, it required MS Dhoni and Kedhar Jadhav to do the remarkable towards the end. Needing 60 runs off the last over, the 38-year-old’s muscle power alongside his experience was enough to take the Super Kings home.
MS Dhoni’s knock was the difference between a win and loss for CSK, with a 15-ball cameo enough to seal the deal for the Men in Yellow. When he walked out to bat, the visitors still needed 60 runs off the last five overs to pull off a heist against KKR’s strong bowling unit. The 19th over, in particular, where Dhoni cleared the boundary with ease was the turning point in the encounter.
Highs and Lows
Despite the stunning partnership between Eoin Morgan and Nitish Rana, the ultimate high of the game will have to go in Dhoni’s favour, thanks to his knock. It not only changed the mood of the encounter but also his show ensured that the game was a nail-biter, scoring 42 runs off just 15 deliveries, where he scored three boundaries and cleared the boundary four times. After a string of failure in the previous set of games, the former Indian skipper was back at his best with this innings.
The 15.5 crores Australian figure was the most disappointing performer in this particular fixture, conceding 37 runs off his four overs. On top of that, he went missing right when the team needed him to perform, coming away from the game without any wicket. Cummins, in short, was the only bowler apart from Siddesh Lad to end up with no wickets in the W column.
Powerplay exploitation: KKR 6/10 and CSK 5/10
The Knight Riders quite weren’t ready for the contest against the Chennai Super Kings, with a wicket off the very first over. Once Sunil Narine walked back to the dressing room, his opening partner did not wait too long before joining him in the dugout. At 9/2, the home side found themselves in a peculiar situation before Nitish Rana and Eoin Morgan dug them out of trouble in the latter half of the six-over stage. Just before the curtains were drawn, Rana smashed Chahar out of the ground, scoring 22 runs as KKR got to 54/2 after the powerplay.
On the other hand, the Men in Yellow were right there in terms of the required rate, starting the innings in the best way possible, without losing any wicket. While their start was on a slow note, scoring just 13 after the first 12 deliveries, they picked up the pace needed in the big run chase as Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis continued their dominance. At one end, the South African batsman played it slow, from the other there was Watson who was punishing all the bad deliveries. Together, they scored 44 runs in the first 6-over phase of the innings.
Middle-overs manoeuvring: KKR 7/10 and CSK 3/10
From 54/2, the two batsmen at the crease were bent on to putting up a big total on board for the hosts, with their partnership becoming stronger and stronger every over. After tackling the first two overs post the powerplay phase, they put on a show, scoring steadily every over. In the 30 delivers post the powerplay, they scored 24 runs before finishing on a high in the next 30. Both Rana and Morgan ensured that they were ready for the task, adding another 41 runs in the phase before the death overs kicked in as they reached 119/2.
Just after the powerplay was done and dusted, the South African batsman walked back to the dressing room without troubling the scorers. However, a partnership between Watson and Suresh Raina ensured that they were battling the target out of the park. As the asking rate started increasing towards the 10-an-over mark, Watson and Raina walked back to the dressing room leaving Ambati Rayudu and MS Dhoni a lot to do towards the end. 66 runs were what they could score in the 10 over phase leading to the final part of the innings.
Death bowling: KKR 2/10 and CSK 6/10
With the exception of the last over, where Shardul Thakur conceded 16 runs, CSK bowlers had done a good job in the death overs. KKR still had eight wickets left in the kitty going into the last phase of the innings, having scored 119 runs in the first 15 overs. Morgan ended unbeaten on the score of 66, as the home side put up 169 runs on board, losing four wickets throughout the innings.
We officially entered the MS Dhoni phase of the fixture, where the result was just going to be one way, despite KKR having a star-studded bowling unit in the IPL SRL. Once Raina was dismissed, the onus was on the 38-year-old to put the finishing touches to the game. The Super Kings scored 65 runs in the last five overs, with their skipper Dhoni scoring 42 runs off just 15 deliveries to seal the fate.
Match Frenzy O Meter - Intense
This match sparked the interest in one and all on the ongoing SRL season of the IPL, with MS Dhoni pulling off one of his kind run-chase. The game had everything, starting from wickets for the bowlers to plenty of runs for the batsmen. On top of all of this, Dhoni’s finishing touches were enough to give the game a good rating.
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