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IPL 2021: CSK Hold Nerves in Stunning Fightback From KKR

Chennai Super Kings 220 for 3 (du Plessis 95, Gaikwad 64) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 202 (Cummins 66*, Russell 54, Chahar 4-29, Ngidi 3-28) by 18 runs

Setting up a daunting target of 221 and having the opposition down at 31 for 5, who would think the match could go the last over? KKR just fell 18 runs short of pulling off a miracle against CSK at Wankhede on Wednesday.

Majestic hitting from Dinesh Karthik (40), Andre Russell (54) and Pat Cummins (66*) made sure KKR remained in the game till the end but, it was MS Dhoni & Co. who had the last laugh.

Here are some talking points of the game

CSK Batting has found its Mojo Back

Two 180+ scores in two back to back games, Chennai has been doing very good in the batting department and that speaks about their depth. From Top order to the middle to the lower, everybody is chipping in when the team needs.

Having scores of 5, 5 and 10 in the first three games, Ruturaj Gaikwad still had his captain’s backing, a rare case considering the pressure and senior player waiting in the cue. Gaikwad started off well with Faf Du Plessis and added up 54 runs in the first 6 overs. Showing his elegance to the opposition, Ruturaj scored his first fifty of the tour in just 33 deliveries including 5 fours three sixes.

Ruturaj and Du Plessis carried on the good start and added 100 runs in just 68 balls for CSK. Ruturaj fell to Varun Chakravarthy on 64 in 13th over while trying a slog sweep. CSK didn’t lose the momentum even for a single over as Faf was joined by in-form Moeen Ali. Moeen struck back to back boundaries to Narine before getting out stumped. They added 50-runs for just 24 balls.

With just three overs to go, Dhoni joined Faf in the middle. The CSK juggernaut didn’t stop at all. Faf was like poetry in motion in the middle. Milking every ball in the direction he wanted. He was striking the ball flawlessly. His 95 off 60 balls took CSK to a respectable total, 220 runs.

Fight back from Russell, Karthik and Pat Cummins

Deepak Chahar (4/29) yet again ran through the KKR’s top order and left them stranded with 190 runs to score with 5 wickets in hand. Nitish Rana (9), Shubman Gill (0), Rahul Tripathi (8), Eoin Morgan (7) and Sunil Narine (4) all failed to score even a single double-digit score in a daunting chase. KKR were almost hopeless before Russell reached to rescue.

Dinesh Karthik and Andre Russell tried to steady the sinking ship with a solid 81 runs partnership off just 36 balls. Russell took 24 runs off Shardul Thakur’s first over. He struck a 21 ball fifty. Dre Russ was set and ready to take the game deeper but, unfortunately, luck ran out of him. He was bowled by Sam Curran from the leg side hoping it would go down to the leg. Russell was disappointed so, does the KKR Fans.

Dinesh Karthik took over from where Russell left. With no batting to come, Karthik took his chances and added 34 runs in 3 overs with Cummins. Ngidi trapped Karthik LBW and left KKR with 75 runs needed from 30 balls. At this stage, CSK was cruising to a big victory but Pat Cummins had his own plans. In 16th over, Cummins hit Sam Curran for 30 runs including 4 sixes and a four. The equation came down to 45 off 24, very much gettable at Wankhede.

Pat Cummins scored a 23-ball-fifty and kept the KKR in the game until CSK found a way to run out his partner in the last over.

Eoin Morgan and Shubman Gill need to show more intent

KKR captain, Eoin Morgan has a great reputation as a big hitter in T20 cricket in the middle order around the world but, he’s yet to put on a show for KKR in the last four games. His scores read 2 (vs SRH), 7 (vs MI), 29 (vs RCB), and 7 (vs CSK). Eoin Morgan has close to 7000 T20 runs and a healthy strike rate of 132+. His record speaks for himself but, he has to up his game for KKR to make an impact in the IPL 2021.

Shubman Gill, the young sensation has been struggling to convert the starts into big innings. Opening along with Rana, Gill plays an anchor role while the other plays aggressor. So far, Gill has scored only 69 runs from 4 games he played. Given a player of his reputation, the number doesn’t do justice to the talent he possesses. Gill should step up his game and show some consistency as going forward the completion will only get tougher.

Questions To Be Answered

Shall KKR keep rotating between Kamlesh Nagatkoti or Shivam Mavi? Record says Shivam Mavi has been more effective in death as well as in early overs in the previous edition for KKR.

Records Broken 1. Pat Cummins hit Sam Curran for 30 runs in an over. 2. Dinesh Karthik has hit 600 fours in T20s


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