A poor exhibition of batting from the Chennai Super Kings middle order proved to be their undoing as the Kolkata Knight Riders rode on some smart bowling and top leadership to win the 21st match of IPL 2020 by 10 runs.
Set a target of 168 to get from 20 overs, CSK got off to a good start but completely lost the plot midway, losing back to back wickets and playing out too many dot balls that shifted the momentum completely in KKR's favour.
As for the start of the chase, Shane Watson picked up from where he left off last night, scoring at will and dispatching the bad balls with ease. CSK did have an early stumble during their 168-run chase though, with Faf du Plessis nicking a ball to Dinesh Karthik in the 4th over.
Watson and Ambrati Rayudu played the field and collected boundaries easily, with the duo putting on a 69-run stand before the latter was removed by young Kamlesh Nagarkoti on the first ball of the 13th over.
The burly Australian opener was dismissed six balls later for a 40-ball 50 and suddenly, CSK had two new men at the crease in the form of skipper MS Dhoni and Englishman Sam Curran.
The duo put on 28 runs and seemed to set the platform for a big finish, before the CSK skipper was castled by Varun Chakravarthy on the third ball of the 16th over. Curran was undone by a bouncer from Andre Russell, and from then on, Kedar Jadhav's poor batting proved to be CSK's undoing.
Earlier, there was a change in personnel at the top of the order for KKR, with Rahul Tripathi partnering Shubman Gill for the first time in IPL 2020. The move paid rich dividends, with Tripathi managing to find boundaries at ease in the powerplay, as the KKR scorecard read 52/1 at the end of six overs.
However, post the powerplay, the Knight Riders kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Nitish Rana (9) and Eoin Morgan (7) fell cheaply, while Sunil Narine's cameo (9-ball 17) lasted for less than two overs to make a big impact.
Morgan's dismissal on the final delivery of the 14th over brought out Jamaican power-hitter Andre Russell, but the West Indian lasted a mere four balls and edged a short of length delivery from Shardul Thakur to MS Dhoni in the 16th over.
Although Dinesh Karthik (11-ball 12) and Pat Cummins (9-ball 17*) did chip in with a few runs, KKR folded for 167 on the last ball of the 20th over, with Tripathi's 51-ball 81 the only highlight from their batting display.
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