Despite Andre Russell’s 21-ball fifty, CSK were very much in the ascendancy. Cummins, though, gave CSK an almighty scare, looting 30 off the 16th over bowled by Sam Curran. There were four sixes in the over, three of them off as many balls.
The first one was lofted over long-off, the second over the bowler’s head and the third over extra-cover. The last ball of the over was a slower one, which was dispatched to wide long-on for another maximum. Lungi Ngidi kept CSK ahead, having Kamlesh Nagarkoti (0) caught in the deep off a slower ball.
Meanwhile, Pat Cummins raised his fifty off just 23 balls. Nevertheless, KKR needed 28 off the last two overs with only two wickets in hand to pull off an improbable heist. Cummins managed to whip Curran over square leg for another six. Varun Chakravarthy (0) was run out next ball, though, sacrificing his wicket to keep Cummins on strike.
With 20 runs needed off the last over bowled by Shardul Thakur, all expectations of a nail-biting finish came to naught when last man Prasidh Krishna was run-out first ball, attempting a second which he was never going to make.
The story of the first half of KKR’s innings was totally different, though. CSK pacer Deepak Chahar scythed through the KKR top and middle order, taking 4 for 29 as Eoin Morgan and co floundered in a massive chase of 221. Chahar had earlier claimed a four-for in the tournament against Punjab Kings as well.
KKR got off to a horrible start in their chase, as Shubman Gill perished off the first ball he faced, slashing a short delivery from Chahar straight to deep third man. That kickstarted a procession of wickets. Nitish Rana (9) hit a couple of boundaries off Sam Curran but was caught behind when he miscued one from Chahar straight up in the air.
Meanwhile, KKR captain Eoin Morgan’s horror show with the bat continued as the left-hander nicked an outswinger from Chahar after scoring just 7. The CSK pacer had his second in the over and fourth in the game with some help from Ravindra Jadeja. Sunil Narine (4) smothered one towards extra over, where Jadeja leapt to his right and pulled off a screamer.
Lungi Ngidi joined the fun by having Rahul Tripathi (8) caught behind off a sharp, rising delivery. At 31 for 5, the game seemed dead and buried. But Andre Russell had other ideas, as he brought the match back to life with a scintillating 21-ball fifty.
Immediately after Tripathi’s dismissal, Russell blasted two fours and six to make his intentions clear. Shardul Thakur bore the brunt of Russell’s fury. The CSK pacer was hit for three sixes and a four in the tenth over, which went for 24 runs.
The first six was cracked to the left of deep point, the second flat-batted to the left of deep cover, while the third was smashed over midwicket. The boundary came via an outside edge between MS Dhoni and short third man.
Russell brought up his fifty in style, whacking Jadeja over long-off for yet another six. His joy was short-lived, though, as the big-hitter was undone by CSK’s smart left-arm pacer Sam Curran.
Andre Russell (54) left a back-of-a-length delivery outside leg, expecting the ball to slide down the leg side. Instead, the ball ended up crashing into leg stump, and Russell’s blitz came to an abrupt end in a bizarre fashion.
Dinesh Karthik kept the fight going for KKR, hitting a couple of sixes before he was trapped lbw by Ngidi after making an impressive 24-ball 40. Cummins took over from there, single-handedly keeping KKR in the hunt before he ran out of partners.
Faf du Plessis blasts unbeaten 95 as CSK score 220 for 3
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) opener Faf du Plessis hammered a brilliant 95 not out off 60 balls and featured in a 115-run opening stand with Ruturaj Gaikwad (64 off 42) against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).
Sent into bat by KKR, CSK openers Gaikwad and Du Plessis butchered the bowlers to all parts of the ground in a dominating opening stand. Gaikwad roared back to form, smashing six fours and four sixes in his knock. After Gaikwad's dismissal, Du Plessis carried on batting till the end as KKR’s bowlers got little respite.
Gaikwad swung into big-hitting mode early, spanking Cummins for six over midwicket. Du Plessis joined in by lashing leg-spinner Varun Chakravarthy for a maximum over wide long-off. Neither batsman was troubled by KKR’s bowlers as CSK eased their way to 54 for no loss at the end of the powerplay.
Andre Russell was introduced in the attack in the seventh over, and Gaikwad welcomed him by swatting the medium-pacer over midwicket for another maximum. KKR captain Eoin Morgan kept ringing the changes but without any desired effect.
When Kamlesh Nagarkoti was introduced in the 11th over, Gaikwad went down the track and lofted him over long-on for six. In the same over, he brought up his fourth IPL fifty with a single to long-on. There was more punishment in store for Nagarkoti, as Du Plessis whacked a cutter over mid-off for the second six of the over.
The runs kept flowing for both batsmen as the partnership crossed the 100-run mark.
Chakravarthy provided some relief to KKR, as Gaikwad finally found a fielder, slog-sweeping one to deep midwicket. Moeen Ali came in and did his job again, contributing a quick 25 off 12 before he was stumped off Sunil Narine’s bowling.
MS Dhoni promoted himself to number four and threw his bat around, gathering a quickfire 17 off 8.
At the other end, Du Plessis was in a different zone. He smashed three consecutive fours off Russell in the penultimate over as CSK raced towards 200. In the last over, Du Plessis cracked two sixes off Pat Cummins - the first was directed over long-off and the second clobbered over square leg.
Ravindra Jadeja faced only one ball and got a maximum, as Nitish Rana palmed the ball over the ropes. The fielder's effort provided an indicator of the kind of day it was for KKR.
IPL 2021: KKR vs CSK - Man of the Match
Faf du Plessis played a brilliant knock for CSK with his unbeaten 95. He batted all the way through and was unlucky to miss out on a hundred but did well to lift CSK past 200.
The other CSK opener, Ruturaj Gaikwad, also found form with a sublime half-century. His 115-run stand with Du Plessis set the perfect platform for CSK.
When it was CSK’s turn to bowl, Deepak Chahar blew away the KKR top and middle order with another four-for.
Just when it seemed the match was all one-way traffic, blistering half-centuries from Andre Russell and Pat Cummins kept KKR in the hunt. Russell hammered 54 off 22 balls, hitting six sixes, while Pat Cummins made a sensational 66 not out off 34 deliveries, also scoring six sixes. Their efforts weren't enough to see KKR home, though.
Eventually, it was Faf du Plessis who was named the Man of the Match for his match-winning knock.