Chennai Super Kings registered a thumping 34-run win over Kolkata Knight Riders in Ranchi. The Men in Yellow posted 148 for three – thanks to Brendon McCullum’s 56 – and then restricted KKR to 114 for nine in their rain-affected encounter. Ravindra Jadeja (4-0-12-4) and Mohit Sharma (3-0-22-3) played a crucial role in handing CSK a comprehensive victory.
Earlier, MS Dhoni won the toss and chose to bat first at his home ground. However, there was a delayed start to the game due to rain and the contest was reduced to 17 overs a side. As usual, Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum opened the batting for CSK. And after playing a few big shots, including a maximum, Smith (16) was trapped leg-before by Shakib Al Hasan in the third over. Suresh Raina then walked in, and along with McCullum took their team’s score past the 50-run mark. As the partnership blossomed, both batsmen freed their arms and took the attack to the KKR bowlers, and after 10 overs, the scorecard read 85 for one.
However, Suresh Raina (31) departed soon after; he became Shakib’s second victim. But McCullum (56) continued to be severe on the KKR bowlers and brought up the team 100 in the 12th over. He even brought up his half-century thereafter. Andre Russell finally dismissed him in the 15th over. But some late hitting by Dhoni (22*) and Ravindra Jadeja (17*) took CSK to 148 for three at the end of their 17-over quota.
In response, KKR opened with Robin Uthappa and Gautam Gambhir (6). But the latter got out early yet again; he was run-out in the second over itself with the scorecard reading 18 for one. Uthappa, however, took charge of the innings. He promptly belted any loose deliveries to, and even over, the fence. However, he did not receive much support at the other end as Jacques Kallis (4) got out off the bowling of R Ashwin in the fifth over. And then, Jadeja claimed two wickets in two balls to peg KKR on the back foot; the left-arm spinner first got rid of Manish Pandey (1) and then dismissed Shakib Al Hasan (0) for a golden duck. Thanks to this double-blow, KKR were reduced to 39 for four after six overs.
Uthappa and Suryakumar Yadav (8) then added 27 for the fifth wicket. But Jadeja trapped the Yadav leg-before in his second over. Jadeja even managed to break Uthappa’s (47) resistance, leaving KKR on 88 for six in 13.4 overs. And three runs later, Mohit Sharma cleaned up Andre Russell (1). Meanwhile, Yusuf Pathan was firing on all cylinders at long last. He struck four massive sixes during his 29-ball knock. However, it was too little, too late for KKR as the required run-rate was all but insurmountable. They lost Piyush Chawla (1) and Pathan (39) off back-to-back deliveries by Mohit Sharma in the last over of their innings and ended up with 114 for nine.
In the process, Mohit Sharma picked up his 11th wicket of the tournament and became the reigning Purple Cap holder.
Man of the Match: Ravindra Jadeja for his all-round impact on the game