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IPL 2020: Kolkata Knight Riders whistle past the Kings – News

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The Kolkata Knight Riders effected a brilliant jailbreak as the Chennai Super Kings made a hash of a modest chase in the 21st match of the IPL in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday night.

The Knight Riders were tactically on point and the result was a thrilling 10-run victory at the Zayed Cricket Stadium.

Faced with a gettable 168, the Chennai Super Kings seemed to be coasting towards it following opener Shane Watson’s second successive half-century and his 21st IPL fifty. But the three-time champions made heavy weather of the chase to eventually finish up with 157 for the loss of five wickets.

KKR co-owner Shah Rukh Khan and his entourage were in the VIP box yet again and the King of Bollywood couldn’t have been more happier as his team nicked a win from what, at one point, seemed a lost cause.

For the Chennai Super Kings, it was the low after the high. After that comprehensive victory over Kings XI Punjab where they had chased down 178 without losing a wicket, their batting fluffed their lines.

Earlier, Rahul Tripathi was back to where he belongs and the opener struck his fifth IPL half-century to help the Kolkata Knight Riders post 167, a total that was par for the course. But it proved to be just about enough in the end.

Tripathi, who formerly played for the Rajasthan Royals, was promoted to the top and he held the KKR innings together with a 51-ball 81. 

Tripathi, who had made a brisk 16-ball 36 against the Delhi Capitals the other night, while coming lower down the order, hit eight boundaries and three sixes.

But the Knight Riders were tied down by the Chennai Super Kings bowling attack and lost their way in the middle and later segment, managing just 39 in the last five overs, losing six wickets.

Dwayne Bravo celebrated his 37th birthday by snapping up three for 36 to reach 150 wickets in the IPL, while leg spinner Karn Sharma, who was a like for like replacement for Piyush Chawla, Sam Curran and Shardul Thakur took two wickets apiece.

The Kolkata Knight Riders, looking to bounce back from the defeat against the Delhi Capitals at Sharjah, went in with the same playing XI. 

Tripathi, the leading run-scorer for Maharashtra in the 2018-19 season of the Ranji Trophy, was back to his familiar slot of opening the innings, replacing pinch-hitter Sunil Narine at the top and the 29-year-old made full use of the opportunity.

He and opening partner Shubman Gill gave a decent start for the Knight Riders by adding 37 runs before the latter got the faintest of bottom edges while trying to slog Shardul Thakur. And it was a regulation take for MS Dhoni.

Tripathi and Nitish Rana were then involved in a 33-run stand before Karn Sharma got his first victim. Southpaw Rana tried to slog-sweep Sharma but couldn’t quite get a hold of it and Ravindra Jadeja gobbled it at long-on.

The Knight Riders strangely sent Narine ahead of Eoin Morgan and the left-hander struck a boundary and a six in his nine-ball cameo which brought 17 runs. But while trying to attempt another big one, he was caught by a fine relay catch between Jadeja and Faf du Plessis.

Morgan was a bit off-colour on the night with England’s World Cup-winning captain making a scratchy seven off 10 balls before countryman Sam Curran bounced him out. The left-hander struggled for room to one directed onto his body and he gloved it into the safe hands of MSD.

The wheels were coming off for the Knight Riders with dangerman Andre Russell becoming Thakur’s second scalp of the night, with Dhoni taking his third catch of the match. The former India captain also effected a run out.

Tripathi’s knock finally came to an end with him shooting Bravo down Shane Watson’s throat down third man. Bravo then polished off the lower order.

Brief scores:

Kolkata Knight Riders: 167 all out in 20 overs (Rahul Tripathi 81, Pat Cummins 17 not out, Sunil Narine 17, Dwayne Bravo 3-36, Karn Sharma 2-25, Sam Curran 2-26, Shardul Thakur 2-28) beat Chennai Super Kings: 157-5 in 20 overs (Shane Watson 50, Ambati Rayudu 30, Ravindra Jadeja 21 not out, Faf du Plessis 17, Sam Curran 17) by 10 runs.

Teams: 

Kolkata Knight Riders: Shubman Gill, Sunil Narine, Nitish Rana, Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik (C) (wk), Eoin Morgan, Rahul Tripathi, Pat Cummins, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Shivam Mavi, Varun Chakravarthy.

Chennai Super Kings: Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (C) (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Sam Curran, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Karn Sharma.

james@khaleejtimes.com





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