On their way to a narrow 10-run win over three-time champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) — thanks to Rahul Tripathi’s 51-ball 81 — Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) did something unusual on Wednesday. They won the toss and elected to bat for the first time since 2015 IPL, after 69 matches.
The momentum gained with the decision at the toss ultimately took them to a win, and the third place on the points table (6 points from 5 matches).
Tripathi slammed eight fours and three maximums at Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium, until Bravo came in and finally dismissed Tripathi in the 17th over with the help of Shane Watson.
In-form Gill (11 off 12) was the first one to depart at 37/1 followed by Nitish Rana (9) at 87/2. By the 14th over, CSK checked KKR with regular wickets as Morgan fell cheaply for seven off 10 followed by Russell who could only make two.
Dinesh Karthik 12 off 11, Pat Cummins 17 off nine as both collected 14 till the 18th over. MS Dhoni once again made a flying move to dismiss Shivam Mavi (0). Dwayne Bravo’s 3/37 made it even memorable on his birthday.
However, Kolkata was successful in restricting CSK to 157 for loss of five wickets. Faf du Plessis could only make 17 off 10 while Watson made 50 in 40 balls. Chennai were then in desperate need of 67 runs and the pressure ultimately told on skipper Dhoni, and he departed after making 11 off 12 balls, bowled by Varun Chakravarthy. His dismissal shut all hopes for his team.
Kedar Jadhav (7 not out) and Ravindra Jadeja (21 not out) couldn’t be of much help, and that resulted in CSK’s fourth loss in six matches.
Kolkata effected some changes, with Shubman Gill and Tripathi opening the batting. While Eoin Morgan and Andre Russell failed to impress, Pat Cummins helped the team to reach a respectable score of 167.
Brief scores: KKR 167 all out in 20 overs (Rahul Tripathi 81, Sunil Narine 17; Dwayne Bravo 3/37) beat CSK 157/5 wkts in 20 overs (Shane Watson 50, Ambati Rayudu 30; Andre Russell 1/18) by 10 runs