In an extensive bat-v-bat six-hitting contest at the Eden Gardens, CSK registered a comprehensive victory over KKR to go to the top of the points table. Led by explosive fifties from Ajinkya Rahane and Shivam Dube, and disciplined bowling in patches, the yellow army added Kolkata as their third away win this season.
After winning the toss, KKR captain Nitish Rana decided to chase on a good batting surface that also had a little bit for the bowlers as well. KKR included David Wiese and N Jagadeesan in the playing XI, replacing Litton Das and Mandeep Singh. Umesh Yadav got the new ball to talk with many edges and misses in the initial overs. Once the new-ball phase was gone, the CSK openers unleashed themselves upon the Kolkata bowlers. Conway hit two fours off Wiese and one off Kulwant Khejroliya to bring up another fifty-plus stand, while Gaikwad thumped a high-full toss over the mid-wicket fence as Chennai blazed away to 59/0 after six overs.
Even the introduction of Sunil Narine had no effect as the pair continued their free strokeplay, but leg-spinner Suyash Sharma deceived Gaikwad with a brilliant floated googly to disturb his stumps. Ajinkya Rahane walked in at number three but Conway kept attacking from one end. Once Conway fell to Varun Chakaravarthy, Shivam Dube was sent in to target the spinners.
The duo began their ultra-aggressive approach as Dube smoked two sixes off Chakaravarthy. Rahane picked up two sixes off Umesh in the next over, followed it up with a lovely cover drive and Dube also edged one for four as the over yielded 22 runs. Dube smashed Wiese for a six and a four, then Suyash Sharma bowled out a relatively quiet spell of 4-0-29-1.
Post that, Rahane smashed a six and a four to bring up his second fifty of his comeback season off just 24 balls. Dube too hit a six off Khejroliya to bring up his fifty from just 20 balls, but got dismissed on the very next ball. Rahane then stepped out twice to Chakaravarthy, powering two sixes and a cut for four. Jadeja connected two blows and CSK eventually reached 235/4 in their allotted overs.
Akash Singh came in as the impact sub for CSK and struck straight away when Narine got his leg stump cartwheeled. Tushar Deshpande had Jagadeesan dismissed as Jadeja made a superb running catch look easy to reduce Kolkata to 1/2. Venkatesh Iyer was the impact sub for KKR and he stitched a stand of 45 with Rana before getting trapped plumb by a Moeen Ali off-break.
Jason Roy, though nursing a niggle, came out all guns blazing as he hammered three sixes. Even as wickets kept tumbling from one end, Roy’s blitzkrieg, against the spinners in particular, mildly kept KKR in the hunt, until Maheesh Theekshana bowled a dipping yorker to end Roy’s innings at 61 from 26 balls. Rinku Singh again kept connecting the odd ball to reduce KKR’s losing deficit even as the tail was coming apart. Finally, Matheesha Pathirana bowled economically at the death to complete the shellacking of KKR by 49 runs.