A dominant Chennai Super Kings once again stamped their authority with a crushing 34-run win over Kolkata Knight Riders as the ongoing seventh Indian Premier League arrived in the country to the pitter-patter of rain on Friday.
Ravindra Jadeja produced a brilliant spell of spin bowling that saw him return figures of 4/12, after Brendon McCullum’s sizzling half-century powered CSK to a daunting 148 for three. Mohit Sharma, too, bowled well bagging 3/22 for CSK.
In a match that was reduced to 17 overs per side after rain delayed the start by an hour and 40 minutes, CSK dominated throughout to post their fifth straight win in six outings. This was the Knight Riders’ fourth loss after having started the first leg in the UAE with a bang.
McCullum pulverised the Knight Riders attack during a 40-ball 56, which contained five boundaries and two sixes, before Mahendra Singh Dhoni (22) and Jadeja (17) upped the ante in the final overs.
The CSK bowlers, led by Jadeja, then combined to leave KKR gasping for breath at 38 for four in the sixth over.
Robin Uthappa top-scored for KKR with a 38-ball 47, while Yusuf Pathan made a 28-ball 41 with the help of four sixes and a four.
To start with, in their chase, Kolkata were off with a flurry of boundaries, with most them coming from the blade of Uthappa, who hit Ishwar Pandey for two successive fours.
Sharma gave away 15 runs in his first over as Uthappa collected two more boundaries off the pacer.
Gambhir was out after a confusion with his opening partner Uthappa. Hilfenhaus collected the throw from Dhoni and underarmed it to the stumps at the non-striker’s end as the batsman failed to get back in time.
Kallis fell to an innocuous Ravichandran Aswhin delivery after he swept uppishly to the deep backward square leg fielder.
Manish Pandey was next to get out as he lobbed Jadeja’s first ball into covers. Sharma then pulled off a good catch diving forward to send back Shakib Al Hasan and give Jadeja his second wicket.
Uthappa continued to bat freely, cutting Pandey through point after picking a boundary off Suresh Raina. From 38 for four, it became 65 for five, when Jadeja got Suryakumar Yadav plumbed in front.
With the required rate heading north with each delivery, it was as good as over when Jadeja had Uthappa caught behind after the batsman had hit five fours and a six. Sharma came back to add to his tally of wickets.
Earlier, McCullum shone with an enterprising knock.
Opting to bat, the two-time former champions raced away to 20 before Shakib Al Hasan, who opened the bowling for Knight Riders, dismissed Dwayne Smith in the third bowl of the third over.
Going for a sweep, Smith, after kick-starting the innings with continued…