CHENNAI, India – A resolute half-century from Andre Russell as wickets tumbled around him and a tidy spell from fellow West Indies star Sunil Narine failed to inject a spark in the Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings claimed a seven-wicket victory in the Indian Premier League today.
Russell continued his rich vein of form with the bat with an even, unbeaten 50 to prop up the Knight Riders batting and carry them to 108 for nine off their allocation of 20 overs, after they were put in to bat in the 23rd match of the tournament at Chidambaram Stadium.
Off-spinner Narine followed up with two wickets for 24 runs from 3.2 overs, but South Africa international captain Faf Du Plessis hit 43 not out to lead a successful run chase for CSK with 16 balls remaining.
CSK stumbled to 35 for two in the fifth over, after Narine had former Australia allrounder Shane Watson caught at square leg for 17 in the third over and Suresh Raina caught at mid-on for 14 by a back-pedalling Piyush Chawla.
Du Plessis and Ambati Rayudu got the CSK chase back on track with a stand of 46 for the third wicket before Chawla struck in the 15th over to leave the home team needing 28 off the remaining 32 balls.
The leg-spinner had Rayudu caught at short extra cover for 21 from a top-edged sweep to leave CSK on 81 for three before Du Plessis dominated a brief stand with Kedhar Jadhav to get the hosts over the finish line.
Earlier, Russell cracked five fours and three sixes off 44 balls and saved Knight Riders from total implosion, after they plunged to 47 for six in the 11th over.
He shared two minor stands added some meat to the total, putting on 29 for the seventh wicket with Chawla and the same number of runs – unbeaten – with last-man England international Harry Gurney.
Deepak Chahar was the most successful bowler for CSK with three for 20 from four overs, and former India international Harbhajan Singh and South Africa international Imran Tahir took two wickets apiece.
Knight Riders, in second position, are now one of two teams with eight points, from six games. Kings XI Punjab are third with an inferior run-rate to Knight Riders. Chennai Super Kings top the table with 10 points from six games. Sunrisers Hyderabad are fourth with six points from six games. (CMC)
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