Chennai Tremendous Kings 205 for five (Billings 56, Watson 42) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 202 for six (Russell 88*) by 5 wickets
In a nutshell
A chaotic begin welcomed Chennai Tremendous Kings again to the MA Chidambaram Stadium: protests and a delayed toss as a result of late arrival of match officers. The top was much more frenetic, as Tremendous Kings hunted down 17 off the ultimate over, bowled by Vinay Kumar, to edge a high-scoring thriller and hold the IPL’s pattern of profitable chases this season alive.
Chasing 203 after Andre Russell blitzed 88 off 36 balls, the highest rating by a No. 7 batsman or decrease within the IPL, Tremendous Kings’ pursuit ebbed and flowed till the ultimate over. Tremendous Kings got an crucial, fast begin by Shane Watson and Ambati Rayudu, whose 75-run opening stand off 35 balls introduced the voice of a subdued residence crowd again. Then MS Dhoni’s 25 off 28 pushed Knight Riders forward as soon as extra because the required fee soared.
Ultimately, the innings that gave Tremendous Kings an opportunity got here from Sam Billings. His energy is towards tempo, so he bided his time towards Knight Riders’ spinners, utilizing his toes and tucking twos into giant gaps. Off the seamers, he pulled, drove and scooped his technique to a 23-ball 56, his quickest T20 half-century, however holed out within the penultimate over.
Then the ultimate over. Vinay’s first ball, a full toss on leg stump that was questionably deemed a no-ball for top, was swung away over advantageous leg for six by Dwayne Bravo. Off the penultimate supply, Ravindra Jadeja thumped a six over long-on to finish one other gorgeous come-from-behind win for Tremendous Kings.
Boundaries, wickets or each?
Given their personnel and the roles assigned, Knight Riders have set their template for the season: assault from the outset and do not let wickets get in the best way an excessive amount of. The pattern is already discernible. On the finish of the Powerplay of their first recreation, towards Royal Challengers Bangalore, Knight Riders have been 68 for two. On the identical level towards Tremendous Kings, they have been 64 for two. After 9 overs within the earlier recreation, Knight Riders have been 92 for three. On this recreation, they have been 87 for four.
The highest three of Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine and Robin Uthappa scored a mixed 63 runs off 36 balls towards Tremendous Kings. The strategy of trying to attain boundaries regardless of shedding wickets is fraught with threat, however it has labored for Knight Riders twice in two video games.
In Russell’s hitting arc
Russell had a strike fee of 128 and a dot-ball share of 43 towards legspinners in T20s, previous to Tuesday. So, it wasn’t stunning that Imran Tahir was introduced on instantly after Russell got here in. He conceded 5 runs off eight balls towards Russell.
With the principle menace seen out, Russell feasted on Tremendous Kings’ quick bowlers, who both had the improper plan or missed their execution too typically. Because the bowlers repeatedly erred too full, Russell teed up the straight boundaries. Russell’s most efficient hitting space was straight: he scored 50 runs off 15 balls between long-off and long-on. General, 84 of his 88 runs got here in entrance of sq. on either side. Off full balls, he scored 52 runs off 15 balls, at a strike fee of 346.7. His eventual sensible strike fee of 347.22 over a 36-ball innings was a simply indicator of the the affect of his blitz. In all, he hit 11 sixes out of 31 within the match – that’s the joint-highest match tally within the match’s historical past.
Pacing a tricky chase
And not using a sturdy begin in a 200-plus chase, the chance of getting near the goal reduces drastically. Throughout the course of such a chase, wickets additional bump up the required fee. So, towards a powerful bowling assault, the one likelihood Tremendous Kings had was if their openers began aggressively.
Shane Watson hit 42 off 19 balls, with three fours and three sixes, at a sensible strike fee of 278.69 in comparison with his precise strike fee of 221.05. Ambati Rayudu saved abreast with Watson for everything of the Powerplay, including 39 off 26 balls. Collectively, their partnership compensated for a stuttering Dhoni innings to offer Tremendous Kings an opportunity in a tricky chase.