IPL 2019: Raina's unbeaten 58 and Tahir's 4-28 set up CSK's five-wicket win over KKR
While Chennai Super Kings consolidated their position atop the league ladder, Kolkata Knight Riders slipped into uncomfortable space with their third successive defeat
Suresh Raina stayed the course to take Chennai Super Kings home against Kolkata Knight Riders, the five-wicket victory their seventh of the season. The Knights, losing another toss, were restricted to 161 for eight — the lowest at the Eden Gardens this IPL season and the visitors crossed the line with two balls to spare.'
Raina remained unbeaten on a 42-ball 58 and Ravindra Jadeja on a 17-ball 31, the two adding 41 off 24 as CSK overcame some anxious moments. While MS Dhoni & Co. consolidated their position atop the league ladder, KKR slipped into uncomfortable space with their third successive defeat. Despite opener Chris Lynn's power-packed 82, the CSK bowlers kept a leash on the Knights, and Imran Tahir made the most of the desperation that kept creeping in.
The South African wrist spinner returned his IPL best of 4 for 28 with both Lynn and the dangerous Andre Russell amongst his scalps. Defending their vulnerable total, KKR managed to send back openers Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis within the power-play, and then the in-form Ambati Rayudu in the 10th. At 70 for three at the halfway stage, CSK were actually doing far worse than the Knights.
CSK's Suresh Raina during his unbeaten 58-run knock
When Kedar Jadav fell in the next over, hopes soared in the KKR camp. Raina hadn't quite settled down, and even Dhoni skied one between fielders early in the innings. But the two experienced hands soon seemed to be taking the game away before Sunil Narine trapped Dhoni to resurrect KKR hopes. The fifth wicket had produced 40 off 27.
Jadeja joined Raina to put the boat back on an even keel. Earlier, Lynn, coming back from a bout of flu, hammered seven boundaries and six sixes. He took a particular liking to Deepak Chahar, clobbering him for two sixes before turning his attention to Mitchel Santner and Ravindra Jadeja, who he hoisted for three sixes. Despite not losing any more wickets since Sunil Narine's dismissal in the fifth over, KKR managed just 77, a somewhat uneasy position in the light of CSK's batting firepower.
Tahir became a beneficiary of the desperation as Nitish Rana and Robin Uthappa fell in his second over while trying to lift the run-rate. The South African would, of course, do the real damage in his second spell, when he sent back Lynn and Russell in the same over. Lynn found Shardul Thakur at deep square-leg just as he was beginning to look ominous. Russell, announcing his arrival with a four and a six to widish long-on, fell to another fiercely struck shot that substitute Dhruv Shorey held at long-on. KKR managed just 29 from 31 deliveries after that while losing another three wickets. Only one boundary came off the five overs.
IPL 2019: Mumbai Indians become first team to register 100 IPL wins