Chennai, April 29 (IANS): A scintillating bowling performance backed up by some terrific fielding enabled Chennai Super Kings successfully defend a below par total as they pulled off a thrilling two-run win against Kolkata Knight Riders here on Tuesday.
Replying to 134/6 posted by the Super Kings, the Knights finished at 132/9 before packed crowd at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium.
For CSK, West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo was the pick of the bowlers as he returned figures of 3 for 22 to walk away with the man of the match award. Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin bagged 2 for 5, as the hosts climbed atop the table with six wins from seven matches, while the Knights remained third managing just three wins from seven games.
Chasers KKR were off on a canter even after losing skipper Gautam Gambhir (0) as opener Robin Uthappa started belting the CSK bowlers away.
Uthappa especially got stuck onto Mohit Sharma’s first over, hammering the pacer for three consecutive boundaries. Earlier, he had wipped Ishwar Pandey of his pads for a six.
When all looked rosy for the men in purple at 52/1 at the end of five overs, Uthappa fell prey to Ashwin’s first ball, as he swept straight to Brendon McCullum inside the circle.
The innings stuttered thereafter as Manish Pandey (15) lofted one straight to Dwayne Bravo at deep-midwicket, with Ashwin picking up his second victim.
The Knights added just 18 runs between the sixth and the tenth over to be at 70/3 at the half-way stage.
The hunt hardly was back on track as Suryakumar Yadav (16) perished at long-off trying to pull a short delivery. Dwayne Bravo took a blinder to get rid of the Indian batsman.
Bravo once again took the spotlight with the leather in the 16th over as Yusuf Pathan (13) dragged one on his stump.
Even the hard-hitting Andre Russell (4) was sent back to the dug-out after a miscommunication between him and Ryan ten Doeschate led to the Caribbean being run out with the score reading 100/6 in 16.5 overs.
Pat Cummins (0), and Piyush Chawla soon returned. as Bravo gave away just four runs in the 18th over.
After a drought of boundaries for 12 overs, the penultimate over produced 13 runs for the Knights, but it was all too late as the home side pulled off the edge-of-the-seat encounter.
Earlier, The Super Kings got off to a bit of a flyer courtesy their hard-hitting openers again. Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Smith stitched together a 42 run partnership in 4.3 overs.
The Knights finally got the break-through when McCullum (19) failed to pick a Piyush Chawla googly and was adjudged leg before.
The innings stuttered after the jolt, as both Smith (25) and number three Suresh Raina(17) quickly followed the New Zealander into the dugout.
After being 48/1 from five overs, CSK managed to get to 73/3 at the halfway stage.
South African du Plessis and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (3) looked to consolidate, but Russell struck again as he induced the Indian to glove one to the keeper off a fiery bouncer.
Darren Bravo (5) too lasted only a few balls, but Ravindra Jadeja and du Plessis took the total past the 100-run mark in the 16th over. With the latter top scoring with an unbeaten 29 from 29 balls.
Australian pacer Pat Cummins then bowled a tight 18th over which yielded just 6 runs, Hogg followed it up with another crafty over cleaning Jadeja (15) up and giving away just three runs.
Chawla and Russell got two wickets each, while veteran 44-year-old Chinaman bowler Brad Hogg picked up another.