Kolkata, April 30 (IANS): A stupendous unfinished fourth wicket partnership between Robin Uthappa and Andre Russel enabled defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) take sweet revenge on Chennai Super Kings (CSK) with a seven wicket victory in the return leg of the fixture in a close Indian Premier League (IPL) encounter here on Thursday.
Replying to CSK’s 165/9, KKR reached a match deciding 169/3 with seven wickets and a ball to spare before a packed crowd at the Eden Gardens. Opener Robin Uthappa (80 not out; 58b, 7×4,1×6) and Andre Russell (55 not out; 32b, 4×4,4×6) put on a rollicking 112 runs partnership of only 64 balls to settle the issue after the hosts were reeling at 57/3 at one stage.
The victory ensured the men in purple moved up to the third place in the table gleaning nine points from eight matches, while CSK retained the pole position with 12 points from eight games.
The Knights were off to a solid start notching up 33 in four overs, courtesy skipper Gautam Gambhir’s (19;16b 0x4 2×6) two massive sixes. The former India opener achieved a personal milestone of 3000 runs in IPL, but he fell soon after trying to heave a Mohit Sharma delivery in the fifth over.
The innings stuttered a bit thereafter as the hosts lost Manish Pandey (3) and Suryakumar Yadav (2) in quick succession, but Robin Uthappa and Jamaican Andre Russell come together to repair the damage and take the total past the 100 run mark in 13.3 overs.
Once settled, both batsmen shifted to top gear as they plundered 29 runs from the 15th and 16 th over, Ashish Nehra and left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja being at the receiving end respectively. Earlier, put into bat, CSK began with a jolt losing dashing opener Dwayne Smith (0) in the very first ball of the innings.
Suresh Raina (8; 10b 2×4), perished in the fourth over before becoming the first batsman to get past 3,500 runs in IPL. The visitors continued scoring at a brisk rate going past 50 in just 24 balls.
However, KKR’s 44-year-old veteran Brad Hogg (4/29) picked up the dangerous Brendon McCullum (32;12b, 3×4 3×6) with the score reading 64/3 in just 5.1 overs. Wickets continued to tumble as CSK were 88/5 at the halfway stage.
Dwayne Bravo (30; 32b 4×4) and Ravindra Jadeja (24; 30b 1×4 1×6) steadied the innings with 57-run partnership before Pawan Negi’s (27; 13b, 4×4, 1×6) blitz took them to a challenging total. For the hosts, Andre Russell returned figures of 2/20.