The adage goes, 'make the most of good form'.
The Kolkata Knight Riders skipper and opening batsman Gautam Gambhir did exactly that as he carried forward his good form from the last game against the Royal Challengers Bangalore at home to produce another clinical show, and take his team home with five wickets in hand and two balls to spare against defending champions Chennai Super Kings on a slow Chepauk track on Monday.
Chasing 140 in not the best of batting conditions, where the batsmen struggled to get the timing right, the KKR skipper managed 63 without much fuss to help his team remain second on the points table. In the end, it was all-rounder Debabrata Das who hit a four and pumped his fist in delight to signal victory.
The highlight of his knock was the way he came down the track to the spinners and even used his late glides towards third-man to accumulate runs.
His partnerships, first with Jacques Kallis worth 70 runs, after opening partner Brendon McCullum had departed early, and then with Manoj Tiwary for 38 runs ended CSK's hopes.
Batting first after winning the toss, the hosts finished at least 15 runs short than what they would have considered an ideal total on the Chennai track.
The surprise for CSK was Suresh Raina, who till now was out of form, but looked comfortable in the middle as the others struggled to score.
It was Raina's cameo of 44, which also made him the first batsman to score 2000 runs in the IPL, which gave CSK something to cheer about.
Before him, Aussie batsman Michael Hussey, who joined the hosts from West Indies, opened the innings with Faf du Plessis but the two could only be together for 10 balls as the latter nicked one from Brett Lee to be caught behind. Though the third umpire was consulted, there were doubts about the catch being cleanly taken by McCullum.Struggling to score
Skipper Dhoni and all-rounder Albie Morkel struggled with their timing in last five overs. There was also a period in the game when no boundary was scored for nearly eight overs.
In the 16th over from Lee, Dhoni broke the shackles to get one past the point boundary.
All in all, there were just eight fours and two sixes in the entire CSK innings, which reflected the hard time the hosts had while batting.