Eden Gardens welcomed back their Knights with a roar but by providing a pitch that had a tinge of green it also gave them some food for thought. Having won the toss KKR needed a fair bit of experimenting till in the 11th over Sunil Narine turned the ball almost square with Gautam Gambhir standing at silly point. In spin, KKR had rediscovered their Eden mojo.
By the 10th over though, all five bowlers had been tried out. Shakib Al Hasan opened the bowling with Pat Cummins before Gambhir introduced Umesh Yadav and finally reverted to Narine and then Chawla. It looked like a planned hotchpotch, possibly aimed at derailing the Chennai Super Kings.
Cummins got a fair bit of stick in the fourth over when Brendon McCullum milked him for 16 runs but not before the Australian had stunned Dwayne Smith with a delivery that arrowed in and moved away just enough to take his off-stump.
At the half-way mark Super Kings had not even crossed 60 but Suresh Raina stepped up to provide some momentum by milking Shakib and Chawla. But Chawla redeemed himself when he ran out Faf du Plessis with a screamer of a throw before finally scalping Raina who was caught at deep.
That catch by Ryan ten Doeschate might have cost CSK another 10 runs. But R Ashwin spilling Robin Uthappa at first slip in the first over by Ben Hilfenhaus perhaps cost them the match.
Another Good start
Gambhir dragged Ishwar Pandey on to his stumps but not before guiding the Knights to their fourth 50-run opening partnership in five matches. It was Uthappa who stole the show again.
Carving boundaries out of nowhere to fly to yet another fifty, off 29 balls, Uthappa then slammed Ashwin 20 rows behind the mid-wicket boundary rope.
By the time he was caught at long-off, KKR were well on course to a fifth consecutive victory. Shakib only ensured KKR did it in style winning by eight wickets.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Robin Uthappa, Gautam Gambhir (c), Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Shakib Al Hasan, Ryan ten Doeschate, Suryakumar Yadav, Piyush Chawla, Pat Cummins, Umesh Yadav, Sunil Narine.
Chennai Super Kings: Dwayne Smith, Brendon McCullum, Suresh Raina, Faf du Plessis, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (c), Ravindra Jadeja, Mithun Manhas, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishwar Pandey, Mohit Sharma, Ben Hilfenhaus.