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Thursday, Aug 22, 2019

IPL 2019, KKR vs CSK: Tahir, Raina power Chennai to five-wicket win

KKR’s score of 161/8 was the lowest at Eden Gardens in IPL 12 and though CSK won by five wickets, after three games of landing jabs on a strip that afforded little assistance, the spinners did strike a few decisive punches.

cricket Updated: Apr 15, 2019 00:43 IST
Dhiman Sarkar
Dhiman Sarkar
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
Kolkata: CSK bower Imran Tahir celebrates after dismissing Chris Lynn.
Kolkata: CSK bower Imran Tahir celebrates after dismissing Chris Lynn.(PTI)

With his career-best haul of 4/27 in the Indian Premier League (IPL), Imran Tahir asphyxiated Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) here on Sunday and denied them from using Chris Lynn’s efficient 51-ball 82 (7x4, 6x6) as a launching pad.

CSK won by five wickets after KKR scored 161/8, the lowest at Eden Gardens in IPL 12. After three games where they mostly sparred, spinners struck decisive punches on a wicket where the ball gripped more than it had earlier.

Sunil Narine began with a wicket maiden, dismissing Faf du Plessis with an off-spinner and got MS Dhoni out playing the wrong line.

Between Narine’s wickets, Piyush Chawla got Ambati Rayudu with his first ball, and after a long time, the chants of ‘KKR’ seemed organic and not deejay orchestrated. Chawla also stopped Kedar Jadhav from running away with the game.

It continued the trend set by Tahir who took two wickets each in the 11th and 15th overs. That broke the spine of a powerful batting line-up. More importantly, Tahir ensured Andre Russell -- KKR’s get-out-of-jail card this season -- lasted only four balls.

After scores of 49 (19b), 48 (17b), 62 (28b), 48 (13b), 50 (44b) and 45 (21b) Russell fell being unable to heave one that Tahir dropped short. With the first ball of that over, Tahir had taken out Lynn; Shardul Thakur complementing parsimonious bowling with a good catch in the deep.

“Playing in Chennai (where the wicket aids spinners) helps and it is always good to take the advice of Mr Dhoni….There are things I don’t think of till he tells me. Today, he encouraged me to go slower and attack (when Lynn and Russell were batting) instead of defending,” said Tahir.

KKR couldn’t recover from the double whammy. “We made basic mistakes from the 16th over,” said KKR head coach Jacques Kallis, referring to KKR scoring 28 in the last five overs. Tahir had earlier dismissed Nitish Rana and got Robin Uthappa first ball with a leg-spinner.

Typical of CSK, they took the game deep and won as well, this time with Raina (58 - 42b, 7x4, 1x6) starring in the finishing act and Ravindra Jadeja (31 - 17b, 5x4) providing the final flourish.

As CSK zoom towards the playoffs, KKR, after their third successive defeat, are left having to figure out how, according to Kallis, they can win four of their next six games.

First Published: Apr 14, 2019 20:05 IST

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