Images from the IPL match between Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders, in Mumbai, on Wednesday.
A magnificent unbeaten 95 by Faf du Plessis and Deepak Chahar's impressive four-wicket haul outshone dazzling half centuries by Andre Russell and Pat Cummins as Chennai Super Kings got the better of Kolkata Knight Riders by 18 runs a thrilling IPL match, at the Wankhede stadium, in Mumbai, on Wednesday.
Put in to bat, the Super Kings put up a huge 220 for 3, riding on a 60-ball 95 from du Plessis and Ruturaj Gaikwad's 64.
In reply, the Knight Riders started disastrously, slumping to 31 for 5 inside five overs after a top-order collapse, as Chahar wreaked havoc, taking four wickets for 29 runs in his four-over spell.
Russell (54 off 22 balls) and Cummins (66 not out off 34 balls) raised hopes of an improbable victory before KKR were all out for 202 in 19.1 overs.
Needing 190 runs from 15 overs, Russell first revived KKR's chase with a blistering 54 (3x4, 6x6) before being cleaned up by Sam Curran.
It was not over though for KKR, as pace spearhead Cummins, batting at No. 8, came up with sensational power-hitting in a 34-ball 66 not out (4x4, 6x6), but there wasn't enough batting left to take the fight over the line.
Cummins hit Curran for 30 runs, including four sixes and a boundary in the 16th over, to keep the run-chase alive, even as they kept losing wickets.
It was down to 20 runs with one wicket in hand in the last over, but Prasidh Krishna was run-out off the first ball of the final over.
The victory took CSK to the top of the table with six points from four matches, while KKR slipped to sixth.
Earlier, Gaikwad, who returned to form after a string of poor outings in his first three matches, set it up for CSK after KKR opted to field.
He played the role of aggressor, smashing four sixes and four boundaries in his 42-ball knock, while his senior South African partner provided the youngster the backup as the pair gave the Super Kings their best start of the season with an opening stand of 115.
Du Plessis then went on the offensive after Gaikwad's departure in the 13th over and added 50 runs with Moeen Ali (25 off 12 balls) off just 26 balls.
Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Eoin Morgan won the toss and chose to bowl first.
The Knight Riders made two changes, young Kamlesh Nagarkoti replaced Harbhajan Singh while Sunil Narine came in for Shakib al-Hasan.
Chennai Super Kings went into the match with just one change, Lungi Ngidi coming in for Dwayne Bravo.
Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis opened the innings for Chennai while Varun Chakravarthy sent down Kolkata’s first over.
Du Plessis and Gaikwad got Chennai off to a solid start, the former scoring 30 off 18 balls and Gaikwad 23 off 18 to help CSK garner 54 without loss from the powerplay overs.
After 10 overs CSK were 82-0; du Plessis was unbeaten on 38 off 29 balls and Gaikwad on 43 off 31.
Gaikwad brought up the 100 of the innings with a four off Prasidh Krishna’s second delivery of the 11th over and went on to hit a six off the bowler to get to 64 off 40 balls as 17 runs came off the over.
However, Chakravarthy dismissed him with the second delivery of his fourth over, the 13th of the innings, having him caught by Pat Cummins at deep mid-wicket.
Gaikwad hit 6 fours and 4 sixes in his blazing knock as Chennai lost their first wicket for 115 runs.
Moeen Ali replaced Gaikwad and got off the mark with a single before Du Plessis got to his 50 with a four off Chakravarthy’s fourth delivery.
Moeen then launched an assault, hitting 2 fours and as many sixes, to bring up the 50-run partnership with du Plessis 0ff 24 balls with a six off Sunil Narine’s second delivery in the 16 the over.
Narine, aware that Moeen would come down the pitch to hit another big one, flighted the ball and Moeen swung and missed, giving Karthik a straightforward stumping.
Moeen was out after fine 12-ball 25, and CSK were 165 for 2.
Skipper Mahendra Singh came in next and hit Narine for a four as 17 runs came off the 17th over. For the record, it was the former India captain’s first boundary off Narine in the IPL!
Dhoni then took on Krishna in the next over, clobbering him for a four and six as 14 runs came off the over and CSK got to 186 for 2.
Du Plessis then hammered Andre Russell for three fours in the penultimate over before Morgan took a superb, diving catch to dismiss Dhoni for 17 off 8 balls, which included two fours and a six, off the last ball. Russell conceded 15 from the over.
Du Plessis hit Cummins for two sixes in the final over to finish with 95 off 60 balls, which included 9 fours and four sixes.
Ravindra Jadeja, who replaced Dhoni, faced only one ball – the last of the innings – and he did what he does best: hit a six as CSK finished with 220 for 3.
Chasing the huge total, Nitish Rana and Shubman Gill opened the Kolkata innings while Deepak Chahar bowled CSK's first over.
It was a disastrous start for the Knight Riders as Chahar struck with his fourth delivery, having Gill caught by Lungi Ngidi. The batsman drove hard, but got a thick top-edge which was taken by Ngidi, at third man. Gill departed without troubling the scorers.
Chahar, who had figures of 4 for 13 against Punjab Kings last Friday, picked another wicket in his second over, having Nitish Rana, who replaced Gill, caught by Mahendra Singh Dhoni for 9 off 12 balls.
Rana got an edge off a fuller delivery and the ball ballooned up in the air. Dhoni called for the catch, ran towards the square leg region and easily took it.
KKR were 12 for 2 in the third over.
It got worse for KKR as Chahar struck again. This time it was big wicket of captain Eoin Morgan.
Chahar sent down an out-swinger outside off and Morgan drove away from his body, nicked it and Dhoni took the offering.
Morgan was out for 7 off 7 balls and KKR lost their third wicket for 31 in the fifth over.
Kolkata were hoping that new-man in Sunil Narine Narine would stem the rot. The West Indian hit a boundary off Chahar’s fifth delivery of his third over. But Jadeja pulled off a stunner off Chahar’s last ball of the fifth over to dismiss Narine. He was out for 4 off 3 balls and KKR were in deep trouble at 31 for 4 after 5 overs.
Ngidi continued his spell, bowling the sixth over, and had KKR in a mess, getting the edge of the batsman which was taken by Dhoni. Tripathi was out for 8 off 9 balls and KKR reduced to 31 for 5 two balls into the sixth over. What a Powerplay for the Chennai bowlers!
Andre Russell, who came in next, hit two fours and a six, as KKR took 14 runs off Ngidi from the over.
Russell and Dinesh Karthik then set about building the innings. Russell took 24 runs of Shardul Thakur’s first over as KKR put up 97 for 5 after ten overs.
Ravindra Jadeja came in for his third over and conceded 14 off the 11th, Karthik hitting and Russell a six following a no-ball. That six brought up Russel’s 50 and KKR were 111 for 5.
The Super Kings were rattled. Dhoni brought in Sam Curran for the 12th over. The England pacer, bowling his second over, ended Russell’s heroics with his second delivery, with a straight one that crashed into the stumps.
Russell was out after a hurricane 54 off 22 balls, which included 3 fours and 6 sixes.
Karthik kept the runs coming, scoring 40 off 24 balls before Ngidi trapped him left before wicket in the 15th over, with the KKR on 146.
Pat Cummins then got into the act by launching an all-out attack. He hit Curran for 4 sixes and a four in the 16th over to as KKR garnered 30 from the over and got to 176 for 7.
Kamlesh Nagarkoti was caught by du Plessis off Ngidi without scoring in the 17th over, but it hardly mattered as Cummins continued to blaze away. He hit Curran for another six in the 19th over before Chakravarthy was run-out off the third ball.
KKR needed 20 runs off the final over, bowled by Thakur. Cummins sent the first ball over the bowler and ran, hoping to get two, but Curran fielded it and threw the ball back to Thakur, who broke the stumps with Prasidh Krishna well short of his crease.
KKR were all out for 202. Who would have expected them to get this close after they were 31 for 5.