On Sunday (May 14), at Chepauk, a cunning spin choke and a clever combination between Rinku Singh and Nitish Rana helped Kolkata Knight Riders defeat Chennai Super Kings by six wickets. Though their fate is no longer in their hands, the outcome keeps the visitors’ playoff chances alive.
A successful toss?
When MS Dhoni won the coin toss and opted to bat, it appeared to be the case. However, the surface was quite tacky, making it difficult to make precise strokes. Additionally, there was a tonne of turn available, which KKR’s spin trio expertly took advantage of.
Win by spinning!
An all-too-common scenario at Chepauk, with the exception that CSK was the target this time. The opening partnership was broken as soon as KKR skipper Nitish Rana used spin when Varun Chakravarthy dismissed Ruturaj Gaikwad after coaxing the batsman into a careless shot.
The collapse in the middle overs
While Devon Conway and Ajinkya Rahane persisted in their brief partnership and the surface continued to pull unusual tricks, the CSK innings appeared to be a straightforward one. Rahane attempted to boost the ante as runs began to dry up and holed out to long-off. It brought a breakdown that threw Chennai’s plans into disarray. Conway was quickly defeated by Shardul Thakur before Sunil Narine struck again by eliminating Ambati Rayudu and Moeen Ali. CSK had abruptly dropped from 61/1 to 72/5.
The Dube smash and the rebuild
In general, Shivam Dube’s batting strategy is to hit hard against spinners right away and play cameos. However, at 72/5, he was forced to rebuild alongside Ravindra Jadeja, and the pair’s 68-run stand is what gave the total some respectability despite the latter’s yet again incredibly shaky performance this season. However, Dube made clean contact with the ball and handled the spin quite effectively. The accuracy of KKR’s bowlers, particularly the spinners, guaranteed that CSK scored at least 15-20 runs below par.
Unsteady beginning to the chase
It didn’t take long for KKR to begin chewing their fingernails if their bowling performance had boosted their confidence. Contrary to everyone’s predictions, Dhoni used his seamers to bowl during the powerplay, and it was a great decision because Deepak Chahar scored three times to take out the top three KKR batsmen. For CSK, a mix of shrewd bowling and astute field placement worked, giving them a perfect start to the second half.
Telecast of Rinku-Rana
KKR was headed for another batting collapse in light of what had happened earlier in the season. There was a lot of pressure on the visitors because the pitch was fickle and the Chepauk crowd roared loudly in support of CSK. However, KKR sent their two best men out there, and they showed up to the party. While Rinku Singh has been the KKR team’s go-to batsman this season, skipper Rana excels at spin, particularly finger spin.
In the ensuing 99-run stand, both of the hitters, who were in their forties, barely gave CSK a chance, with the exception of Theekshana’s diving catch of Rana. In the beginning, Rinku was the aggressor, but when his captain gradually picked up the pace, CSK’s chances of successfully defending the total were swiftly dashed.
CSK remains in a strong position to advance to the playoffs despite the loss. A victory over Delhi Capitals in their final league game will ensure a playoff position, if not a top-two finish, but the latter will rely on other outcomes. Meanwhile, KKR must win its final game and hope a number of other outcomes go their way.