Tuesday’s battle between Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders was truly furious and all about fours and sixes at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai where CSK played for the first time after 1065 days. After scoring whopping 202 runs thanks to Andre Russell’s brutal 88 off 36 balls, KKR seemed to break the hearts of CSK’s fans but an excellent run-chase by CSK changed the game.
Ambati Rayudu and Shane Watson got a great start in their run-chase but Sam Billions brought the game to victory with his great knock of 56 runs off 23 balls. It seems Chennai is back with a bang. Here are five of the major highlights from the recent match.
- Andre Russell was Unstoppable
The huge-hitting West Indian all-rounder, Andre Russell rained sizes at the Chepauk and scored the unbeaten 88 off 36 balls, including 11 sixes. The Jamaican missed out the 2017 edition due to 1-year ban from the cricket and KKR badly missed his brutal power. It was because he violated the clause by World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Bravo and Thakur were failed and MS Dhoni took wrong decision with his dependency on fast bowlers.
- Sam Billings’ winning strike
When CSK started chasing the runs on positive note with Ambati Rayadu and Shane Watson with 75-run stand for the first wicket in powerplay, the hosts eventually lost their way when they lost both openers along with big wicket of Suresh Raina. Skipper MS Dhoni also struggled against spin and made only 25 off 28 balls and matched was out of CSK’s grip. Finally, Sam Billings comes with a great knock.
- MS Dhoni’s Secret Spells
MS Dhoni is definitely one of the best skippers in limited-over crickets but recent game against KKR witnessed former Indian skipper making a couple of wrong decisions that led the match slip away from the grasp. Dhoni decided to use spinners in powerplay overs which damaged the KKR’s opening pair of Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine. When Australian was bowled up by Ravindra Jadeja, Narine fell to Harbhajan Singh.
But his dependency on fast bowlers looked worse as they bowled full-length at Russel when short pitch turned the match against them.
- CSK’s Opening Partnership
Sam Billings hogs the headlines after his effort against KKR on his debut with CSK. But you shouldn’t overlook the role played by Ambati Rayadu and Shane Watson in their victory. Chasing the hilly target of 203, CSK got a good start and Rayadu and Watson did well with a stand of 75 for the first wicket. Some of the good shots were also played. Watson hit 19-off-42 having 3 sixes while Rayadu made 26-off-39 and the opening partnership led 75 runs off only 5.5 overs for CSK.
- Suresh Raina’s epic fielding
Direct hit by Raina was very crucial in the final analysis which just down to the wire and it shows the importance of aspect fielding in T20. The veteran also picked a very crucial catch of Sunil Narine and got the first major wicket for CSK.