Rahul Tripathi entered the list of match-winners in the IPL when he scored a match-winning and man-of-the-match-award-winning 81 off 51 balls as KKR trumped CSK in a battle of batting and returning back strongly with the ball.
In the 21st match of IPL, Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders teams met at Abu Dhabi. Dominating the first half of the innings by both the teams, it was the latter part that defined the winner and eventually KKR executed their plans much better than CSK to get 3rd win of the season. Tripathi’s 81 runs off 51 balls proved vital in the end as bowlers restricted the CSK’s batsmen to just 157 to win the game by 10 runs.
Kolkata Knight Riders innings – Rahul Tripathi performs in front of Shah Rukh Khan
In the post-match ceremony, the man of the match award winner Rahul Tripathi had said that it was a dream come true for him to perform in front of Shah Rukh Khan, the owner of the KKR franchise.
The innings started after KKR winning the toss and decided to bat first. To much surprise and expectation, Sunil Narine didn’t open the innings for KKR. His results this season are not so much encouraging so Rahul Tripathi with Shubman Gill were the openers.
And Tripathi started the innings in style. On song from ball one. Down the leg side from Deepak Chahar and he tickled it for four. After that, innings started to roll.
After 10 overs, KKR were the dominant side. They were 93-2 and looked set to a total of a minimum of 180+. Tripathi and Narine, who this time batted at number four position, were on crease to take the innings in the second half.
Only Tripathi was the main driver of the innings with little helps from other batsmen. He was out in the 17th over. DJ Bravo has got the danger man.
After 81 from Tripathi, the next best score was 17, both by Narine and Pat Cummins with one 4 and one 6, not a good score with such a powerhouse batting line-up with the likes of Narine, Andre Russell, Eoin Morgan.
The innings ended on 167 all out. A pretty decent effort from CSK bowlers in the end to restrict them to that total.
DJ Bravo picked up three wickets while Sam Curran, Shardul Thakur, and Karn Sharma (who was in the team in place of Piyush Chawla) picked up two wickets each.
Chennai Super Kings innings – KKR Bowlers hand CSK 4th defeat
Having freshly scored a 181-run partnership, Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis once again opened the innings for CSK. Shivam Mavi got du Plessis in the 4th over. Ambati Rayudu the next man in.
For the next phase of 8 or so overs, the innings went smoothly just like KKR innings. Both the batsmen dominated and played carefully and made sure they didn’t lose any wickets. A 69-run partnership for second-wicket had left 58 runs in the last 8 overs.
Super Kings were 99-1 after 12 overs and looked set to chase the target with Watson and Rayudu on crease. But they were 99-2 after 12.1 overs. Rayudu was gone for 30 off 27 balls. The next over, Watson also got out LBW by Sunil Narine on 50.
Two quick wickets brought two new batsmen on the field in the form of MS Dhoni and Sam Curran. Curran and not Ravindra Jadeja on crease. Perhaps might be the turning point of the game. 17th and 18th overs had the wickets of Dhoni and Curran respectively. Too many dot balls were the issue for the batsmen but KKR bowlers were too good on the night leaving CSK batsmen 10 runs short of the target.
A cunning and smart-bowling plan from KKR bowlers had won the match for them. They had restricted the CSK batsmen to a mere 157 in their 20 overs. They couldn’t able to chase 58 runs in the last 8 overs.
Wicket-a-piece for Shivam Mavi, Varun Chakravarthy, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, and economical Pat Cummins, all played part in restricting CSK at what considered a low total.
KKR are now at 3rd spot with 6 points and CSK are at 5th position with 4 points.
Rahul Tripathi, opened the innings for KKR for the first time this season and scored 81 off 51 balls for which he was awarded the man of the match award.
Man of the Match: Rahul Tripathi
Result: Kolkata Knight Riders win by 10 runs
Points: Kolkata Knight Riders 2, Chennai Super Kings 0