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IPL 8: Bowlers take CSK to a two-run win over KKR in a low-scoring thriller

By: tech.ibnlive

Wisden India Staff

Last Updated: August 16, 2015, 23:29 IST

IPL 8: Bowlers take CSK to a two-run win over KKR in a low-scoring thriller

Dwayne Bravo picked up three wickets while R Ashwin took two as Kolkata Knight Riders, chasing 135 to win, could only manage 132/9 in 20 overs.

Kolkata Knight Riders paid the ultimate price for making a meal of a relatively straightforward chase on an admittedly tricky Chepauk surface to hand Chennai Super Kings their sixth win of the IPL 2015 standings on Tuesday. Chennai thus returned to the top of the table, going one point clear of Rajasthan Royals despite having played a game less.

Chasing Chennai's modest 134 for 6, Kolkata were undone by a mixture of their own diffidence with the bat, quality spin bowling and outstanding fielding to fall short by two runs, the margin of victory single-handedly brought down by Ryan ten Doeschate's late blitz, an unbeaten 28-ball 38 that proved scant consolation.

In conditions that demanded patience and application, Kolkata came out playing million-dollar strokes. While Robin Uthappa succeeded initially to smash a 17-ball 39, there was a sense that one wicket was all that MS Dhoni needed to apply the choke, which he superbly did in his trademark style.

With Kolkata's score reading 52 for 1 in five overs, Dhoni threw the ball to R Ashwin and the move paid off immediately as Uthappa slogged across the the line to be caught by Brendon McCullum at midwicket. With the conditions favouring him, Ravindra Jadeja too continued his recent good run in some style.

With the ball turning, bouncing and the odd one keeping low, the pressure crept up and Manish Pandey soon fell into the trap to be caught at deep midwicket to give Ashwin his second wicket. Suddenly, a straightforward chase turned into a nervous push-and-prod game.

But there was hardly any sign of the surface's diabolical nature when Chennai's openers were batting. McCullum was kept quiet for the first two overs, but the floodgates opened when he slapped Pat Cummins for a six over his head to begin the surge. Even though McCullum was trapped leg before by Piyush Chawla in his first over, Chennai motored along to 61 for 1 in eight overs.

But as the ball started to grip the surface, it was obvious that batting wouldn't be easy. Dwayne Smith's lazy running to catch himself short of the crease at the striker's end contributed to Chennai's woes.

With the bowlers not giving an inch, the batsmen turned to cheeky attempts to pinch valuable runs. But it proved futile as Andre Russell had Suresh Raina (17) and Dhoni (3) caught behind in successive overs to leave Chennai in dire straits.

The circle seemed complete when Bravo failed to get to the pitch of Chawla's delivery and holed out to Suryakumar Yadav at long-off. Chennai had lost three wickets in as many overs to slump to 88 for 5 in 13 overs.

With Jadeja woefully out of form, the onus was on Faf du Plessis to take Chennai to a total of respectability. The pair scratched around to add 36 valuable runs. While the final flourish never came, Chennai would have quietly backed themselves to defend the target unless the pitch changed dramatically.

Kolkata's chase was thrown off gear right at the start as Ishwar Pandey, thrown the ball ahead of the in-form Ashish Nehra, removed Gambhir in the first over for a golden duck. While Uthappa made batting look easy, wiping out 52 even before the Power Play overs, Chennai didn't lost their composure as Dhoni brought on his trump cards at opportune moments.

Suryakumar and Yusuf Pathan plonked along, neither having the finesse to nudge the ball and pocket the ones and twos nor the expanse to clear the ropes. Soon enough, the pressure of the asking rate got to them.

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    Suryakumar holed out as Bravo pulled off a stunner running in from long-on, Pathan was bowled by a slower one, and the belligerent Russell was run-out courtesy Jadeja's rocket throw from the deep.

    With 30 needed off two overs, ten Doeschate breathed some life into the game with some muscular blows, but the hara-kiri in the middle resulted in Chennai tightening the noose in grand style, the Dutchman failing to knock off the 17 runs needed for victory in the last over of the match sent down by Bravo.

    first published:April 29, 2015, 00:03 IST
    last updated:August 16, 2015, 23:29 IST