All-rounders Sunil Narine and Andre Russell bounced back with the ball to spearhead Kolkata Knight Riders’ 10-run win over Chennai Super Kings in a low-scoring Indian Premier League encounter.
Narine, who has struggled with the bat throughout this IPL, and fellow West Indian Russell were two of those who failed to deliver as Kolkata were bowled out in 20 overs for 167, a total that owed much to Rahul Tripathi’s 81 as he repaid the decision to promote him to open.
Chennai were confident of chasing their modest target when Shane Watson (50) and Ambati Rayudu (30) made 69 for the second wicket.
However, some brilliant death bowling from Narine (1-31) and Russell (1-18) meant the Super Kings came up short with 157-5.
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Kolkata were indebted to Tripathi’s 51-ball knock, which included eight fours and three sixes, as their star-studded middle order for once failed to show up.
Narine, who had been opening, was dropped down to four but could only make 17, while Eoin Morgan (7) and Russell (2) had rare off-days as Dwayne Bravo (3-37) led the Super Kings’ fine bowling display.
There was then a boundary in each of Chennai’s first 10 overs and they were coasting when requiring 69 off the final 48 balls with nine wickets in hand.
Yet Narine – who bowled overs 12, 14, 16 and 19 – applied the handbrake, along with Russell, whose two-over figures would have look much better had Ravindra Jadeja not struck the final three balls of the innings for an ultimately frivolous 14.
BATTING SHAKE-UP PAYS OFF FOR KNIGHT RIDERS
Kolkata’s problems in the early stages of the tournament were due to a lack of big scores, with top scorer Shubman Gill down in 13th in the IPL for runs.
However, Tripathi hit their highest individual score in their five games so far, and boy was it needed given the rest of the order’s struggles.
BOUNDARY DROUGHT COSTS SUPER KINGS
At 90-1 at the halfway point, Chennai were cruising and required only 78 from 60.
However, they failed to find or clear the ropes across the next 33 deliveries and were then left needing 55 off 27. It was that barren patch in the middle of their reply that ultimately proved their undoing.