KKR vs CSK: Knight Robin, Rider Shakib defends Kolkata fotress from Chennai invasion; King Raina slams another fifty

Written by Shamik Chakrabarty | Shamik Chakrabarty | Kolkata | Updated: May 21 2014, 11:46am hrs
Ben Hilfenhaus bowled a gentle outswinger on a good length. The ball pitched well outside off-stump but Robin Uthappa chased it and managed a thick outside-edge to first slip where Ravichandran Ashwin dropped a regulation catch. It was the first over of the Kolkata Knight Riders' chase of 155 runs for a win with Uthappa was on six.

He was once again given a life in the third over by a fielder in the same position. This time, Suresh Raina couldn't hold on to a sharp chance. Uthappa was on 24 and Mohit Sharma the aggrieved bowler.

Manish Pandey, who came in at the fall of Gambhir's wicket, was given a reprieve on four when he top-edged an Ishwar Pandey delivery. The ball hung loosely in the air for a long time but sweeper cover never moved.

Finally, with 30 runs required from 24 balls, Pandey was once again dropped at short mid-wicket by Brendon McCullum.


After the loss against the Royal Challengers Bangalore, Mahendra Singh Dhoni had lamented his team's poor catching. Ashwin had dropped AB de Villiers with the latter yet to open his account. De Villiers proceeded to take the game away from the Chennai Super Kings with a 14-ball 28. Surprisingly there was very little improvement even today.

Another poor fielding effort coupled with some generous bowling, with too many boundary balls bowled, ensured the Super Kings did not pose any great challenge. Kolkata had 19 fours and three sixes in their innings as their batsmen were repeatedly allowed to free their arms. Hilfenhaus gave away 38 runs in his three overs, Ishwar conceded 31 in four, Sharma's three overs cost 28 runs, while Ravindra Jadeja went for 23 in his three. Only Ashwin performed to potential only 24 runs were scored off his four overs, but he failed to provide a breakthrough.


About 60,000 fans who turned up for Kolkata's first game at Eden Gardens of IPL 7, however, returned home happy. They were thoroughly entertained by Uthappa, who set up this eight-wicket win with a gorgeous 67 (10X4, 1X6) from 39 balls. Shakib Al Hasan provided the finishing touches with 46 not out (6X4, 2X6) off just 21 balls.

Before that, there was some very good spin bowling from Sunil Narine, who was once again economical and got rid of a dangerous-looking McCullum (28). Fast bowler Pat Cummins, who came in for Morne Morkel for his first match of this IPL, bowled a beauty to knock over Dwayne Smith. The ball pitched on off and middle, before moving a shade to peg back the off stump.

Raina played an excellent hand with 65 (3X4, 5X6) from 52 balls. He hit Piyush Chawla for a couple of sixes and a four in the 14th over to break the shackles the Knight Rider's bowlers had put in place up to that point.

From a steady 59/1 at the halfway stage, he had set the Super Kings up nicely for a final push but the Kolkata bowlers managed to pull it back at the death as Chennai only scored 34 runs in the last four overs to finish at 154 for four.

The target was very achievable on a wicket that played true and Kolkata romped home with two overs spare to secure their fifth win on the bounce.

Chennai have already made it to the play-offs. With this win that takes them to 14 points from 12 matches, Kolkata are almost there as well.