IPL 2018: After Chennai, Pune ready to get draped in yellow; CSK arrange ‘WhistlePodu Express’ for its fans 

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New Delhi | Published: April 19, 2018 5:50:32 PM

IPL 2018: The much-anticipated return lived up to the hype when the sea of yellow draped the Chepauk stadium against Kolkata Knight Riders.

IPL 2018: WhistlePodu Express (twitter)

IPL 2018: The much-anticipated return lived up to the hype when the sea of yellow draped the Chepauk stadium against Kolkata Knight Riders. The KKR supporters dwarfed if not drowned in front of the yellow tsunami. Although Andre Russell almost had spoilt the homecoming party, however, Chennai Super Kings found heroes of their own, as they have done since 2008. This time, they answered to names not previously associated with the yellow brigade- Ambati Rayudu, Shane Watson and Sam Billings.

Sadly, that was the last match of this season which was hosted in Chennai as the IPL Council headed by Rajiv Shukla decided to shift the venue following to increasing Cauvery dispute. With the venue shifted to Pune’s Gahunje Stadium, CSK for its fans decided o organise ‘Whistlepodu Express’ on Thursday.


It means, after Chennai, it is Pune’s turn to bleed yellow. Around 1000 fans had boarded the special train and the club also arranged complimentary passes for the match as well as free food and accommodation. Chennai will host Rajasthan Royals on Friday. RR’s fortress was breached by Knights of Kolkata with ease. They defeated Rajasthan in their own stadium by seven wickets.

After restricting RR to 160/8, the two-time champions, who also won against Delhi Daredevils by 71 runs in their last game, rode on Robin Uthappa’s 36-ball 48 to set up the chase and eventually win with seven balls to spare posting 163/3 in 18.5 overs.

Skipper Dinesh Karthik (42 not out) and Nitish Rana (35 not out) combined for an unbroken 61-run partnership for the fourth wicket to ease past the line. Karthik hit a six off Ben Laughlin to secure the win in style.

KKR never looked in trouble despite losing out-of-form Australian opener Chris Lynn (0) in only the second ball of their innings, with off-spinner Krishnappa Gowtham (2/23) flattening his stumps with a ball that spun sharply into the batsman who tried to cut. Uthappa and Narine then came together for a 69-run stand for the first wicket. Uthappa looked in imperious form, hitting Jaydev Unadkat for three fours in the fifth over.

The visitors, choosing to field first after skipper Karthik won the toss, were given a good start by wrist spinners Piyush Chawla (1/18) and Kuldeep Yadav (1/23) who combined well to leak just nine runs in the first three overs.  Rahane then took on Narine, the most economical bowler in the IPL so far, hitting him for four back-to-back fours straight up.

The India Test team vice-captain swept and drove the West Indian mystery spinner with aplomb to garner 18 runs off the over.

Rahane looked in sublime form as he smashed Mavi for a flat six down the wicket in the next over as Short also milked the U-19 World Cup winner for a boundary.

After six overs, RR were 48/0. RR then lost two quick wickets. First, Karthik effected a brilliant diving run out to get rid of the dangerous Rahane off Nitish Rana, breaking the 54-run opening wicket stand between him and Short.

Sanju Samson followed suit soon after, picking out Kuldeep at deep midwicket off Mavi and just when Short was looking to accelerate, Rana castled him with a slider in the next over to break the 36-run third wicket partnership with Rahul Tripathi.

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