CSK beat KKR . (Source: BCCI)

What a thriller we have had at Wankhede!

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) registered their third successive win after overcoming a spirited Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) unit in Match 15 of the VIVO Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 in Mumbai on Wednesday.

Faf du Plessis scored an unbeaten 95 while Deepak Chahar picked 4/29 as CSK held their nerves against KKR in a run-fest.

Chasing a mammoth target of 221, KKR didn’t get the desired start. They lost Shubman Gill in the first over after the right-hander produced a thick edge that travelled straight to the third-man, giving Chahar his first wicket of the match.

Nitish Rana creamed two boundaries before he made his way back to the pavilion. The left-hander hit the ball in the air and the CSK skipper MS Dhoni safely collected the ball as Chahar picked his second wicket.

The right-arm pacer was back to bowl the fifth over and struck twice to get the big wicket of KKR skipper Eoin Morgan and then of Sunil Narine. While Morgan edged one to Dhoni, Narine was dismissed to a sensational catch from Ravindra Jadeja in the circle.

With 31/4 after 5 overs and Andre Russell and Dinesh Karthik at the crease, KKR batsmen had no options but back their natural abilities in order to get close to the steep target.

Russell started the exploits in the sixth over after the right-hander smashed two fours and a six off Ngidi and gave a hint of what’s coming next in the upcoming overs.

Karthik also didn’t hold back and smashed Chahar for a massive six in the eighth over followed by a four off Jadeja.

Russell then hammered 24 runs off the ninth over bowled by Shardul Thakur where the West-Indian all-rounder tonked three sixes and a four as KKR moved to 97/5 after the end of 10 overs.

The Karthik-Russell duo then added 14 off the Jadeja over and with Russell taking advantage of the free-hit with a gigantic six and notching up his half century in style, off just 21 deliveries.

Sam Curran returned into the attack in the 12th over and put an anticlimactic end to the Russell show after the right-hander was bowled around his legs. Karthik though carried on the hustle and hit a four and a six in the same over.

Pat Cummins, who had replaced Russell in the middle, was on the move and was dealing in boundaries from the other end but Karthik got dismissed after he completely misjudged the slower delivery from Ngidi and was out LBW.

However, Cummins had his plans in place and scored 30 runs off the 16th over by Curran that included four sixes and a four in the cleanest form of striking the ball.

Ngidi, who bowled the 17th over of the innings scalped the wicket of Kamlesh Nagarkoti before Cummins reached his half-century in 23 balls.

With 28 required off the final two, Cummins started the over with a maximum but lost yet another partner in an attempt to take a double as KKR lost their ninth wicket.

KKR required 20 off the final over. CSK, on the very first delivery completed a run-out on the non-striker’s end and managed to defend the total in the end.

Earlier, CSK were put in to bat first and made one change to their XI – Lungi Ngidi played in place of Dwayne Bravo.

Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis started on a confident note and smashed 15 runs off the second over by Pat Cummins. du Plessis began the over with a four while Ruturaj smashed a four and six each.

The opening duo didn’t let the KKR spinners – Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine settle with the new ball.

The fifty partnership was up for the opening wicket and both du Plessis and Ruturaj made full use of the pace and lightning-quick outfield at Wankhede as CSK were 54/0 at the end of 6 overs.

Ruturaj welcomed Russell to the crease with a glorious pull over deep mid-wicket that went for a maximum and closed the over with a four, played in the same fashion.

CSK were going strong at the end of the ten-over mark, scoring 82 runs without losing any wicket.

They hammered 16 runs off Kamlesh Nagarkoti, who was bowling his first over of the game after Ruturaj cleared the ropes twice with his hard-hitting and completed an impressive fifty off just 33 deliveries.

The next-over was even better for the batting side after Prasidh Krishna overstepped twice and gave away 17 runs that included a four and a six, courtesy Ruturaj’s brilliant striking.

Chakravarthy came in to bowl the final over of his spell and got the breakthrough that KKR were looking for. Ruturaj’s fine knock of 64 off 42 deliveries ended after the right-hander played it straight to the hands of Cummins, who took a sharp catch in the outfield.

Meanwhile, du Plessis brought up his half-century with a four and was joined by Moeen Ali with CSK eying a big total.

Cummins then gave away 14 runs and the pressure levels were up for the KKR. Moeen and du Plessis then smacked a six and a four each off the bowling of Prasidh Krishna in the next over.

Moeen then took on Narine for a four and six in the first two deliveries before Narine got the better of the left-hander who was stumped on the next delivery.

CSK skipper MS Dhoni promoted himself up the order and hit two fours and a six before du Plessis creamed three fours in a row to Russell in the penultimate over. KKR found success in the 19th over, thanks to a sensational catch from KKR skipper, Eoin Morgan to get the wicket of Dhoni.

CSK finished in grand fashion after du Plessis smashed two sixes while Jadeja cleared the ropes on the final ball of the innings as CSK put 220/3 on the board.

Brief Scores: Chennai Super Kings 220/3 (Faf du Plessis 95, Ruturaj Gaikwad 64; Varun Chakravarthy 1/27) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 202 all out (Pat Cummins 66, Andre Russell 54; Deepak Chahar 4/29) by 18 runs.

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