Kolkata Knight Riders 133 for 4 (Rahane 44, Bravo 3-20) beat Chennai Tremendous Kings 131 for five (Dhoni 50*, Umesh 2-20) by six wickets
MS Dhoni, 40 and not captain, turned the clock again with a classic show of death-overs hitting, however Chennai Tremendous Kings struggled both facet of that as a canny bowling effort on a two-paced Wankhede Stadium pitch arrange a snug opening-day win for Kolkata Knight Riders.
All of the Knight Riders bowlers contributed to proscribing Tremendous Kings to 131. Umesh Yadav was fast and incisive with the brand new ball, dismissing each openers, and thriller spinners Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine have been near unhittable, ending with mixed figures of 1 for 38 from their eight overs.
Andre Russell and Shivam Mavi bore the brunt of Dhoni’s punishment as Tremendous Kings took 47 off the final three overs of their innings, however they’d made an influence earlier than that, teaming up with Umesh in hitting exhausting lengths and ravenous the batters of alternatives to entry the brief straight boundaries.
The chase was simple, even when Knight Riders endured a spell of 29 boundary-less balls. The goal was by no means going to problem them so long as they did not lose a heap of wickets, and Ajinkya Rahane scored 44 whereas three others made twenties as Knight Riders acquired dwelling with 9 balls to spare.
Umesh bosses the powerplay
Umesh has failed to draw bids greater than his base worth for 2 auctions operating, and the explanation could possibly be that he can leak runs outdoors the section he excels in. However he has a terrific document in that section, the powerplay – a better record since 2018 than even Deepak Chahar, whom Tremendous Kings spent critical cash to retain for this very ability.
The ball swung early for Umesh, and a little bit of dampness within the pitch additionally made his scrambled-seam ball nip round. Outswing acquired the higher of Ruturaj Gaikwad, IPL 2021’s highest run-getter, in Umesh’s first over, and in his third straight over throughout the powerplay he dismissed Devon Conway, who, making his IPL debut, miscued a flick to mid-on whereas attempting to interrupt the early shackles.
Tremendous Kings ended the powerplay at 35 for two, and the majority of their runs got here from their No. Three Robin Uthappa, who troubled the new-ball bowlers along with his massive shuffle throughout his stumps. It allowed him to entry the leg facet towards balls that have been marginally too straight, and he hit two fours and two sixes on this method in dashing to 23 off 16 on the six-over mark.
Tremendous Kings freeze within the center overs
Varun Chakravarthy got here near taking a wicket in his first over when a bottom-edged sweep from Ambati Rayudu shaved the leg stump with out disturbing a bail. He struck in his second over, nevertheless, a pointy leg-side stumping from Sheldon Jackson after a dipping improper’un left Uthappa stranded outdoors his crease.
Tremendous Kings have been 49 for Three at that stage, contained in the eighth over, not a horrible place, however a second of indecision from Ravindra Jadeja on his captaincy debut led to Rayudu being run out within the subsequent over. Then Shivam Dube – who had narrowly prevented struggling the identical destiny as Rayudu after one other mix-up with Jadeja – lobbed a catch to midwicket after a well-directed brief ball from Russell cramped him on the pull within the 11th over.
The runs, in the meantime, have been drying up. Tremendous Kings acquired via 48 balls with out a boundary earlier than a misfield from Chakravarthy at mid-off allowed one within the 16th over. By the top of the 17th, Tremendous Kings have been 84 for five – it was their third-worst first-innings rating at that stage of an IPL innings.
Dhoni blasts off
Within the first 16 overs, the Knight Riders quick bowlers had made a transparent effort to bowl size or simply in need of it. In response to ESPNcricinfo’s knowledge, 48 of the 54 balls they bowled have been in these areas, and solely three on a full size.
The slog overs, nevertheless, put bowlers below strain to not be predictable, and to slide within the yorker once in a while. With dew setting in, controlling the yorker grew to become troublesome: Mavi and Russell bowled 4 full-tosses in overs 18-20, and three of them flew to or over the boundary.
That aside, the late avalanche of runs was additionally all the way down to Dhoni’s nonetheless flickering late-overs genius. He used the depth of the crease to fabricate boundaries sq. of the wicket off Russell, and within the closing over executed a bottom-handed whip of fierce energy, off a near-yorker, to present long-on no probability.
Jadeja, boundary-less for the primary 27 balls of his innings, ended it with a sliced six over the covers, and Tremendous Kings had a complete they may conceivably attempt to defend.
Rahane does the Rahane factor
This was the type of chase Rahane is designed for: coast at near a run a ball, guarantee one finish is locked up, and half the job is finished. Rahane, making his Knight Riders debut, gave them simply the beginning they desired. Maybe in an effort to seek for swing, Tushar Deshpande and Adam Milne erred on the complete facet within the early overs, and Rahane and Venkatesh Iyer hit 5 fours within the first 5 overs, 4 of them with front-foot drives. In between, Rahane additionally pulled Milne for a six that confirmed how rapidly he was seeing the ball and stepping into place.
By the top of the powerplay, Knight Riders have been 43 for no loss.
Bravo muddies the waters, however Knight Riders cruise dwelling
Launched within the seventh over, Dwayne Bravo made a direct influence by angling the ball away from Venkatesh’s hitting arc and getting him to edge behind.
This introduced one other left-hander to the crease, Nitish Rana, and Tremendous Kings started to overlook Moeen Ali – who’s serving his quarantine after visa points delayed his arrival in India – for the second time on the evening. They’d missed his hitting potential towards Knight Riders’ spinners, and so they have been now lacking his offspin.
After an costly eighth over from the dibbly-dobbly Dube, Tremendous Kings have been compelled to show to considered one of their two left-arm spinners, and Rana instantly hit Mitchell Santner for six. However with two extra Santner overs to go and with Jadeja but to bowl, Rana fell off the final ball of the 10th over, taking over a slower bouncer from Bravo and failing to clear brief wonderful leg.
With two right-handers on the crease, Santner and Jadeja mixed to peg again the scoring charge, within the course of additionally choosing up the wicket of Rahane. He had carried out his job, although, and likewise proven clear intent to maintain enjoying his photographs within the center overs, even nailing a reverse-sweep off Jadeja.
After that shot, Knight Riders went 29 balls with out a boundary, earlier than Sam Billings stretched out and swept Bravo from outdoors off stump to the sq. leg boundary within the 16th over. That shot eased the strain that had constructed up; Knight Riders had wanted 25 off 27 earlier than Billings performed it.
Billings made the duty extra simple for Knight Riders with a skip down the observe within the 17th over to deposit Jadeja over extensive long-on. He was caught on the boundary making an attempt one other sweep off Bravo quickly after, however he had shut the door on Tremendous Kings by then.