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IPL 2018: Chennai Super Kings start their home run with a bang | Cricket News

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CHENNAI: The MA Chidambaram Stadium was bathed in yellow as Chennai Super Kings’ loyal fans were in attendance to cheer their team which returned to its den after a gap of 2 years. However, CSK’s fans were silenced in the first half by Kolkata Knight Riders’ Andre Russell (88 no., 1×4, 11×6) whose 36-ball massacre helped his side finish on 202/6. But as the match ended, the smiles were back.

Scorecard | As it happened:

CSK chased down a stiff target, scoring 205 for 5 and sealing the deal in the penultimate ball of the contest. The hosts were kept in the hunt right till the end thanks to a 23-ball blitz by Sam Billings (56, 2×4, 5×6). In the company of MS Dhoni (25, 2×4, 1×6), Billings added 54 from 30 balls for the fourth wicket that gave wings to CSK’s chase. Despite losing Dhoni in the 17th over, Billings continued to strike lusty blows to bring down the equation down to 27 off the last 12.

Once Billings was dismissed, caught by Robin Uthappa off Tom Curran (2-39), Dwayne Bravo (11 no, 1×6) and Ravindra Jadeja (11 no, 1×6) ensured the Men in Yellow walked away as victors. Vinay Kumar (0-35) had a night to forget as he failed to contain 17 runs in the final over. CSK teed off with Shane Watson (42, 3×4, 3×6) and Ambati Rayudu adding 75 for the opening stand in 35 deliveries. Once Watson departed, caught at mid-wicket region by Rinku Singh off Tom Curran (2-39), the chase ran into rough weather. Rayudu (39, 3×4, 2×6) soon departed, caught by substitute Shivam Mavi off Kuldeep Yadav, and CSK were placed at 85 for 2 in the 9th over.

At half-way mark, CSK were 113 away from the target. Suresh Raina (14, 1×6), dropped on 6 by Curran off Kuldeep Yadav in the 11th over, failed to capitalise the miss and added just 8 more to his individual score to leave CSK on 101 for 3 in the 12th over. From thereon, Dhoni and Billings took over and helped the side stay in the mix.

The first half of the evening belonged to the merciless Russell who single-handedly helped KKR finish off in style after being inserted in. The KKR all-rounder walked in with half of his side back in the dugout with just 89 on board in the 10th over. A fierce drive over covers for a four in the 12th over bowled by Shane Watson got the Jamaican going. Interestingly, that was the only four Russell was to score since he preferred to fetch runs through sixes.

The 29-year-old was happy to face the medium pacers. He took special liking for Dwayne Bravo and Shardul Thakur, from whom he accrued 41 and 27 runs respectively. Russell, in the company of skipper Dinesh Karthik (26, 2×4, 1×6) added 76 runs in 46 balls for the sixth wicket to give momentum to KKR’s innings. Russell’s blistering innings ensured KKR finished with a flourish, smashing 79 runs off the last 5 overs to silence the crowd which had come in support of the home side. Apart from Russell and Karthik, opener Chris Lynn (22, 4×4) and Robin Uthappa (29, 2×4,3×6) too got starts but failed to make a significant contribution. For the home side, Shane Watson (2-39) shone with the ball.

Updated: April 10, 2018 — 6:00 pm

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