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KEEPING THEIR NERVE:Tim Southee delivered just what his captain M.S. Dhoni wanted — a last-ball yorker — to ensure a win for Super Kings over Knight Riders in the opening match of IPL-IV in Chennai on Friday.
CHENNAI: Chennai Super Kings registered a thrilling two-run win over Kolkata Knight Riders in the opening match of Indian Premier League-IV at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium here on Friday.
Set a target of 154, KKR needed nine to win off the last over, but Tim Southee restricted the visiting side to just six, allowing the defending champion to begin its campaign on the right note.
Turning the tables
In its chase, KKR appeared to be coasting when it was 111 for two in 15 overs. Forty-three were required off 30 balls when R. Ashwin returned to bowl his last over, the 16th of the innings, and snared a well-set Jacques Kallis (54, 42b, 7x4), who was caught at short fine-leg by S. Badrinath.
In the next over, new man Eoin Morgan was stumped off Suresh Raina and two balls later, KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir ran himself out following a series of fumbles and stop-starts, leaving his team to get 34 runs off 19 balls, five wickets in hand.
The 19th over from Suraj Randiv changed the equation somewhat, as Manoj Tiwary plundered two sixes and Laxmi Ratan Shukla a four, to bring the requirement down to nine runs in seven balls. Tiwary went for another heave off Randiv's last ball, but was stumped smartly by Dhoni.
KKR's chase had begun in the right earnest when Kallis smashed Southee for three boundaries in the fourth over to set the pace, the 50 coming up in the sixth over. In the same over, Dhoni made a hash of what appeared to be a stumping chance of Manvinder Bisla off Randiv.
KKR lost its first wicket on 64 in the ninth over, when Bisla (27) advanced down the track to Shadab Jakati, missed, and was finally stumped by Dhoni.
Yusuf Pathan struck a gigantic six off Jakati, only to survive a close stumping call in the next over bowled by Randiv. Yusuf's luck soon ran out when he was run out a ball later, ‘Captain Cool' running and picking up the ball from short square-leg and hitting the stumps directly.
Earlier, Dhoni elected to bat and CSK reached 153 for four mainly through Anirudha Srikkanth, who had opened the batting, rousing memories of another Srikkanth who had served so well at the top of the order.
Anirudha benefited from two dropped catches to help himself to 64 (55b, 6x4, 2x6) and figured in vital partnerships with Suresh Raina (75, second wicket) and Dhoni (49, third wicket).
KKR started with just two foreign players — Kallis and Morgan — and opened the bowling through left-arm spinner Abdulla, who tasted success in the first over itself. Having been spanked to the boundary off the fourth ball by M. Vijay, Abdulla held the next one back inducing the batsman to on-drive into the hands of mid-on.
Yusuf came on from the other end, making it a double-pronged spin attack and new man Raina got down to business right away, with a four through covers.
CSK would soon have been three down had Pathan held his chances. The burly all-rounder first failed to snatch Anirudha (11) over his head off his own bowling and in the next over, the fifth, juggled and fluffed Raina's (13) mishit to mid-on, off L. Balaji.
Kallis came on at the other end and was greeted with boundaries, two fortuitous and one deserving, from Anirudha, who was dropped again, by Morgan at mid-wicket, off Pathan when he was on 39. KKR finally managed to catch one the very next ball, when Raina (33) got out.
Dhoni came in and played a nice cameo that included a six off leg-spinner Sarabjit Ladda. CSK's 100 came in 14.2 overs, concurrently with Anirudha's 50, before the skipper was caught behind off Kallis, leaving the stage for Albie Morkel to set the stadium afire.
The final over, bowled by Kallis, accounted for Anirudha, but proved to be the most expensive of the innings — 16 — as Morkel clubbed a four and a six.
Chennai Super Kings: S. Anirudha b Kallis 64 (55b, 6x4, 2x6), M. Vijay c Bhatia b Abdulla 4 (4b, 1x4), S. Raina c Ladda b Yusuf 33 (29b, 4x4), M.S. Dhoni c Bisla b Kallis 29 (21b, 1x4, 1x6), A. Morkel (not out) 15 (9b, 1x4, 1x6), S. Styris (not out) 5 (2b, 1x4); Extras (b-1, w-2): 3; Total (for four wkts. in 20 overs): 153.
Fall of wickets: 1-5, 2-80, 3-129, 4-138.
Kolkata Knight Riders bowling: Abdulla 4-0-26-1,Yusuf 3-0-19-1, Balaji 4-0-25-0, Kallis 3-0-34-2, Ladda 3-0-29-0, Bhatia 3-0-19-0.
Kolkata Knight Riders: M.S. Bisla st. Dhoni b Jakati 27 (29b, 3x4), J. Kallis c Badrinath b Ashwin 54 (42b, 7x4), Yusuf (run out) 11 (12b, 1x6), M. Tiwary st. Dhoni b Randiv 27 (15b, 1x4, 2x6), E. Morgan st. Dhoni b Raina 6 (6b, 1x4), G. Gambhir (run out) 1 (2b), L. Shukla c Styris b Southee 14 (10b, 2x4), R. Bhatia (not out) 0 (1b), I. Abdulla (not out) 3 (3b); Extras (lb-1, w-7): 8; Total (for seven wkts. in 20 overs): 151.
Fall of wickets: 1-64, 2-93, 3-112, 4-119, 5-120, 6-145, 7-147.
Chennai Super Kings bowling: Morkel 3-0-32-0, Southee 4-0-30-1, Ashwin 4-0-26-1, Randiv 4-0-33-1, Jakati 4-0-26-1, Raina 1-0-3-1.
Man of the match: S. Anirudha .
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