Unbeaten knocks of 80 by opener Robin Uthappa and 55 by Andre Russell helped defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) outplay Chennai Super Kings (CSK) by seven wickets in the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Eden Gardens here tonight.
Put in to bat first, CSK were restricted to 165 for nine from their 20 overs as Brad Hogg grabbed 4 for 29 from his four overs and Russell picked up two for 20.
Opener Brendon McCullum topscored for the visitors with 32, while Dwayne Bravo made 30, Pawan Negi 27, Ravindra Jadeja 24 and Faf du Plessis 20.
Chasing 166 for a win, KKR made 169 for three in 19.5 overs in a match in which they clearly had the upper hand throughout, though they reached their target only with the penultimate ball of their innings.
Uthappa's 80 came off 58 balls and included seven fours and a six, while Russell's 55 was made from 32 deliveries with the help of four fours and a six. The all-rounder's performance got him the Man of the Match award.
Skipper Gautam Gambhir contributed 19 and put on 33 for the opening wicket with Uthappa before he left in the fifth over. Manish Pandey (3) left with the total at 54 and Suryakumar Yadav (2) did not stay long, making his exit in the next over.
But CSK had nothing to cheer about after that as Uthappa and Russell as they got together in an unbroken 112-run partnership for the fourth wicket and steered their side to victory.
CSK, however, continue to be at the top of the table with six wins and two losses from their eight matches, while KKR are in third spot with four wins, three losses and one no-result from their eight outings. Rajasthan Royals are in the second place in the eight-team league.
While Hogg was able to spin the ball well today and keep the batsmen in check, as witnessed by his 14 dot balls, the CSK spinners were rather flat. Uthappa and Russell went for the singles and twos with the same gusto that they showed while hitting boundaries and that made their task that much easier.
With today's win, KKR were able to avenge the two-run defeat against Chennai two days ago when the two teams met for the first time in the league.
Chennai Super Kings (20 overs maximum)
DR Smith c ten Doeschate b Cummins 0
BB McCullum lbw b Hogg 32
SK Raina c Chawla b UT Yadav 8
F du Plessis st Uthappa b Hogg 20
DJ Bravo b Russell 30
MS Dhoni b Chawla 1
RA Jadeja c Cummins b Hogg 24
P Negi b Hogg 27
MM Sharma c Uthappa b Russell 0
A Nehra not out 1
RG More not out 2
Extras (b 1, lb 13, w 6) 20
Total (9 wickets; 20 overs) 165
Fall of wickets 1-0 (Smith, 0.1 ov), 2-43 (Raina, 3.3 ov), 3-64 (McCullum, 5.1 ov), 4-69 (du Plessis, 5.5 ov), 5-72 (Dhoni, 6.5 ov), 6-129 (Bravo, 16.3 ov), 7-154 (Jadeja, 18.3 ov), 8-160 (Negi, 18.5 ov), 9-160 (Sharma, 19.1 ov)
PJ Cummins 4 0 54 1
UT Yadav 2 0 16 1
PP Chawla 4 0 21 1
GB Hogg 4 0 29 4
YK Pathan 2 0 11 0
AD Russell 4 0 20 2
Kolkata Knight Riders (target: 166 runs from 20 overs)
RV Uthappa not out 80 58
G Gambhir c More b Sharma 19
MK Pandey c Jadeja b Negi 3
SA Yadav c Bravo b More 2
AD Russell not out 55
Extras (lb 5, w 5) 10
Total (3 wickets; 19.5 overs) 169
Did not bat: RN ten Doeschate, YK Pathan, PJ Cummins, PP Chawla, GB Hogg, UT Yadav
Fall of wickets: 1-33 (Gambhir, 4.2 ov), 2-54 (Pandey, 8.2 ov), 3-57 (SA Yadav, 9.1 ov)
MM Sharma 4 0 22 1
A Nehra 4 0 36 0
P Negi 4 0 23 1
RG More 3.5 0 31 1
RA Jadeja 2 0 25 0
DJ Bravo 2 0 27 0
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