Shubman Gill justified his promotion at No. 4 © AFP
Shubman Gill justified his promotion at No. 4 © AFP

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have hit a bizarre patch of inconsistency. After a defeat against Mumbai Indians (MI) on Saturday, they came back against Delhi Daredevils (DD), only to go down to Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Match 33 of the ongoing VIVO IPL 2018 today. In pursuit of 178, KKR went past the target with 14 balls to spare courtesy Shubman Gill’s composed 57* (in 36 balls), Sunil Narine’s early onslaught and Dinesh Karthik’s finishing touches. With this win KKR edged past Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) to secure third spot on the points table. CSK, on the other hand, had to concede the top spot to Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH).

KKR lost Chris Lynn soon. He muscled Lungi Ngidi for 2 sixes but went overboard and perished. Bit of the credit goes to MS Dhoni’s acumen with the DRS. All this happened in the first over. Narine, riding on his luck, continued to take the aerial route. He was given two reprieves, off successive deliveries, by CSK’s best fielder — Ravindra Jadeja. Narine towed with the field in the Powerplay overs and helped himself to a 20-ball 32. He hammered Jadeja, Ngidi and KM Asif before he hit a rank long-hop from Jadeja to wide long-on.

The run flow didn’t stop. At No. 4, Gill demonstrated how he was being wasted down the order. Having dropped a regulation catch of Dhoni earlier in the match, Gill batted with purpose in order to make up for the folly. His innings was calm, composed and mature, but while he kept the wicket intact, he never let the asking rate rise. He hit to all corners of the park and rotated the strike well. He drove confidently on the rise, and when he took risks they were calculated ones.

At the other end Karthik’s purple patch continued, which ensured Gill did not do anything silly at the end. He provided the finishing touch with 45 not out, off only 18 balls.

The CSK fielding remained below par. Dhoni blamed ‘lack of awareness’ for their sloppiness. However, he could have resorted to Dwayne Bravo earlier, when the match was shifting towards KKR. Only Harbhajan Singh (3-0-20-1) was economical, but he did not bowl his full quota.

Earlier, put into bat, CSK got off to a strong start. Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis and Suresh Raina set the platform but few breakthroughs in the middle overs derailed their progress. Dhoni’s unbeaten 43 pushed CSK past 170. In the end the total proved ineffective.

Brief scores:

Chennai Super Kings 177 for 5 in 20 overs (Shane Watson 36, Faf du Plessis 27, Suresh Raina 31, MS Dhoni 43*; Sunil Narine 2 for 31, Piyush Chawla 2 for 35, Kuldeep Yadav 1 for 34) lost to Kolkata Knight Riders 180 for 4 in 17.4 overs (Sunil Narine 32, Shubman Gill 57*, Dinesh Karthik 45*; Harbhajan Singh 1 for 20, Ravindra Jadeja 1 for 39) by 6 wickets with 14 balls to spare.

Player of the Match: Sunil Narine.