Gambhir led KKR charge early in the innings © IANS
Gautam Gambhir led KKR charge early in the innings © IANS

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) defeated Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) by eight wickets in the final match of the Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014.  Chasing 181 to win, CSK reached the destination quite easily in the end. Varun Arora looks at the highlights of the exciting encounter.

Gambhir-Uthappa start: Gautam Gambhir started aggressively from start of the match. He gave the attack to Mohit Sharma and Ashish Nehra and got good runs in the early overs, whereas Uthappa was elegant with his high back-lift and sweet connection with the cricket ball. They both gave KKR a quick start and they almost swarmed near the 10-a-over run-rate before Uthappa fell to Negi in the 11th over.

The Negi Loop: Playing his second CLT20 match for CSK, the 21-year-old lad was at his very best with the ball. He bowled slow, spun the white ball and was gutsy against the batsman who were roaring to go after him. His first victim was the local boy Uthappa who went down too far trying to hit him down the ground but eventually had to walk back to the pavilion. He came back to bowl the 12th over when Jacques Kallis was on-strike taking guard and all-ready to smack him out of the park. But the fearless Negi sprayed it in the air with the angle, Kallis took two steps and tried to hoick it over extra-cover for six but ended it landing into the palms of Ashish Nehra.

The untidy CSK fielding: It was one of those days when CSK fielders looked tired and worn out. Brendon McCullum started the misfielding count with two misses in the early overs. Suresh Raina dropped Kallis at first slip in the 11th over. He followed it up with a sloppy attempt at short fine leg which leaked four runs. There were two catching attempts by Dwayne Bravo and Faf du Plessis at the ropes which eventually went on for two sixes.

The 19th over: Negi had already picked up two wickets already before he came to bowl the penultimate over of the match. 19th over of a tense CLT20 is supposed to be a high scoring event but it turned out to be sour for KKR. Negi scalped Manish Pandey with his first delivery when the batsman tried to send the flatter delivery to orbit. Ryan ten Doeschante was next to get dismissed. He was stumped trying to do the same as Pandey as intelligent Negi bowled a wide outside off-stump. The fifth victim of Negi was Surya Kumar Yadav who tried to reverse-sweep Negi but was caught at short third man. He now had the best figures in the history of the CLT20 2014.

Clinical Raina: Raina came onto bat when CSK were struggling at nine for one. Dwayne Smith had left early, but Raina was on his way to get the ‘yellow army’ home. He was exquisite, he middled the ball, and at times murdered it out of the ground. He hit a total of eight sixes in his innings and left the KKR bowlers clueless. It was all about his deft touch, timing and accurate footwork. He was pleasurable to the eyes and took the CSK team to a comprehensive win with authority.

Narine-less KKR: Without Sunil Narine KKR posed almost no threat to CSK batting. It was a display of ordinary bowling and at no time KKR bowling looked dominating. Both Piyush Chawla and Kuldeep Yadav failed make use of the track on which Negi picked a five-for. They were full most of the times and Raina made full use of the freebies. KKR missed the man from Caribbean the most today.

Complete coverage of Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014 here

(Varun Arora is a reporter with CricketCountry.com. Started as a medium-fast bowler, converted to an opening batsman but finally settled with his passion of writing about the game. His Twitter handle is @varunjgd)