IPL 2019, CSK vs KKR: Chennai Super Kings bowlers limit Kolkata Knight Riders to 108/9

How do you stop Andre Russell? Well, get him out early; and if you can get him out early, get others out early.

Chennai Super Kings went with option two and even though Russell managed unbeaten 50 off 44 balls, rest of Kolkata Knight Riders were scored only 58 runs on a tricky MA Chidambaram Stadium track in Chennai in Match 23 of the IPL 2019 on Tuesday. 

Russell was curtailed very well by Scott Kuggeleijn and Deepak Chahar, who put in a sensational spell of 4-0-20-3. He injured himself when he landed on his wrist while turning for a second run, hampering his stroke-making, but put in a late push, with 15 runs off the last over bowled by Kuggeleijn to take Kolkata to 108/9. 

The clash of the table-toppers not really lived up to its billing in the first half, but with a demanding track that aided the likes of Imran Tahir and Harbhajan Singh, it is anybody’s guess what Sunil NarinePiyush Chawla and Kuldeep Yadav can achieve if they bowl to their potential.

However, with the luxury of a target in front of them, Chennai may be looking at their sixth win of the season.

MS Dhoni had the advantage of the toss and it was  dream start for the hosts. Chahar had Chris Lynn out for a five-ball duck when he tried to cross bat a length ball, which did not rise at all.

Off the next over, Narine, bogged down by Harbhajan Singh’s guile, was undone with a slow teaser and was well caught at point by Chahar. By the third over Kolkata crashed to 9/3 when when in-form Nitish Rana went for a pull off a Chahar length ball, which once again kept low, and the shot was well intercepted by Ambati Rayudu at short mid wicket.

Local player and Kolkata skipper Dinesh Karthik and Robin Uthappa had a massive task of rebuilding ahead of them and when Uthappa got back to back boundaries off Chahar, it looked like the experienced duo could very well set Kolkata on course.  

However, after Uthappa hit his second four off the over, with a pull towards mid wicket, Dhoni kept a man there and Uthappa, again went for a pull, only to be caught by Kedar Jadhav.

By the ninth over, Karthik too was sent packing when he tried to flick a fullish delivery from Tahir, only to be caught well by Harbhajan at mid wicket. Kolkata slumped to 44/5, which soon become 47/6 when Tahir, in his second over, had Shubhman Gill stumped by Dhoni for 9.

Tahir could have had the big-hitting Russell in his third over, but Harbhajan made a hash of a running catch. Russell failed to read a leg break and went for  slog sweep, hoping it to be a googly and ended up edging it. Russell was on eight off ten balls.

Russell then got a maximum in the over but continued to struggle against Tahir, who finished with a fantastic spell of 4-0-21-2.  Harbhajan got his second wicket of the night foxing Chawla (stumped), and then had Kuldeep run-out.

Ravindra Jadeja added the scalp of Prasidh Krishna, as Kolkata slumped to 79/9 in 17 overs. Russell tried his best to push the total with No.11 Harry Gurney at the other end, the Jamaican farmed strike in the death over, hitting five fours and three six in his innings.

Brief Scores: Kolkata Knight Riders 108/9 (Andre Russell 50*; Deepak Chahar 3/20) vs Chennai Super Kings