Sam Billings smashed 56 off 23     AFP
Sam Billings smashed 56 off 23 AFP

Chennai pulled off a thriller victory against Kolkata chasing 203 in the Indian T20 League 2018. With the heat of the situation in Chennai regarding the Cauvery controversy the fans made sure it was a full house in Chepauk as Chennai was playing there after two years. To their fortune the home team did not disappoint them winning their second consecutive game of the league.

Sam Billings who came in ahead of Dwayne Bravo decreased the gap between the required and current run rate. His power hitting got down the equation to 51 off 4 overs. He was out scoring 56 off 23 but had got the game to a winning position. Chennai needed 17 off the last over with Bravo on strike. Vinay Kumar who leaked 16 off his first over was the chosen candidate to bowl the final over. In a high pressure match he bowled a no-ball off the first delivery which went for a six. The free-hit delivery however produced only two runs. Chennai needed 4 off the last 2 when Ravindra Jadeja departed the ball into the stands winning it for Chennai.

Shane Watson provided a good start in the second innings smashing 42 off 19 before getting out to Tom Curran in the final over of the Powerplay. He was well supported with Ambati Rayudu (39) as they took the score to 75 in the Powerplay. Raina was finding it hard to get the ball away as he was struggling with cramps as well. He was eventually out for 14 in the 12th over. MS Dhoni promoted him to No.4 but failed to catch up pace with the required rate. He had scored only 7 off the first 15 deliveries he faced. It was in the 13th over when he smashed Kuldeep Yadav for 12 runs.

In the bowling department Vinay Kumar and Piyush Chawla were taken to the cleaners in the first half of the innings with economies 16 and 15.50 respectively. Kuldeep who had only conceded 13 off his first two overs leaked 16 runs off his third. Sunil Narine starred with the ball in today’s game conceding only 17 off his 4 overs. However, Chennai’s long batting line up won it for them.

Earlier in the match, Andre Russell with his 88 off 36 balls helped Kolkata post a mammoth total against Chennai. In his innings he hit only 1 four and smashed 11 sixes. Bravo, who has been the death bowling specialist for Chennai over years leaked 50 runs off his three overs.

Chennai now has chased down 200+ scores twice in the history of the league. Only Punjab is ahead of them chasing 200 down thrice.

Brief Scores

Kolkata 202 for 6 in 20 overs (Andre Russell 88*, Robin Uthappa 29; Shane Watson 4-0-39-2) lost to Chennai 205 for 5 in 19.5 overs (Sam Billings 56, Shane Watson 42; Tom Curran 3-0-39-2) by 5 wickets.