The MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings (CSK) suffered a shocking defeat against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
Chasing 168 to win, the Super Kings were in the hunt for the most part of their run-chase before losing the plot entirely towards the end.
Openers Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis got CSK off to a decent start with a 30-run stand for the first wicket. Watson continued his fine form with the bat as he went on to complete his 50 off 40 balls and added 69 runs for the second wicket with Ambati Rayudu (30).
Dhoni promoted himself at number 4, but the move did not work in CSK’s favour as the skipper departed for 11 off 12 balls. His dismissal in the 17th over opened the winning gates for the Knight Riders.
Varun Chakravarthy, Andre Russell and Sunil Narine bowled exceptionally well to ensure CSK batsmen failed to get their team over the line. With 36 required off the final two overs, Kedar Jadhav played a shambolic inning of 7 off 12 balls which took the game away from CSK.
Ravindra Jadeja, who came out to bat at number 7, scored 17 off eight balls but that wasn’t enough to take his side home.
Earlier, Rahul Tripathi impressed with the bat as he turned out to be the lone warrior for KKR in an otherwise disappointing performance from their batsmen. Tripathi played a superb knock of 81 runs off 51 balls to help KKR post a competitive total of 167 runs on the board while opening the innings for the first time this season.
‘We need to be innovative’: Dhoni
CSK captain Dhoni, in the post-match presentation, pointed out that the second half of their innings was where they lost the contest and urged his batters to pull up their socks.
“In the middle overs, there was a phase where they bowled 2-3 good overs. If we batted better and didn’t lose 2-3 wickets in a row. We should’ve been careful in the first 5-6 overs.
“Curran was really good with the ball, and I think we did well in general with the ball, but the batsmen let the bowlers down today.
“Rotation of strike was important, but I think there were hardly any boundaries in the final few overs, so we need to be innovative at the end when they are continuously hitting a back of a length. That’s where we need to adapt better with the bat and I don’t think we did that,” Dhoni said.
Meanwhile, CSK have managed to hold on to their fifth spot in the points table despite their fourth defeat in six games while KKR jumped a place to third after registering their 3rd win in 5 matches.