After bowlers displayed a terrific performance, Faf du Plessis struck a calm and composed 43-run knock to help Chennai beat Kolkata by seven wickets in a low-scoring Indian Premier League clash at Chepauk Stadium on Tuesday.
After being asked to bat first, Andre Russell (50) waged a lone battle as wickets kept trembling in quick successions from the other end as Kolkata posted a total of 108/9 in their stipulated 20 overs.
Deepak Chahar was the pick of the bowlers for his figures of three for 20. While Harbhajan Singh and Imran Tahir bagged two wickets each, Ravindra Jadeja also chipped in with a wicket.
In reply, MS Dhoni-led side managed to cross the mark with 17 balls to spare.
Here are the highlights:
# Chennai beat Kolkata by 7 wickets! Chennai 111/3 (17.2 overs)
# Chennai require 16 runs off 24 balls! Chennai 93/3 (16 overs)
# Kedar Jadhav is the new batsman in!
# Wicket! As and when Du Plessis (27) and Rayadu (21) was looking settled at the crease, the latter was caught at short cover by Nitish Rana off the fourth delivery from Chawla in the 15th over. Chennai need 38 runs from 32 balls. Chennai 81/3 (14.4 overs)
# Du Plessis (17) and Raidu (13) added 14 runs in the last two overs as Chennai now need 46 runs off 54 balls. Chennai 63/2 (11 overs)
# Six runs off the last two overs. Faf du Plessis (10) and Rayudu (six) are currently batting cautiously and looking to stitch a partnership as Chennai require 60 more runs from 11 overs. Chennai 49/2 (9 overs)
# Ambati Rayudu comes to bat in!
# Wicket! Narine strikes again. Raina smashed the last delivery of the fifth over high in the air as Chawla ran back from mid-on to take brilliant catch just inches above the ground. Chennai 35/2 (5 overs)
# Suresh Raina is the new batsman in!
# Wicket! Narine gave the breakthrough to Kolkata as early as in the third over. Watson (17) hammered a short delivery towards square leg, only to see Piyush Chawla grab the catch. Chennai 25/1 (3 overs)
# A good first over for Chennai. Watson got off the mark by smashing the first delivery through extra cover for a boundary before he hammered the fifth delivery over deep midwicket for six runs. Chennai 12/0 (1 over)
# Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis to begin Chennai's chase. Piyush Chawla opens the attack for Kolkata.
# Innings Break!
# Kolkata post 108/9 in their stipulated 20 overs!
# Wicket! Krishna hit the third delivery of the 17th over from Ravindra Jadeja straight to midwicket, only to see Harbhajan take a simple catch. Kolkata 79/9 (9 overs)
# Prasidh Krishna is the new batsman in!
# Wicket! Harbhajan Singh strikes twice to remove Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav for eight and duck, respectively. Kolkata have now lost eight wickets with just four overs remaining. Kolkata 77/8 (18 overs)
# 12 runs off the last two overs, including two boundaries from Russell. The Caribbean batsman and Chawla are batting at their respective scores of 20 and 8 and are looking to guide Kolkata to a respectable total after losing six wickets in quick successions. Kolkata 75/6 (15 overs)
# Piyush Chawla comes to bat in!
# Wicket! Tahir bowled a beautiful googly in the 11th over, propelling Gill to come out of the crease to flick it down the ground as Dhoni picked the ball up and took the bail off. Kolkata 49/6 (11 overs)
# Andre Russell is the new batsman in!
# Wicket! Kolkata are in deep trouble now as they have lost their fifth wicket. Imran Tahir bowled a full delivery on middle and skipper Karthik (19) whipped it nicely up in the air towards midwicket, only to see Harbhajan taking a good catch. Kolkata 44/5 (9 overs)
# Just 9 runs off the last two overs. Karthik (12) and Gill (two) are looking to steady Kolkata's ship after losing their four wickets in quick succession. Chennai, on the other hand, continue to pile pressure on the visitors. Kolkata 33/4 (7 overs)
# Shubman Gill comes to bat for Kolkata!
# Wicket! Chahar seems to be on a roll today as he has completed a three-wicket haul. Uthappa pulled a short slower ball from Chahar high up in the air towards deep square leg, where Kedar Jadhav dove forward to grab the catch. Kolkata 24/4 (5 overs)
# Skipper Dinesh Karthik is the new batsman in!
# Wicket! Chahar strikes again. The Chennai bowler delivered a length ball on middle as Rana went for the pull shot but ended up giving a neat catch at Ambati Rayudu at midwicket. The visitors lost their third wicket. Kolkata 9/3 (3 overs)
# Nitish Rana comes to bat for Kolkata!
# Wicket! Kolkata have lost both the openers. Harbhajan Singh tossed the fifth delivery of the second over up as Narine (6) top-edged the ball straight into the air for Chahar to take a catch at point. Kolkata 8/2 (2 overs)
# Robin Uthappa is the new batsman in!
# Wicket! Chahar gave the breakthrough to Chennai as early as in the first over. Lynn (duck) went for a pull shot off the final delivery, only to see himself caught leg before wicket. Kolkata 6/1 (1 over)
# Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine to open the batting for Kolkata. Deepak Chahar begins the attack for Chennai.
# The two teams are going with unchanged squads.
Chennai: Faf du Plessis, Shane Watson, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (capt & wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Scott Kuggeleijn, Deepak Chahar, Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir
Kolkata: Sunil Narine, Chris Lynn, Robin Uthappa, Nitish Rana, Shubman Gill, Dinesh Karthik (capt & wk), Andre Russell, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Harry Gurney, Prasidh Krishna
# Chennai win the toss and elect to bowl first against Kolkata!
# The toss is all set to take place in a few minutes.
Defending champions Chennai will face a tough challenge when they take on in-form Kolkata in an Indian Premier League (IPL) clash at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Tamil Nadu on Tuesday.
Both MS Dhoni-led side and Dinesh Karthik's team have been at the top of their form in the ongoing season so far, having clinched four out of five games they have played.
Though both the teams have equal points (eight apiece) in the IPL standings, Kolkata are placed at the numero-uno spot because of a better run rate.
Heading into the clash, Chennai will be keen to clinch a victory in order to climb to the top of the point table, while Kolkata will be looking to retain their spot.
The hosts will go into the clash on the back of their 22-run win over Ravichandran Ashwin-led Team Punjab in a clash where they successfully defended a modest total of 160 runs.
Kolkata, on the other hand, first restricted Rajasthan to a lowly score of 139 for three before chasing down the target inside 14 overs to seal a crushing eight-wicket win.
Now, the focus will be on how Chennai would stop hard-hitting Jamaican Andre Russell, who has been in the top of his form with the bat.
MS Dhoni's side, meanwhile, have brought in swashbuckling South African batsman Faf du Plessis in place of the injured Dwayne Bravo.
The two teams are as follows:
Chennai: MS Dhoni (captain & WK), Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Murali Vijay, Kedar Jadhav, Sam Billings, Ravindra Jadeja, Dhruv Shorey, Chaitanya Bishnoi, Rituraj Gaikwad, Dwayne Bravo, Karn Sharma, Imran Tahir, Harbhajan Singh, Mitchell Santner, Shardul Thakur, Mohit Sharma, K M Asif, Deepak Chahar, N Jagadeesan (wk), Scott Kuggeleign.
Kolkata: Dinesh Karthik (Captain & WK), Robin Uthappa, Chris Lynn, Shubman Gill, Andre Russell, Carlos Brathwaite, Sunil Narine, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Nitish Rana, Nikhil Naik, Joe Denly, Shrikant Mundhe, Sandeep Warrier, Prasidh Krishna, Lockie Ferguson, Harry Gurney, K C Cariappa, Yarra Prithviraj.