CSK win low-scoring game against Royal Challengers

Wednesday 06th May 2015 07:04 EDT

After suffering two losses, Chennai Super Kings returned to the MA Chidambaram Stadium and extended their undefeated run at home this season to five games by winning a choppy contest against Royal Challengers Bangalore. The 24-run victory took Super Kings to 14 points, level with table-toppers Rajasthan Royals with a game in hand. Royal Challengers were left in third place on nine points, with four teams not more than a point behind them.

Batsmen from both sides struggled on a sweltering day in Chennai but when Virat Kohli and Dinesh Karthik were at the crease, with Royal Challengers needing 52 off 37 balls with seven wickets in hand, the visitors were favourites. They had added 63 and were cruising, when Dwayne Bravo turned the match with a stunning display of reflexes and athleticism while bowling.

Kohli had stepped out of his crease and dug a yorker hard into the ground. He then took a couple of steps further, partly because of momentum and partly because he thought the ball was going to bounce over the bowler. Bravo, however, jumped high during his follow through with his right hand outstretched above his head to field the ball. He let the throw rip even before his feet were grounded again. Caught by surprise, Kohli turned and dived in desperation as the ball whizzed past him and uprooted middle stump, with the bat inches short of the crease.

The very next ball - the first of the 15th over - accounted for Karthik. Nehra pitched short and Karthik pulled; the shot was on but the placement was dire. The ball flew straight to Dwayne Smith at deep midwicket. Royal Challengers had lost two set batsmen in two deliveries and their position of strength unravelled so quickly that they were eventually dismissed for 124 in 19.4 overs.

Royal Challengers had struggled before the partnership between Kohli and Karthik too, but that was because of soft dismissals and not exceptional play from the Super Kings. Chris Gayle's replacement, Nic Maddinson, charged at most deliveries and missed a straight full toss to be bowled; AB de Villiers' dangerous cameo ended when he hit another full toss to mid-off; and Mandeep Singh was run out attempting an impossible single. In pursuit of 149, Royal Challengers had slipped to 34 for 3, and their subsequent recovery did not have a happy ending.

Super Kings' bowlers and fielding made up for a sputtering batting performance after MS Dhoni had won the toss. Smith did not touch the first five balls of Mitchell Starc's opening over and was bowled by the sixth. The innings never really recovered from that wicket maiden.

Knight Riders beat Sunrisers by 35 runs

Riding on fine bowling by Brad Hogg (2/17) and Umesh Yadav (2/34), Kolkata Knight Riders registered an easy 35-run victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad in their IPL match at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Monday.

Chasing 168, Sunrisers Hyderabad, who were tottering at 66/4 after the end of 11 overs at one stage, lost wickets at regular intervals as they could all manage 132/9 in the stipulated 20 overs. KKR paceman Umesh Yadav gave two denting blows to Hyderabad early on as they lost skipper David Warner (4) and Naman Ojha (0) in the very first over.

Brad Hogg soon sent dangerous Shikhar Dhawan, who scored a run-a-ball 15, back in the dugout in his first over. Moises Henriques (41) fought hard in the middle but he was well dismissed by Hogg.

Leggie Piyush Chawla too joined the party as he foxed Hanuma Vihari (6), who was finely stumped by Robin Uthappa, as Hyderabad lost half of their side at the score of 68.

Earlier, Yusuf Pathan's late cameo lifted Kolkata Knight Riders to a fighting 167 for seven after a middle-order collapse against Sunrisers Hyderabad. Asked to bat, KKR were in trouble as none of their top batsman could make it big, but Pathan held fort and struck an unbeaten 30 off 19 balls to give the total respectability.

Karn Sharma and Bipul Sharma, included in place of Ashish Reddy, took full advantage of the slow nature of the pitch, and were instrumental in KKR's slide after a flying start given by the duo of Robin Uthappa (30) and Gautam Gambhir (31).

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