Chennai lifts IPL crown for fourth time beating KKR by 27 runs

Chennai Super Kings delivered a consummate performance to lift its fourth IPL trophy beating Kolkata Knight Riders by 27 runs in the final here on Friday.
Chennai lifts IPL crown for fourth time beating KKR by 27 runs


Kolkata lost a spate of wickets crumbling from 91 for no loss in the 11th over to 125 for eight in the 17th to see its hopes vanish into thin air. Set to chase 193, Kolkata made a confident start with in-form opener Venkatesh Iyer notching up yet another half-century before perishing for 50 (32b, 5x4, 3x6). His wicket triggered a procession as Kolkata’s middle order failed spectacularly in the face of disciplined bowling from Chennai. 
Shardul Thakur was the pick of Chennai bowlers making inroads by taking two wickets in the same over after which Kolkata’s batting folded up meekly. Barring Iyer and Shubman Gill who scored 51 (43b, 6x4), none of the other Kolkata batters made any impact as the result swiftly became a foregone conclusion. 
A few lusty blows from tailenders Shivam Mavi and Lockie Ferguson towards the end only reduced the margin of defeat.
Earlier, in-form Faf du Plessis saved his best for the last with a blazing 86 off 59 balls as Chennai posted a formidable 192 for 3 against Kolkata.
It was a ‘Daddies’ Day Out’ in the true sense as 37-year-old du Plessis, along with 35-year-olds Robin Uthappa (31 off 15 balls) and Moeen Ali (37 not out off 20 balls) batted with flair.
The former Proteas skipper got a reprieve in third over when Dinesh Karthik bungled an easy stumping chance and then made full use by smashing seven fours and three sixes and also finished as second highest run-getter behind Ruturaj Gaikwad (635).
All standout shots came off Ferguson as there was cracking over drive and two sixes over long-off region. Ferguson (0/56 in 4 overs) had a forgettable day in office.
An opening stand of 61 in eight overs with ‘flavour of the season’ Gaikwad (32 off 27 balls) set the tone and then Robin Uthappa, who had decided to roll back years with 31 off only 15 balls that included his signature pick-up sixes over the deep mid-wicket region.
The 63 runs added in only 5.2 overs did derail Kolkata’s bowling with only Sunil Narine (2/26 in 4 overs) getting his length and variations in pace right.
He first snuffed out Gaikwad, who was caught in the deep, and then bowled one straighter which Uthappa missed the line trying to go for the reverse sweep.
The reason why Kolkata lost the plot during the first 10 overs was Shakib (0/33 in 3 overs) losing his confidence after Karthik’s missed stumping and in the process the length going all awry.
Adding insult to the injury was Ferguson, whose express pace which had been the difference during the UAE leg, became his undoing from the moment Gaikwad sliced him between cover and point.
Du Plessis then transformed using the pace for big hits into art form with an able hand in Moeen, who found the gaps on both sides of the wickets with finesse while lofting the maximums with effortless ease.
Brief scores: Chennai Super Kings 192/3 in 20 overs (F du Plessis 86) bt Kolkata Knight Riders 165/9 in 20 overs (S Gill 51, V Iyer 50, S Thakur 3/38)
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