Chennai, May 15 (IANS) After Chennai Super Kings lost to Kolkata Knight Riders by six wickets at M.A. Chidambaram Stadium on Sunday, skipper M.S. Dhoni said dew made a big difference in trying to defend 144/6.
Chennai had a chance to seal their place in the Playoffs at home as Deepak Chahar took three wickets in Power-play. But Nitish Rana and Rinku Singh had other ideas by stitching a 99-run partnership off 76 balls for the fourth wicket to take Kolkata home in a chase of 145 with nine balls to spare.
“The minute we bowled the first ball in the second innings, we knew we needed 180. But there was no way we could have got 180 on that pitch. The dew made a big difference in the second innings. We can’t really blame any of our bowlers.”
“Just that the conditions had a big impact on the game. Very happy with what Shivam has done, but important that he is not satisfied and keeps improving. Chahar swings the ball, he knows what fields to take, and he bowls accordingly,” he said after the game ended.
While Rana was unbeaten on 57 off 44 balls, Rinku was impressive in scoring 54 off 43 balls as the duo also achieved the distinction of stitching the highest-ever stand for the fourth wicket partnership against Chennai at Chepauk.
“Said at the toss that if all 3 departments do well, our chances are good. Have to give credit to Chandu sir (coach Chandrakant Pandit) for this — I wasn’t in favour of taking heavy roller but he insisted to go for it. I feared the pitch might break up. But that didn’t happen and the ball didn’t turn much. Every team has a home advantage except KKR,” added Rana.
Rinku, who got the Player of the Match Award for being the aggressor to dominate Chennai’s spinners, said the plan was to make the most out of bad deliveries.
“Lost some wickets early. When I went in, Nitish bhaiyya said it’s a tough wicket. Will knock it around for singles and capitalise on loose balls. I bat in the same position in domestic cricket and play the same way. I eat well and have always had the power. A lot of hard work behind it.”
The win also means that Kolkata are still alive in the race to Playoffs, while Chennai, still in second place, need a victory in their last league match against Delhi Capitals on May 20 to get a spot in the last four.