IPL 2024: CSK Stop the In-Form KKR’s Early-Season Invincibility

CSK instilled a spin choke on the Kolkata Knight Riders at home by analyzing a bowling-friendly pitch better than their counterparts.

CSK Stop the Winning Momentum of KKR

CSK, the defending champions and seasoned contenders of IPL 2024, delivered a stunning blow to the early-season invincibility of KKR in a thrilling encounter that left cricket fans on the edge of their seats. As CSK clashed with the in-form KKR on an old-school Chepauk surface, anticipation soared high for an epic showdown between two formidable teams. 

CSK returned home from two defeats on the road and were welcomed by a pitch that allowed them to put on a good old spin choke through Ravindra Jadeja, who picked 3 for 18 in 4 overs. On a surface where the ball just didn’t come onto the bat, Mustafizur Rahman returned to reclaim the purple cap while Tushar Deshpande was effective too. Ruturaj Gaikwad then found the fluency to his strokeplay that had eluded him in the first four games

Let’s unravel the captivating tale of how CSK halted KKR’s winning streak, altering the course of IPL 2024 and asserting its dominance in the tournament.

KKR flies early as per usual

Kolkata Knight Riders have been one of the PowerPlay maximizers this season. So it didn’t matter that Tushar Deshpande had Phil Salt caught at point on the first ball of the game as Sunil Narine and Angkrish Raghuvanshi threw their bats around.

The first over only fetched a run and just six came off Mustafizur Rahman’s over in the second, but Narine went after Deshpande in the 19-run third over. Shardul Thakur started off his CSK return with a loosener in the fourth over that Raghuvanshi hit for a four, and gave away 11. The two batters then hit a six each against Maheesh Theekshana. Even as Mustafizur bowled well to Narine in the sixth over for just six runs – 56/1 was the most expensive PowerPlay conceded by CSK at home this season.

Chepauk is a spinner’s ally again

CSK had picked zero wickets via spin in the first two home games this season. Ravindra Jadeja changed that in his first (and second over) to clip KKR’s wings. Raghuvanshi looked to take him on straight away and attempted a reverse sweep on the first ball, getting trapped leg before. In the same over, Jadeja saw the back of Narine with a full ball outside the off-stump that the left-hander went for a big hit. He ended up slicing the ball which went to Theekshana at long off.

It was one of those games where Ruturaj Gaikwad could bowl Jadeja out at once. Jadeja picked another wicket – of Venkatesh Iyer, with an innocuous half-tracker, and finished with a spell of 3 for 18. The spell also involved 11 dots.

CSK dominated the middle overs with a spin choke, as Rachin Ravindra sneaked in an over worth four runs too. In the 11th over, when Shreyas Iyer hit a four off Jadeja – it was the first in 34 deliveries. KKR lost their way after the PowerPlay, getting 53/4 in the next 10 overs.

CSK tame Russell at the death

Mustafizur came out on top in the 18th over, with four dots and just one four. One of the dots was even a free hit delivery. Deshpande went round the stumps to bowl with a similar angle to Mustafizur and packed the off-side fence, but Russell pierced that for a four first ball. On the next, Deshpande went short and Russell lined up to clear the long-on fence but failed to clear Daryl Mitchell. This was Deshpande’s third wicket of the game. Mustafizur then bowled an excellent final over, picking two wickets and restricting KKR to 137 for 9.

Ruturaj Gaikwad finds his timing again

The new CSK captain shrugged off his underwhelming start to the season and found his timing in the PowerPlay. He drove and cut through covers and point to hit three fours of Anukul Roy before hitting a square drive off Vaibhav Arora, who dismissed Rachin Ravindra in his previous over. Gaikwad’s flurry of boundaries took CSK to 52/1 in 6 overs.

How was the rest of the chase?

Fairly straightforward.

Daryl Mitchell took down Sunil Narine in his first over but Varun Chakravarthy bowled three good overs for just 13 runs. Andre Russell also started well on the sticky surface, only for Ruturaj to swivel-pull him for a four in his first over. Narine too bounced back quickly from a 14-run first over to give away just 10 in his next two and dismiss Mitchell.

Gaikwad kept his drives coming and posted his best score at the venue – 67* off 58. Shivam Dube meanwhile, arrived and pulled Mitchell Starc for a four and then slammed Varun Chakravarthy for two sixes to fast-track CSK’s win. Dube’s dismissal in the 17th over meant the Chepauk crowd got the first glimpse of MS Dhoni batting at CSK’s home ground. He came to the middle with just 3 to get and saw it through with his successor in the company in the 18th over.

What next?

CSK heads to Mumbai to take on Hardik Pandya’s team on Sunday (April 14). KKR returns home where they host LSG in the day game on the same date (April 14).

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