KKR’s mystery spinners Narine and Chakravarthy prove unhittable; Rahane shines with the bat
Kolkata Knight Riders 133 for 4 (Rahane 44, Bravo 3-20) beat Chennai Super Kings 131 for 5 (Dhoni 50*, Umesh 2-20) by six wickets
MS Dhoni, 40 and no longer captain, turned the clock back with a vintage display of death-overs hitting, but Chennai Super Kings struggled either side of that as a canny bowling effort on a two-paced Wankhede Stadium pitch set up a comfortable opening-day win for Kolkata Knight Riders.
All the Knight Riders bowlers contributed to restricting Super Kings to 131. Umesh Yadav was quick and incisive with the new ball, dismissing both openers, and mystery spinners Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine were close to unhittable, finishing with combined figures of 1 for 38 from their eight overs.
Andre Russell and Shivam Mavi bore the brunt of Dhoni’s punishment as Super Kings took 47 off the last three overs of their innings, but they had made an impact before that, teaming up with Umesh in hitting hard lengths and starving the batters of opportunities to access the short straight boundaries.
The chase was straightforward, even if Knight Riders endured a spell of 29 boundary-less balls. The target was never going to challenge them as long as they didn’t lose a heap of wickets, and Ajinkya Rahane scored 44 while three others made twenties as Knight Riders got home with nine balls to spare.
Full report to follow
Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo