IPL: CSK chase 203 in blockbuster finish to homecoming

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Chennai Super Kings 205 for 5 (Billings 56, Watson 42) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 202 for 6 (Russell 88*) by five wickets

Andre Russell gets one right off the middle (BCCI)

(ESPNcricinfo)-A chaotic start welcomed Chennai Super Kings back to the MA Chidambaram Stadium: protests and a delayed toss due to the late arrival of the match officials. The end was even more frenetic, as Super Kings hunted down 17 off the final over to edge a high-scoring thriller and keep the IPL’s trend of successful chases alive.

With their personnel and the roles assigned, Knight Riders have set their template for the season: attack from the outset and consolidate only if too many wickets fall. The trend is discernible. At the end of the Powerplay in their first game, against Royal Challengers Bangalore, Knight Riders were 68 for 2. At the same point against Super Kings, they were 64 for 2. After nine overs in the previous game, Knight Riders were 92 for 3. In this game, they were 87 for 4.

Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine and Robin Uthappa scored a combined 63 runs off 36 balls. The approach of attempting to score boundaries despite losing wickets is fraught with risk, but it has worked twice in two games.

Russell had a strike rate of 128 and a dot-ball percentage of 42 against legspinners in T20s, prior Tuesday. So, it wasn’t surprising that Imran Tahir was brought on immediately after Russell came in. He conceded two runs off five balls against Russell.

With the main threat seen out, Russell feasted on Super Kings’ fast bowlers, who either had the wrong plan or missed their execution too often. As the bowlers repeatedly erred too full, Russell teed up the straight boundaries. Russell’s most productive hitting area was straight: he scored 50 runs off 15 balls between long-off and long-on. Overall, 84 of his 88 runs came in front of square on both sides. Off full balls, he scored 52 runs off 15 balls, at a strike rate of 346.7.

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