KOLKATA: Robin Uthappa started brilliantly for Kolkata in the 47th match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014 between Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK). Uthappa and Gautam Gambhir, who opened with him, have been in tremendous form at the top of the order for KKR.
With 40-plus scores in each of his last six innings, Uthappa has been the best Indian batsman in IPL 7. The way he started his innings, it seemed like he would add another 40 to his tally. He eventually did manage to, but not before being dropped on two occasions. In the very first over of the innings, R Ashwin dropped a simple catch at slip. He was dropped again in the third over by Suresh Raina, also at slip. He went on to compile a very good 67 off just 39 balls with 10 fours and a six.
At the other end, Gautam Gambhir gave Uthappa good support with a quiet 21. The pair added 64 for the first wicket, and all but took the match away from CSK. Even after Gambhir’s dismissal — bowled by Ishwar Pandey — Uthappa powered on. When he was finally dismissed caught by Faf du Plessis in the deep off Ravindra Jadeja, KKR needed just 57 more runs to win.
Manish Pandey was solid at his end, rotating the strike and letting first Uthappa and then Shakib al Hasan score the boundaries. Ultimately, the pair of Pandey and Shakib proved to be enough to win KKR the match comfortably. Shakib ended with a breezy unbeaten 46 off just 21 balls.
Earlier, Chennai Super Kings scored 154 for four in the first innings after KKR won the toss and elected to field first. Pat Cummins came into the KKR side in place of Morne Morkel, while David Hussey and Samuel Badree were replaced by Ben Hilfenhaus and Faf du Plessis.
Dwayne Smith started positively for CSK, hitting a boundary off the very first delivery of the match bowled by Shakib al Hasan. Pat Cummins, the young Australian pacer who shot to fame with his exploits in South African a few years ago, started off with a terrific over. After beating Dwayne Smith’s drive off the first ball, he came back to clean him up with an absolute gem that swung late and knocked the off stump out of the ground. Cummins ended up bowling a wicket maiden in his very first over in IPL.
Later in the innings, Suresh Raina hit Piyush Chawla for a six over cow corner for a six, and that signaled the start of CSK’s attack. Cummins was hit for a boundary down fine leg by new man du Plessis in the last over before the timeout. The 14th over, bowled by Piyush Chawla, was the start of a very productive spell of play for CSK. Raina hit two big sixes and a four off the last three balls of the over to bring up his half century.
Pat Cummins justified his inclusion in the line-up with impressive figures of 4-1-29-1 on IPL debut. CSK ended with 154 for four after their 20 overs. In the end, that proved far too little for a side that has now won five games in a row.