Kolkata: Devon Conway smashed his fourth consecutive fifty of Indian Premier League 2023 while Ajinkya Rahane dazzled with an unbeaten 29-ball 71 and Shivam Dube slammed a quick 21-ball fifty to propel Chennai Super Kings to the top of the points table with ten points through an emphatic 49-run win over Kolkata Knight Riders at Eden Gardens on Sunday.
In front of a crowd, which was a sea of yellow, Conway continued his impressive show while Dube attacked the spinners effortlessly and Rahane went after both pace and spin, timing his shots magnificently as Chennai posted the highest IPL score at this venue and against Kolkata.
Fourth straight defeat
In reply, Jason Roy and Rinku Singh struck valiant half-centuries, but they were not enough as Kolkata ended up at 185/8, crashing to their fourth straight defeat of the competition. After Chennai had a blistering 73-run opening partnership, Rahane and Dube shared a fantastic stand of 85 runs off 32 balls for the third wicket.
The four-time champions had their plans bang-on in taking Kolkata’s bowling attack to cleaners by hitting 18 sixes and 14 fours in their innings, with leg-spinner Suyash Sharma being the standout bowler for the hosts with his spell of 1-29.
Electing to bowl first, Kolkata used four bowlers in powerplay. But none of them were able to stop the glorious pair of Conway and Ruturaj Gaikwad. While Gaikwad got streaky boundaries off an inside edge and top edge, Conway was like a Ferrari in top gear.
Kolkata finally broke the partnership when Suyash got a googly to turn in from outside the off-stump and got a bit of dip to rattle Gaikwad’s off-stump. Conway marched on to dance down the pitch and launched Narine for a six over long-on, bringing up his fifty in 34 balls. He then followed it up by nailing a slog-sweep off Chakaravarthy as Chennai brought up their hundred in the 11th over.
His knock ended in the 13th over when he smashed straight to long-off on a wide delivery from Chakaravarthy. Chennai cancelled out the effect of Conway’s fall as Dube smashed two huge sixes in the leg-side in the same over.
Rahane welcomed Andre Russell by pulling him for six and four in the 17th over to bring up his fifty in 24 balls. In the next over, Dube got his fifty in 20 balls with a magnificent pulled six, before holing out to long-off on the very next ball. Ravindra Jadeja muscled two sixes off Khejroliya in the final over, before holing out to a deep backward square leg, as Chennai crossed the 230-mark.
In reply, Kolkata lost Sunil Narine and N. Jagadeesan in the first two overs. Nitish Rana and Venkatesh Iyer shared a decent 45-run standoff 35 balls before Moeen Ali struck on his first ball by trapping the latter plumb lbw.
Roy came out to bat at five after injuring his ankle earlier while fielding and began with a hat-trick of sixes by sweeping twice and reverse-sweeping once. After Rana slog-swept straight to deep midwicket off Jadeja, Roy powerfully swept and sliced off him for six and four respectively, while Rinku slammed another six as 19 runs came off the 11th over.
He then pulled and swung for more boundaries to reach his fifty in 19 balls with a slice past third man for four. Roy went on hit Theekshana for back-to-back fours in the 15th over. But the off-spinner had the last laugh as he castled Roy with a beautiful carom ball which had some dip.
Despite Andre Russell and Umesh Yadav getting caught in the deep while David Wiese was trapped lbw, Rinku continued to smash boundaries and get his fifty in 30 balls to keep the losing margin below 50 runs.
Chennai Super Kings beat Kolkata Knight Riders by 49 runs. Chennai Super Kings 235/4 in 20 overs (Ajinkya Rahane 71 not out, Devon Conway 56, Shivam Dube 50; Kulwant Khejroliya 2-44, Suyash Sharma 1-29) Kolkata Knight Riders 186/6 in 20 overs (Jason Roy 61, Rinku Singh 53 not out; Maheesh Theekshana 2-32, Tushar Deshpande 2-43).