- KKR defeat CSK by 6 wickets with 9 balls remaining.
- Chasing a mediocre 132 for the win, Rahane hit a brilliant 44 ahead of skipper Shreyas Iyer who smashed an unbeaten 20 to manoeuvre KKR past the finish line.
- Dhoni’s blazing 50 off 38 deliveries reviving CSK’s winnings garnered hysteric tweets from all across the country.
- KKR skipper Shreyas Iyer admits to getting a hint of the shift in momentum following Dhoni’s brilliant half-century.
KKR skipper, Shreyas Iyer commenced his captaincy journey on an ideal note registering a clinical 6-wicket win against the defending champions Chennai Super Kings at Wankhede, Mumbai. With the win, KKR finally managed to avenge their defeat at the hands of CSK in the finals last year. KKR also concluded their three-match losing streak to the four-time IPL champions.
Shreyas, who was bought by KKR this year for a whopping Rs. 12.5 crores was given the reins of captaincy despite the presence of a senior player like Pat Cummins. The right-handed batter lived up to everyone’s expectations making a mark with his tactical changes in his bowling and field placements to trounce the CSK batsmen.
Umesh set the tone right at the start of the tournament plucking two early wickets (Gaikwad and Conway), giving 20 runs ahead of Varun Chakravarthy and Andre Russell’s entry into the wicket-takers column leaving CSK staggering at 61/5. KKR coach Brendon McCullum had faith in his solid powerplay record due to his ability to swing the ball and take wickets.
Notwithstanding, maiden captain Ravindra Jadeja (26) and MS Dhoni (50)did a commendable job at resurrecting CSK’s inning after early blows. The partnership put up 70 to help CSK record 131/5 on the scoreboard. On the bowling front, Chakravarthy and Russell registered one wicket each. Though KKR managed to restrict CSK at 131 in 20 overs, right-arm fast bowler, Shivam Mahi and all-rounder, Andre Russell leaked too many runs in the death overs.
Shreyas mentions being seized with tension when Dhoni is batting and a feeling that momentum will shift in CSK’s favour. Shreyas, during the post-match presentation also highlighted difficulty gripping the ball given the dew around. The veteran wicketkeeper, Dhoni struck his first IPL half-century since 2019. He was batting 7 off 17 balls but managed to turn the tables around at the right time smashing 43 off the last 21 balls to finish his half-century in the final over of the innings.
Iyer was grateful for the supportive environment in his new franchise and said that everyone associated with it, including the CEO, management and support staff had been very encouraging.
“It was spongier than we imagined. This is one place I love to play. I grew up here. I thought it would be flat,” said Shreyas while talking about playing at Wankhede, his home ground.
He further lauded veteran pacer, Umesh Yadav for presenting a breath-taking performance with the ball in the season opener. Umesh was named Player of the Match for picking up two wickets in the first innings. Meanwhile, Dhoni who reached the 50-run mark also broke Rahul Dravid’s record of becoming the oldest player to score a half-century in the Indian T20 league.