Chennai Super Kings win fourth IPL title

Dubai: Marshalled expertly by M.S. Dhoni, Chennai Super Kings overcame Kolkata Knight Riders by 27 runs to win its fourth title in the Indian Premier League, in Dubai, on Friday.
Defending a combative 192 on a good batting surface, Dhoni rang in the changes cleverly, closed down the angles in the field, and kept finding wickets after a blistering 91-run partnership in 10.4 overs between the exciting Venkatesh Iyer and Shubman Gill.
Earlier, riding on Faf du Plessis’ 59-ball 86, CSK, inserted, posted a formidable 192 for three.
Then it defended the target with verve although Venkatesh, on zero, was dropped by Dhoni when Josh Hazlewood got one to seam away.
Southpaw Venkatesh made CSK pay. The next delivery was pulled for a six. And the nerveless Venkatesh proceeded to essay a string of shots against pacemen between cover and point and dismissed Ravindra Jadeja ruthlessly for sixes.
Venkatesh eventually fatally sliced Shardul Thakur. Then left-handed Nitish Rana drove a cross seamer straight to mid-off. Thakur’s double strike hurt KKR.
Sunil Narine was superbly taken at deep mid-wicket by Jadeja off Hazlewood. Pace variations were on view.
Gill was keeping one end going although he was not able to up the tempo, save a few shots of grace and timing.
He was fortunate on 27 when Ambati Rayudu `caught’ a skier off Jadeja but replays revealed the ball had struck the spider cam on its way up.
Gill, eventually, was trapped leg-before by a full delivery from Chahar for 51.
KKR proceeded to lose a bunch of wickets. Dinesh Karthik was prised out by Jadeja, who then trapped Shakib-Al-Hasan leg-before.
If the choice was between the explosive Andre Russell and Shakib for the final, KKR had picked the wrong man. The out-of-form skipper, Morgan, was taken out by Hazlewood. It was all over for KKR.
Earlier, du Plessis was fortunate to be let off on two by Dinesh Karthik, who missed a leg-side stumping off Shakib-Al-Hasan. It was a huge moment in the game.
The Kolkata bowlers took a pounding. There was some more bad news for KKR. The in-form Rahul Tripathi hurt his hamstring while fielding.
du Plessis and the light-footed Ruturaj disrupted the bowlers’ length, found the gaps, hit over the infield, or cleared the ropes. Incredibly, both finished with 600 plus runs in this edition. (Agencies)