Following the 49-run loss to Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in their Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 match, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) skipper Nitish Rana said that it was tough to digest that his side conceded such a huge score against the four-time champions and did not do well during the powerplay stage of their run-chase. Ajinkya Rahane and Devon Conway’s scintillating knocks in the first innings and Maheesh Theekshana’s bowling allowed Chennai Super Kings to register a dominant victory against Kolkata Knight Riders at Eden Gardens in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 on Sunday.
“Tough to digest. Always going to be difficult chasing 236 especially if you do not have a good powerplay. Have to give credit to Rahane. As I said, it is tough to digest that we conceded a score like that. We do have some positives. If you keep repeating mistakes against such a big team, you will lose,” said Rana during a post-match presentation.
Put to bat first by KKR, CSK posted a massive 235/4 in their 20 overs. CSK started well with an opening stand of 73 runs between Ruturaj Gaikwad (35 in 20 balls with two fours and three sixes) and Devon Conway (56 off 40 balls with four boundaries and three sixes). Conway brought up his fourth successive IPL fifty.
After the dismissal of the openers, came an explosive 85-run stand for the third wicket in just 34 balls between Ajinkya Rahane and Shivam Dube. Rahane continued his competitive cricket revival with an explosive knock of 71* in 29 balls with six fours and five sixes. Dube also smashed 50 in 21 balls, consisting of two fours and five sixes. Ravindra Jadeja (18 in eight balls) played a cameo at the end.
Kulwant Khejroliya (2/44 in three overs) was the pick of the bowlers for KKR. Varun Chakravarthy and Suyash Sharma took a wicket each.
In the chase of 236, KKR seemed doomed from the start. They were reeling at 70/4 in 8.2 overs. But a 65-run stand between Jason Roy (61 in 26 balls with five fours and five sixes) and Rinku Singh offered temporary hope to KKR.
Despite Rinku’s knock of 53 in 33 balls with three fours and four sixes, KKR fell short of 49 runs of a win, finishing at 186/8 in 20 overs. Maheesh Theekshana ended as the leading bowler for CSK with 2/32 in four overs. Tushar Deshpande also took 2/43 in his four overs. Moeen Ali, Ravindra Jadeja, Akash Singh and Mathisha Pathirana got a wicket each. Rahane was given the ‘Player of the Match’ award for his match-winning knock.
With this win, CSK is at the top of the points table with five wins and two losses. They have a total of 10 points. KKR is in the eighth spot, losing five of their seven games and winning only two. They have a total of four points.