IPL 2022: MS Dhoni’s fifty goes in vain as KKR beat CSK by 6 wickets in opening contest


Shreyas Iyer and Sheldon Jackson guided Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to their first victory in IPL 2022 with win over Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the opening contest in Mumbai. 

Former CSK captain MS Dhoni’s blazing innings of 50 runs went in vain thanks to good batting from Ajinkya Rahane and Shreyas Iyer, who helped KKR pull off the chase in 18.3 overs with six wickets remaining to collect their first points. 

KKR, who lost to CSK in the last season summit clash, chased down the 132-run target with nine balls to spare, with out of favour India batter Ajinkya Rahane top-scoring with a 34-ball 44.

Rahane, who was bought for Rs 1 crore by KKR after playing very few matches for Delhi Capitals last season, was in good touch as he hit six fours and one six during his knock. He shared 43 runs for the opening wicket with Venkatesh Iyer (16) and that was the highest partnership for KKR in the end.

Nitish Rana (21), new captain Shreyas Iyer (20 not out) and Sam Billings (25) made useful contributions to give KKR a winning start to the tournament.

Iyer thus started his KKR captaincy with a win while his counterpart Ravindra Jadeja, who took the place of the iconic Dhoni as CSK skipper, began his stint 
with a loss.

Iyer hit the winning runs, a boundary, as KKR reached 133 for 4 in 18.3 overs.

Dwayne Bravo (3/20) was the pick of the bowlers for CSK.

Earlier, a brilliant bowling performance by Umesh Yadav (2/20) and Varun Chakaravarthy (1/23) helped Kolkata Knight Riders restrict Chennai Super Kings to 131-5 despite a fighting fifty by former captain MS Dhoni (50 off 38) in the opening match of the IPL 2022 at the Wankhede Stadium, here on Saturday.

Ravindra Jadeja, who was leading the CSK for the very first time looked under pressure while batting but former skipper Dhoni hit a few vintage shots, scored a timely half-century and helped CSK post a respectable total on the board.

Put into bat first, CSK were off to a bad start as KKR pacer Umesh removed Ruturaj Gaikwad for a duck in the very first over of the innings.

Robin Uthappa then joined another CSK opener Devon Conway at the crease. Uthappa looked in fine touch right from the beginning and hit a few lovely shots to get CSK going. However, debutant Conway was struggling to find runs at the other hand and Umesh dismissed him for three to pluck his second wicket.

Experienced Rayudu then joined Uthappa in the middle and they looked to rebuild the CSK innings. KKR captain introduced Varun Chakaravarthy in the last over of the powerplay and Rayudu got a lucky boundary, taking CSK to 35/2 at the end of the 6th over.

Just when it looked like the stand between Uthappa and Rayudu was building, CSK lost another wicket. On a wide delivery bowled by Varun, Uthappa (28) went after blindly only to misread it and the wicket-keeper Sheldon Jackson stumped him in a flash.

Already in trouble, CSK then lost the wicket of Rayudu (15) after a mix-up between him and skipper Jadeja. All-rounder Shivam Dube, who came to bat next, couldn`t do much and was dismissed by Andre Russell for three, leaving CSK tottering at 61-5 after 10.5 overs.

After losing back to back wickets, former skipper MS Dhoni and new captain Jadeja had the big responsibility on their shoulders to bail CSK out of trouble. However, both Dhoni and Jadeja couldn`t free their arms under the tremendous pressure as CSK played many consecutive quiet overs.

With only 84 runs on the board after the completion of 17 overs, CSK desperately needed some big hits to post a respective total at Wankhede. And Dhoni hit three boundaries in Russell`s over to give CSK`s innings some momentum.

However, Jadeja, on the other hand, wasn`t able to find any timely boundaries. But, Dhoni showed his class and hit some glorious shots in the last two overs to complete his fifty off 38 overs. In the end, Both Jadeja (26 off 28) and Dhoni remained not out and added 70 runs for the sixth wicket and took Chennai to 131/5 in 20 overs.

With agency inputs

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