Mumbai: Kolkata Knight Riders' (KKR) lower order put up a brave fight but could not get their team past the finishing line as Chennai Super Kings (CSK) beat them by 18 runs in a high-scoring Indian Premier League (IPL) encounter at the Wankhede Stadium here on Wednesday.
With KKR reeling at 31/5 in 5.2 overs while chasing an imposing 221 for victory, it looked like CSK would win the match with ease.
However, Andre Russell (54 off 22 balls; 3x4, 6x6), Pat Cummins (66 not out off 34 balls; 4x4, 6x6) and Dinesh Karthik (40 off 24 balls; 4x4, 2x6) staged a remarkable fightback to take KKR to 201/9 in 19 overs. However, with 20 needed off the last over, last man Prasidh Krishna was run out off the first delivery as Cummins tried to steal a double to retain strike.
CSK's 220/3 in 20 overs was built on Faf du Plessis's unbeaten 95 off 60 balls (9x4, 4x6).
Cummins had earlier taken 30 off a Sam Curran over, while Russell had smacked Shardul Thakur for 24 runs in an over to light up the contest.
In the overs between six and 16, KKR hammered 131 runs as the CSK bowlers looked completely out of sorts. Only pacer Lungi Ngidi looked good, picking up three wickets for 28 runs from his four overs, as his low full tosses and yorkers made the going tough for the KKR batsmen, including Cummins.
Deepak Chahar had run through the KKR top order, taking four wickets for 29 runs in his four overs. Like in the last match, he was made to finish his spell early.
Chahar got rid of Nitish Rana, Shubman Gill, Eoin Morgan and Sunil Narine, as it looked like CSK would thrash KKR.
Earlier, South African du Plessis had shared a 115-run opening stand with Ruturaj Gaikwad (64 off 42 balls,6x4, 4x6).
CSK raced to 54 without loss in the first six overs as KKR's decision to open the bowling with spinner Varun Chakravarthy and Cummins backfired.
Cummins had a poor outng with the ball as conceded 58 runs in his four overs, including 19 in the last over.
Du Plessis, who hit nine fours and four sixes, also shared a 50-run partnership with Moeen Ali (25 off 12 balls) as CSK reached 155/1 at the end of 16 overs.
After Ali's dismissal, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni chipped in with 17 runs off just eight deliveries. The former India skipper hit a six and a four off pacer Prasidh Krishna.
But it was du Plessis who stole the show. He hit three consecutive fours off Russell in the 19th over and then followed it up with two sixes off Cummins in the last over.
Chakravarthy was the best KKR bowler, giving away 27 runs from his four overs besides picking up the wicket of Gaikwad. Sunil Narine took 1/34 in his four overs.