Du Plessis, Thakur Star As CSK Clinch Fourth IPL Title

Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Du Plessis, Thakur star as CSK clinch fourth IPL title. Shardul Thakur took three crucial wickets after KKR got off to a flying start in the chase.

Du Plessis, Thakur Star As CSK Clinch Fourth IPL TitleShardul Thakur took three crucial wickets after KKR got off to a flying start in the chase.

Shardul Thakur provided the pivotal winning turn in a defence of 192 as Chennai Super Kings clinched their fourth IPL title rather comfortably eventually. They dominated the game with bat and ball for large parts except for a brief period when Kolkata Knight Riders' openers threatened to run away with the game.

How did the turnaround happen?

KKR were well placed at 88/0 after 10 overs when Thakur came on for his second over. Bowling an assortment of his favoured cross-seamers, he first induced a mishit from the dangerous Venkatesh Iyer, having him caught at deep cover. Nitish Rana followed suit in the same over, chipping a simple catch to mid off to fall for a duck and started a collapse that saw them lose 8 wickets for 34 runs in the space of 35 balls.

KKR's troubled middle-order had suffered another blow when Rahul Tripathi had hobbled off the field due to a hamstring injury in the first innings. Sunil Narine, who got a promotion again, fell to Josh Hazlewood before Ravindra Jadeja struck twice in two balls. Dinesh Karthik, who pulled his first ball for six, found the man at deep midwicket while trying to take on Jadeja while Shakib Al Hasan missed a quick ball turning in to be dismissed LBW first ball. Skipper, Eoin Morgan and the injured Rahul Tripathi too fell trying to up the ante, with the chase seemingly beyond their reach once they slipped to 120/6.

This was in complete contrast to the start they had got.

What worked at the start for KKR?

A little bit of luck for Iyer first up when he was dropped by MS Dhoni while trying to cut Hazlewood on 0. Thereafter, however, Iyer remained on the attack throughout his stay, finding support in Shubman Gill. The latter remained slower through the innings getting to 51 off 46 eventually, but Iyer's onslaught meant that KKR had racked up 56 in just the PowerPlay, and forcing Dhoni to rethink his strategies. Their dismissals though, despite getting to fifties, allowed CSK to dominate as much as they did with the bat earlier.

What went in CSK's favour with the bat?

Not the toss, first up. With Dhoni admitting that he would have liked to chase as well. But that apart, a lot of things went in their favour. First up, Faf du Plessis got a let off on 2 when Dinesh Karthik missed a stumping. In a manner of adding salt to the wounds, Ruturaj Gaikwad tonked the next two balls for a six and a four that kickstarted CSK's onslaught. By the end of the six overs, Gaikwad and Du Plessis had put on another 50-run stand that laid the foundation for what was to follow.

Couldn't KKR's spin attack apply the brakes?

Sunil Narine did raise their hopes by getting Gaikwad caught at long off. However, Robin Uthappa put paid to those hopes hitting two sixes off Shakib Al Hasan and one each off Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine. His 15-ball 31 allowed CSK to keep accelerating through the middle overs as well. It was followed by another cameo, from Moeen Ali (37* off 20) who even took 12 off KKR's premier spinner Varun Chakravarthy's (4-0-38-0) final over to spoil his figures. These cameos were complemented perfectly by Du Plessis doing his role perfectly at the other end.

What did Faf do right?

A lot. He batted through the innings right until the final ball to finish with 86, and two short of upstaging Ruturaj as the highest run-getter of the season. Through the innings, he not only managed to run well between the wickets but took a special liking for Lockie Ferguson's pace. He smashed 40 off the 16 balls he faced from Ferguson who ended up with his worst IPL bowling figures, conceding 56 in his four overs. And despite just a seven-run last over from Shivam Mavi, CSK posted an imposing 192 on board.

Brief Scores:Chennai Super Kings 192/3 in 20 overs (Faf du Plessis 86, Moeen Ali 37*) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 165/9 in 20 overs (Shubman Gill 51, Venkatesh Iyer 50; Shardul Thakur 3-38) by 27 runs

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