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Buoyant CSK face KKR challenge

Cheni, April 9: Cheni Super Kings (CSK) will look to take confidence from their thrilling one-wicket victory against defending champions Mumbai Indians when they take on Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in an Indian Premier League (IPL) encounter here on Tuesday.

Cheni, back in the IPL after serving a two-year ban, rode on West Indian all-rounder Dwayne Bravo’s incredible 68 off 30 to turn the tables on Mumbai in dramatic fashion as they played the season’s opening fixture at the Wankhede Stadium on April 7.
Needing 7 off the last over, an injured Kedar Kadhav (24 not out) uble to run due to hamstring problem played three dot balls before playing lap shot over fine leg off Mustafizur Rahman followed by a cover drive to end the match on a winning note.
Chasing a tricky target of 166, the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led CSK were down in the dumps, but Bravo’s pyrotechnics turned it in favour of the two-time champions.
At the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium on Tuesday, CSK would want to iron out their flaws that led to the slump from which Bravo rescued them against a side who beat Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by four wickets in their opening game at home on Sunday.
CSK’s batting flopped completely against Mumbai the other day as openers Shane Watson and Ambati Rayudu failed along with IPL’s highest run-getter Suresh Rai and ageing skipper Dhoni.
If it hadn’t been for Bravo’s salvo and Jadhav holding fort at the other end, CSK would have succumbed to a heavy defeat.
In the bowling front, the likes of Mark Wood, Watson, Harbhajan Singh and Deepak Chahar kept things tight but failed to pick up regular wickets.
Against KKR, who rode on Nitish Ra’s all-round effort and Sunil rine’s heroics with the bat, CSK would have to improve on all fronts to put up a show.
KKR recovered from early jitters in their game against Kohli’s RCB to chase down a challenging 177 target riding rine’s 19-ball 50 as he opened the batting again with deadpan swagger.
Ra contributed with bat and ball, first picking up key wickets of on-song AB de villiers and in the very next ball removing captain Virat Kohli, and then playing a vital 25-ball 34 coming in at No.4 to help the hosts register the win.
Besides the pair, new-look KKR under skipper Dinesh Karthik, who was unbeaten on 35 against RCB, would want to improve their famed bowling attack that copped stick on Sunday at the Eden Gardens.
Veteran paceman R.Viy Kumar was especially poor leaking 14 runs in the first over and 16 in the fil though picking up two wickets.
CSK would want to take a cue from that and get his wicket early as the men in purple don’t bat that deep. IANS

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Ankur Kalita