Robin Uthappa may be in the form of his life this IPL. On Tuesday, he surpassed Chennai Super Kings’ Dwayne Smith to move within catching distance of Orange Cap holder Glenn Maxwell of Kings XI Punjab. The Kolkata Knight Riders opener scored his fourth half-century of the league and took his runs tally to 489, only 42 runs behind the Australian Maxwell.
More importantly, Uthappa’s 67 (39b, 10x4, 1x6) powered KKR to an eight-wicket win over Chennai Super Kings and strengthened their chances of making it to the playoffs. KKR are on fourth in the points table with 14 points with two matches remaining.
After restricting CSK to 154/4 at the Eden Gardens, KKR sailed to their fifth win on the trot in the first match played at their home ground, Eden Gardens, this edition.
Uthappa dictated the CSK bowlers in the start so much so that he raced to 29 runs before his opening partner Gautam Gambhir opened his account in the third over.
Uthappa was lucky on 24 when he was dropped by R Ashwin at slips off Mohit Sharma. The opening stand was worth 64 in only 6.2 overs before Gambhir departed for 21. However, Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan made sure that KKR did not suffer any mid-innings slide to stay unbeaten on 46 off just 21 balls with six fours and two sixes.
Earlier, CSK rode on Suresh Raina’s third fifty of the tournament. The left-hander punished the spinners with great disdain, slamming five sixes apart from three delectable boundaries in his 51-ball 65. He added 62 off just 36 balls with Faf du Plessis (23). Put into bat, CSK were crawling at 60/2 in 10.3 overs after IPL debutant Pat Cummins and wily Sunil Narine took the prized scalps of Dwayne Smith (5) and Brendon McCullum (28), respectively.
Brief scores: Chennai Super Kings 154/4 in 20 overs (S Raina 65, B McCullum 28) lost to Kolkata Knight Riders 156/2 in 18 overs (R Uthappa 67, S Al Hasan 46*)
by eight wickets