Uthappa Stars Again For Kolkata
Kolkata Knight Riders 156-2 (Uthappa 67) beat
Chennai Super Kings 154-4 by eight wickets
Indian Premier League 2014, Kolkata
Robin Uthappa's supreme run of form continued as another half-century helped the Kolkata Knight Riders win their fifth Indian Premier League 2014 game in a row batting second, this time against the Chennai Super Kings.
Robin Uthappa's Golden Run Of Form
2nd May: 47 v Chennai Super Kings, Ranchi
5th May: 65 v Rajasthan Royals, Ahmedabad
7th May: 47 v Delhi Daredevils, Delhi
11th May: 46 v Kings XI Punjab, Cuttack
14th May: 80 v Mumbai Indians, Cuttack
18th May: 40 v Sunrisers Hyderabad, Hyderabad
20th May: 67 v Chennai Super Kings, Kolkata
No player had ever scored seven consecutive scores of 40 or more in the IPL before Uthappa managed it.
Uthappa stroked 67 in 39 balls before Shakib Al Hasan added a quickfire 46 not out in 21 deliveries as they made swift work of a target of 155, winning with two overs to spare.
Suresh Raina had earlier top scored with 65 as Chennai could only manage 154 for four batting first.
For once, their opening partnership failed to fire, Dwayne Smith gone early when he was bowled by debutant Patrick Cummins (1-29).
Brendon McCullum made 28 in 24 balls as he and Raina added 55 for the second wicket. After he departed to Sunil Narine, who picked up one for 24, Raina put on 62 with Faf du Plessis (23 in 20) for the third wicket.
Raina hit three fours and five sixes, faving 52 balls in all but Chennai couldn't really break the shackles during their innings, which did at least finish strongly thanks to MS Dhoni (21 not out in 15) and Ravindra Jadeja (9 not out in four).
Piyush Chawla was the other wicket-taker, returning one for 42 although he was by far the most expensive bowler used.
Kolkata, who have perhaps overtaken the Kings XI as the leading chasing side in this year's tournament, began well as Gautam Gambhir and Uthappa put on 64 in seven overs.
Gambhir had made 21 in 20 balls, overshadowed by Uthappa at the other end, when he was caught by du Plessis off Jadeja.
Uthappa, dropped twice early in his innings, hit 10 fours and a six before falling in the 12th over when he was bowled by Ishwar Pandey, but Kolkata were not to be denied.
Manish Pandey played something of an anchor role with an unbeaten 18 in 28 balls as Shakib cut loose, smashing six fours and two sixes to blast Kolkata home with plenty of time to spare.
Chennai and Punjab are already into the play-offs but with this win Kolkata, who have two more home games to play, took another giant stride towards joining them.
In fourth place, they trail the Rajasthan Royals on net run-rate only and both sides are four points clear of the Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Sunrisers Hyderabad.
© Cricket World 2014