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Dhoni’s Chennai survive Kolkata resurgence led by Cummins

Chennai Super Kings cancelled out Kolkata Knight Riders resurgence led by Australian Pat Cummins with a 19-run victory in a high-scoring game of the Indian Premier League on Wednesday.

A brilliant unbeaten 95 and half century from his opening partner Ruturaj Gaekwad lifted Chennai to a mammoth 220-3. Deepak Chahar once again did the job for Chennai picking up four wickets to reduce Kolkata to 31-5 by the end of the powerplay.

Andre Russel and Dinesh Kartik rebuilt the innings before Cummins launched a late fightback only to see his side bundled out for 202 with five balls to spare. Cummins was stranded on 66 off 34, his highest score in Twenty20s.

Needing 75 from the last 30, Cummins stroked 30 runs off Sam Curran over hitting the England bowler for four sixes and a boundary after picking up a couple in the first ball.

Lungi Ngidi bowled a tight 17th over giving away just five runs and picked up the wicket of Kamlesh Nagarkot as Kolkata needed 40 from the last three overs. Shardul Thakur, who was hit for 35 runs in his first two overs, gave away 12 runs in the 18th leaving Kolkata with 28 to win from last 12.

Chahar once again turned crucial for Chennai in the powerplays taking four wickets.

Curran returned for the 19th and Cummins smacked him for a six on the second ball. Next ball, Varun Chakravarthy sacrificed his wicket to a run out after Cummins tried to steal an impossible double. Curran contained Cummins for just one leg bye in the next three.

Needing 20 in the last over, Cummins once again tried to steal a double but saw his last partner Prasidh Krishna run out. Cummins knock included six sixes and four boundaries.

With Kolkata on dire straits, Russell kept them in the game with a 21-ball half century and a 81-run partnership with Kartik that came off just 36 deliveries. Curran bowled him to give Chennai an edge.

Russell’s innings also included six sixes and three fours. Kartik fell for a 24-ball 40 after hitting four boundaries and two sixes. Chahar took 4-29 from four overs and Ngidi bowled decisively to take 3-29.

Earlier, Du Plessis opened with a 112-run partnership with Gaekwad who made a 42-ball 64 with six boundaries. Du Plessis was then involved in 50-run stand with Moeen Ali (25) and 36-run partnership with skipper MS Dhoni.

Du Plessis was unbeaten in his 60-ball 95. He hit nine boundaries, while both Gaekwad and the former South African captain struck four sixes apiece.

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