Gill sparkles as Knights corner Super Kings

Kolkata Knight Riders' Shubman Gill celebrates his half-century against Chennai Super Kings. PTI

Shubman Gill showed his class with an unbeaten 57 as Kolkata Knight Riders defeated Chennai Super Kings by six wickets in an Indian Premier League match here on Thursday.

Gill, a member of the victorious Indian under-19 World Cup squad, struck six fours and two sixes in his half-century as KKR reached 180 for four in 17.4 overs, chasing a victory target of 178.

The home team was in a spot of bother at 97 for four at one point, but Gill found support in skipper Dinesh Karthik, who hammered an unbeaten 45 in an unbeaten partnership of 83. 

Kolkata are placed third on the table with ten points while Super Kings slipped to second behind Sunrisers Hyderabad. Both the teams have 12 points each but the Hyderabad outfit has a better net run-rate.

Earlier, KKR spinners impressed with Sunil Narine leading from the front before Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s unbeaten 43 pushed CSK’s total to 177/5 after Karthik opted to chase.

Narine returned with impressive figures of 2 for 20, while Piyush Chawla grabbed 2 for 35 as the duo bowled 22 dot balls in the middle overs to restrict CSK to their second-lowest total after they had crossed 200-plus four times this season.

Narine, named the man of the match, also chipped in with the bat with a quickfire 32 off 20 balls as their fielding also hurt CSK big time with Ravindra Jadeja dropping the left-hander twice while he was on six.

Chris Lynn gave KKR a flying start smashing Lungi Ngidi for consecutive sixes but the young South African pacer won the battle, dismissing the Aussie.

KKR suddenly found themselves in a spot of bother with KM Asif reducing the hosts to 40 for 2 inside five overs as Robin Uthappa was dismissed for six.

But then came Gill and the talented 18-year-old made it look easy with his classic array of strokes all around the Eden Gardens.

Earlier, Dhoni’s knock came off just 25 balls and included four sixes and one four. The skipper was also involved in a 54-run partnership with Jadeja.

CSK scored the bulk of their runs against veteran Australian left-arm pacer Mitchell Johnson who leaked 51 runs from his four overs.

In a battle between two ageing Aussies, it was Shane Watson (36) who impressed up front against Johnson who leaked 10 and 19 runs from his first two overs.

But thankfully for KKR, youngster Mavi put the brakes from the other end. He gave away just 11 runs from his two overs as CSK were in a spot of bother before Watson helped the visitors score 57 for 1 in power play.

Narine and Chawla and bowled well to choke the run flow before Dhoni came in with his quickfire knock and push CSK to a respectable score.

In between, CSK veteran Suresh Raina, who made 31, became the leading run-getter in IPL with 4776, surpassing Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli (4767).

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Gill sparkles as Knights corner Super Kings

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