IANS

A brilliant bowling performance by Umesh Yadav (2/20) and Varun Chakaravarthy (1/23) helped Kolkata Knight Riders restrict Chennai Super Kings to 131-5 despite a fighting fifty by former captain MS Dhoni (50 off 38) in the opening match of the IPL 2022 at the Wankhede Stadium, here on Saturday.

Ravindra Jadeja, who was leading the CSK for the very first time looked under pressure while batting but former skipper Dhoni hit a few vintage shots, scored a timely half-century and helped CSK post a respectable total on the board.

Put into bat first, CSK were off to a bad start as KKR pacer Umesh removed Ruturaj Gaikwad for a duck in the very first over of the innings.

Robin Uthappa then joined another CSK opener Devon Conway at the crease. Uthappa looked in fine touch right from the beginning and hit a few lovely shots to get CSK going. However, debutant Conway was struggling to find runs at the other hand and Umesh dismissed him for three to pluck his second wicket.

Experienced Rayudu then joined Uthappa in the middle and they looked to rebuild the CSK innings. KKR captain introduced Varun Chakaravarthy in the last over of the powerplay and Rayudu got a lucky boundary, taking CSK to 35/2 at the end of the 6th over.

Just when it looked like the stand between Uthappa and Rayudu was building, CSK lost another wicket. On a wide delivery bowled by Varun, Uthappa (28) went after blindly only to misread it and the wicket-keeper Sheldon Jackson stumped him in a flash.

Already in trouble, CSK then lost the wicket of Rayudu (15) after a mix-up between him and skipper Jadeja. All-rounder Shivam Dube, who came to bat next, couldn't do much and was dismissed by Andre Russell for three, leaving CSK tottering at 61-5 after 10.5 overs.

After losing back to back wickets, former skipper MS Dhoni and new captain Jadeja had the big responsibility on their shoulders to bail CSK out of trouble. However, both Dhoni and Jadeja couldn't free their arms under the tremendous pressure as CSK played many consecutive quiet overs.

With only 84 runs on the board after the completion of 17 overs, CSK desperately needed some big hits to post a respective total at Wankhede. And Dhoni hit three boundaries in Russell's over to give CSK's innings some momentum.

However, Jadeja, on the other hand, wasn't able to find any timely boundaries. But, Dhoni showed his class and hit some glorious shots in the last two overs to complete his fifty off 38 overs. In the end, Both Jadeja (26 off 28) and Dhoni remained not out and added 70 runs for the sixth wicket and took Chennai to 131/5 in 20 overs.

Brief scores: CSK 131-5 in 20 Overs (MS Dhoni 50 not out, Robin Uthappa 28; Umesh Yadav 2/20) vs KKR.

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