Hyderabad, Sep 17 :
Reigning Indian Premier League (IPL) champions Kolkata Knight Riders romped home to a comfortable three-wicket win over Chennai Super Kings in the opening match of the sixth edition of the Champions League Twenty20 here Wednesday.
Chasing Super Kings’ 157/4, the Kolkata-based team achieved the target with an over to spare at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.
The Super Kings’ batsmen got off to starts but could not build on their partnerships as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals.
Dwayne Smith (20), Brendon McCullum (22), Suresh Raina (28) and Faf du Plessis (14) got starts but could not last long.
However, from 86/4, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (35 not out off 20) and Dwayne Bravo (28 off 28) put a partnership together and struck some lusty blows towards the end to take the 2010 champions well past the 150-mark in 20 overs.
Leg spinner Piyush Chawla was the most successful bowler for the Knights with two wickets while mystery spinner Sunil Narine strangled the Super Kings batsmen, not allowing them to score off him. In the end, his figures read a brilliant 4-0-9-1.
In reply, Super Kings’ pacer Ashish Nehra wreaked havoc for the Knight Riders’ batsmen, reducing them to 21/4.
The reigning IPL champions were tottering at 51/5 when Ryan ten Doeschate (51 not out) and Andre Russell (58) played out a responsible partnership which took the team to 131 before Russell was bowled by Nehra.
By that time, the duo had done the job and it was only a matter of time before the Knight Riders sealed the Group A tie in their favour.
Nehra was the star bowler picking up 4/21 from his four overs for the Super Kings while Mohit Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja picked up a wicket each.
Brief scores: Chennai Super Kings 157/4 in 20 overs (Mahendra Singh Dhoni 35 not out, Dwayne Bravo 28 not out, Suresh Raina 28; Piyush Chawla 2/26, Sunil Narine 1/9, Yusuf Pathan 1/16) lost to Kolkata Knight Riders 159/7 in 19 overs (Andre Russel 58, Ryan ten Doeschate 51 not out, Suryakumar Yadav 19; Ashish Nehra 4/21, Ravindra Jadeja 1/25, Mohit Sharma 1/31).