Tim Southee's swing and precision at the death provided Chennai Super Kings a two-run win over Kolkata Knight Riders in a rousing game of fortune swings in the inaugural match of the Indian Premier League - Season 4 at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium here on Friday.
The Knight Riders, pursuing 154, required nine runs off the last over with four wickets intact.
The Kiwi paceman held his nerve and produced three mean yorkers off the final three deliveries. At the end of it all, Southee emerged the hero.
The visitors seemed to hold the edge when Manoj Tiwary dismissed off-spinner Suraj Randiv for two sixes and a boundary in the 19th over. But then, Tiwary gave his wicket away and CSK once again had a sniff.
The host eventually nailed the humdinger; CSK played the key moments of the contest better.
Home boy Anirudha Srikkanth was adjudged Man of the Match for his valuable 55-ball 64; the aggressive innings included six fours and two sixes. The opener held the innings together, was impressive between point and cover and was firm when he whipped the ball. CSK had elected to bat.
It must be said, though, that Knight Riders put down a bunch of catches.
Then, Dhoni skippered CSK with a calm of mind and created a key breakthrough when he raced to short square-leg and whipped up a brilliant throw — the ‘keeper had only one stump to aim at — to run out the dangerous Yusuf Pathan.
Kallis' efforts in vain
Jacques Kallis made a lively 42-ball 54 of balance, timing and placements but CSK kept finding the breakthroughs; there was turn for the spinners as well.
Skipper Gautam Gambhir should have walked in earlier. Finally, it was a paceman Southee who found the right answers.