A win away from qualifying for the Indian Premier League 2014 play-offs, Kolkata Knight Riders seem to striking a purple patch. On Tuesday at Eden Gardens, in a clash between former champions, KKR thrashed Chennai Super Kings by eight wickets, their biggest against the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led team.
KKR, under a hot and cold Gautam Gambhir, are also a win away from matching their best winning streak. This season, KKR have won five consecutive games, one each against Delhi, Punjab, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Chennai. They had won six in succession between April 18, 2012 and May 7, 2012, their best winning streak in IPL. KKR were champions in 2012.
KKR have won five and lost nine out of 14 contested against two-time champions Chennai in IPL. CSK are almost certain of a play-off berth but they came close to their biggest defeat at the Eden Gardens on Tuesday night. Chennai's biggest defeat in terms of wickets in IPL is by 9 wickets to Mumbai Indians at Mumbai on May 14, 2008.
In a game where the margin of error is very less, Dhoni was not amused with CSK's performance against KKR. Dhoni admitted that Chennai were at least and at the same time was livid with Robin Uthappa's easy catch being dropped by Ravichandran Ashwin. Uthappa played a match-winning 67 off 39 balls to steer KKR to an emphatic win.
"It was a bad toss to lose as the wicket became slightly better to bat on. The bowlers created the opportunities but our fielders couldn't take it," Dhoni said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
"The wicket was slow to start off but their spinners bowled really well. Raina played another good innings but we were 10 or 15 runs short," Dhoni added.
Gambhir lauded his spinners but also had words of praise for his fast bowlers Umesh Yadav and Pat Cummins. "I think we were pretty professional with the bat and ball. Our bowlers restricting CSK to 154 was exceptional. Hopefully, we can turn up in a couple of days and do what we did today."