Faf du Plessis’s 95 not out powers CSK to 220/3

Faf du Plessis’s unbeaten 95 (off 60 balls) and his 115-run partnership with Ruturaj Gaikwad (64 off 42 balls) powered Chennai Super Kings (CSK) to 220/3 in 20 overs in an Indian Premier League game against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) here at the Wankhede Stadium here on Wednesday.

CSK had raced to 54 without loss in the first six overs as KKR’s decision to open the bowling with spinner Varun Chakravarthy and Pat Cummins did not materialise.

Cummins, in fact, was the hardest hit of all the KKR bowlers as he conceded 58 runs in his four overs, including 19 in the last over.

The South African du Plessis, who hit nine fours and four sixes, also shared a 50-run partnership with Moeen Ali (25 off 12 balls) as CSK reached 155/1 after the end of 16 overs.

After Ali’s dismissal, skipper MS Dhoni chipped in with 17 runs off eight deliveries. The former India skipper hit a six and a four — through an edge — off India pacer Prasidh Krishna’s bowling.

But it was du Plessis who stole the show. He hit three consecutive fours off Andre Russell in one over in the 19th over and then followed it up with two sixes off Cummins in the last over.

Earlier, du Plessis and Gaikwad had taken 15 runs off Pat Cummins’s first over.

KKR’s decision to play Kamlesh Nagarkoti in place of Harbhajan Singh didn’t pay off as the seamer conceded 25 runs in his two overs.

Chakravarthy was the best bowler for KKR giving away 27 runs in his four overs and picking the wicket of Gaikwad. Sunil Narine took one for 34 in his four overs.

Brief scores: Chennai Super Kings 220/3 in 20 overs (F du Plessis 95 not out, R Gaikwad 64, M Ali 25, V Chakravarthy 1/27)vs Kolkata Knight Riders