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Tripathi brilliance, KKR bowlers choke CSK to earn 10-run victory
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Tripathi brilliance, KKR bowlers choke CSK to earn 10-run victory

Rahul Tripathi struck an outstanding half-century after being promoted to the opening position as Kolkata Knight Riders returned to winning ways with a close 10-run win over Chennai Super Kings.

Tripathi smashed 81 off 51 balls in his super knock but received minimal support from other batsmen as KKR were bowled out for 167.

CSK's innings also followed a somewhat similar trajectory when their aggressive start was disrupted in the second half and they could muster 157-5 in reply.

Shane Watson slammed a 40-ball 50 in his rollicking charge at the top and shared a 69-run partnership with Ambati Rayudu.

The duo's departure kept piling pressure on the incoming batters, who found it hard to get going on the slow Abu Dhabi surface.

MS Dhoni, opting to bat at No. 4, made only 11 while Sam Curran briefly attacked in his 11-ball 17 but CSK eventually lost the plot and fell short of the target.

The win helped KKR jump to the third spot in the points table with CSK continuing to stay glued at No. 5 with two wins in six games.

In the first innings, Chennai had concluded on a high note as 'birthday boy' Dwayne Bravo took two wickets in the last over for an impressive 3-37.

Tripathi's rapid acceleration had catapulted Kolkata to 93 for two in 10 overs, however, Bravo derailed their progress with swift strikes.

Karn Sharma, Shardul Thakur and Curran grabbed two wickets each to wrap up the KKR innings and prevent them from reaching an imposing total.

On a pitch where most batsmen employed a cautious approach, Tripathi calculated his risks perfectly and churned out a match-defining contribution.

Dinesh Karthik then made the perplexing move of sending Sunil Narine ahead of arguably their best batsman Eoin Morgan, at No. 4.

The experiment did not go horribly wrong as Narine gave his side the edge with a nine-ball 17 before being dismissed by a splendid effort in the field from Ravindra Jadeja and Faf du Plessis.

No dazzling fireworks came from either Morgan or Andre Russell, though KKR's score, in the end, proved to be beyond CSK's grasp.

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