It all came back for the Knight Riders, albeit a little too late. All the gumption that Shah Rukh Khan expected from his Knights was there to be seen as Brendon McCullum’s boys made a fabulous chase of a huge 189-run target to notch up their second win of the tournament.
The last over blues almost haunted them yet again, as they needed six off the last six balls. But Wriddhiman Saha and Brad Hodge held their nerves and did it on the last ball in spite of a brave effort with the ball by Suresh Raina.
The skipper led from the front and had some of the shots he played came off earlier in the tournament, Knight Riders may not have been languishing where they are at the moment.
The Kiwi just put his front foot forward and hit through the line as the Chennai bowlers struggled to keep him in check. Whenever anything was pitched short, he promptly went on to the back foot and pulled with ease.
It seemed that McCullum (81 off 48 balls) will run away with the game, but Shadab Jakati removed him to get Dhoni’s boys back in control.
But Brad Hodge was there to take charge. He launched a vicious attack on the Chennai bowling line-up which didn’t look at their best on the day.
Chennai were in the mood to experiment just a bit in the game with a semis berth already booked. Hayden took a break, but with MS Dhoni and Raina around in the middle-order, it was difficult for the likes of Albie Morkel and Jacob Oram to get some batting practice. The duo carried on with their supreme form as Team Chennai looked set to close in on Delhi at the top.
Though the game was of academic interest, Raina was not in the mood to let the opportunity go. From the time he came to the crease, Raina looked to take on Ajantha Mendis and he did that with consummate ease.
A couple of his huge hits off Mendis disappeared into the stands and Chennai were on a roll. Even after Raina got out, Dhoni carried on with his breathtaking strokeplay. But all that fell flat following the Hodge-McCullum heroics.