Billings cashes in as CSK complete thrilling chase to down KKR
Chennai Super Kings recorded a thrilling five-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders in their first home game in the Indian Premier League since 2015.
Back playing at the MA Chidambaram Stadium after serving a two-year suspension following links to a 2013 corruption scandal, the Super Kings overhauled Kolkata's total of 202-6 with one ball to spare.
Sam Billings (56 off 23) had kept Chennai's chase on course before team-mate Ravindra Jadeja finished the job in style, launching the penultimate delivery for six.
The Knight Riders had only set such an imposing target thanks to a late blitz from Andre Russell, who crashed 11 maximums in making 88 not out from just 36.
BRAVO TO RUSSELL
Kolkata - who had beaten Royal Challengers Bangalore in their opening fixture - were indebted to the West Indies all-rounder after their top order failed to build on a promising start.
Birthday boy Chris Lynn made 22 on the day he turned 28, while Robin Uthappa added 29 in a hurry, but the Knight Riders slipped from 51-1 to 89-5 by the halfway stage of their innings.
However, Russell's onslaught put Chennai on the back foot as the Knight Riders became the first franchise to make over 200 in this year's competition.
The right-hander hit half a dozen sixes off the bowling of fellow West Indian Dwayne Bravo - including three in a row at the start of the penultimate over - but ran out of deliveries to reach three figures for the second time in the shortest format.
ELEMENTARY FOR WATSON
Chennai capitalised on the powerplay overs in their reply, Shane Watson making 42 from 19 deliveries as 75 runs came from the opening six overs.
Opening partner Ambati Rayudu contributed 39 and MS Dhoni made 25, yet it was Billings who provided some much-needed impetus down the home straight.
The England international hit five sixes and a pair of fours before holing out off compatriot Tom Curran (2-39), leaving the score on 184-5 and CSK needing 19 from eight.
Bravo, Super Kings' hero in their last-ball triumph over Mumbai Indians in the season opener, started the final over with a six before Jadeja followed suit, taking seamer Vinay Kumar the distance down the ground to secure victory.