Pretoria: Brad Hodge hit an unbeaten 71 and Brendon McCullum top-scored with 81 to lead the Kolkata Knight Riders to a thrilling, last-gasp victory over the Chennai Super Kings in an Indian Premier League match on Monday.
Chasing Chennai’s total of 188-3, McCullum, who smashed 11 boundaries and three sixes, put on an explosive 90-run third-wicket stand with Hodge off 56 balls at Centurion Park. When McCullum was dismissed after a Shadab Jakati ball clipped his bail in the 14th over, Hodge batted through to take Kolkata to the win.
With one run need from the final ball, Wriddihman Saha (25 off 13 balls) flicked the ball to the off side for a single that gave Kolkata only their second win of the series.
“I thought Brad was fantastic today...he has been fantastic for us throughout” said Kolkata captain McCullum. “But to hold his nerve like that and take us across the line was even better.”
McCullum said his team was delighted to win after not bowling particularly well to allow Chennai to score a big total.
“The irony is that we put up our worst bowling performance of the tournament,” he said. “But I’m pleased with the guys. We’ve given all we possibly could in these last three weeks. Things have not always gone our way. Things have been tough for us as a group. I hope this (win) is a small payback to us and for our supporters and for everyone in the group.”
Kolkata lost Sourav Ganguly (4) early after he was bowled by Muttiah Muralitharan, missing a turning ball as he attempted a cut in the fifth over.
The last Kolkata wicket to fall was David Hussey, run out by Muralitharan’s throw to wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni for three in the 16th over.
Earlier, Chennai reached 188-3 in their allotted 20 overs, benefitting from wayward bowling from Kolkata.
Suresh Raina top-scored with 52 while captain Dhoni added an unbeaten 40.
The Indian pair shared a third-wicket stand of 74 after a good start by openers Parthiv Patel (25) and George Bailey (30), who were both run out.