Wow! What a game of cricket we've just witnessed! Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik, and fast bowler Pat Cummins of all people nearly broke a million hearts of fans in Chennai. Kolkata Knight Riders were reeling at 31 for five at one stage while chasing 221 and yet from that point, they went on to finish strong, falling just 18 runs short of the mark.
However, pondering upon the happenings of the game, one could certainly point a finger and say, 'Look! KKR lacked a Faf du Plessis'. And that's one-hundred percent correct! When the top order manages just 28 runs off 32 balls while chasing the game at 11.05 runs an over, there's surely something fundamentally wrong with the approach.
That's where Faf du Plessis' classic and jaw-dropping innings of 95 runs comes in. Not only was it replete with drama, big shots, entertainment, and swagger, it also had enough class, deft, precision, and finesse about it to make sure CSK held the upper hand throughout the game bar maybe a couple of overs while bowling at the death.
Faf du Plessis began his marathon innings with a beautifully punched cover drive off Cummins which split the field by the minutest margins. He ended the show with a massive six over square-leg off the same bowler in the final over.
In between, he did everything. He moved the tempo forward and then when Ruturaj Gaikwad was hitting the balls cleanly, he was more than happy to let the rookie take center-stage after a few disappointing starts. Gaikwad hit them long and hard, Du Plessis watched from the other end and kept rotating the strike smoothly.
After Gaikwad got out, Du Plessis got to his well-deserved half-century by scything the ball past point. Moeen Ali and Faf then followed a smart approach, and the duo tried to find a boundary or two every over, until the England all-rounder got out.
With Dhoni promoting himself up the order, both decided to smash the KKR bowlers. They had seven wickets in hand, so why not? Dhoni hit, Du Plessis hit, Dhoni got out, Du Plessis continued hitting.
In the last over, Faf du Plessis pummeled two sixes again and took a single to give the strike to Jadeja for the last delivery, and the all-rounder made it count. Du Plessis finished on 95 from just 60 deliveries and his innings included 9 fours and 4 sixes. But more than that, it included just the right kind of tempo and class that CSK would've wanted from their opener.