IPL 2020: Rahul Tripathi Shines as KKR Sets Target of 168 For CSK

Rahul Tripathi, playing his first match as opener, scored an impressive 81 off 51 balls with three sixes.

3 min read
KKR opener Rahul Tripathi plays a shot against Chennai Super Kings, as Mahendra Singh Dhoni looks on.

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) have set Chennai Super Kings (CSK) a target of 168 at Abu Dhabi, in Match 21 of IPL 2020. The men in purple, bowled out for 167, will feel they fell at least 25 runs short after a good start. A better middle-order performance could’ve gotten them past 200.

Having won the toss, captain Dinesh Kartik decided to bat first. KKR got off to a smooth start, scoring 52/1 and at the end of 10 overs, raced to 93/2, scoring above 9 runs per over.

Rahul Tripathi, who replaced Sunil Narine as opener, was the heart of the Kolkata innings, with a resilient knock of 81. Importantly, Tripathi stuck around till the 17th over as wickets kept tumbling at the other end at regular intervals.

Du Plessis and Jadeja combine to take Narine’s catch inches from the long on boundary.
Du Plessis and Jadeja combine to take Narine’s catch inches from the long on boundary.
(Image: BCCI)
Chennai will be happy with their bowling. Having gone for runs in the first ten overs, they managed to pull things back well thanks to some disciplined and clever bowling by Karn Sharma, Shardul Thakur and Sam Curran. Dwayne Bravo was spot on at the death, picking up three wickets.


Among the central talking points of the first innings is Tripathi’s promotion up the order, from number 8 in the previous match, to opener. Importantly, it solved the problem of a struggling Narine failing to get runs as opener.

Tripathi, playing just his second match of the season, impressed yet again. Having scored a resilient 36 off 16 balls under pressure, Tripathi stamped his class with a solid knock of 81 off 51 deliveries.

Coach Brendon McCullum will be happy with the 29-year-old’s batting. He picked the length well, especially the slower ones, and looked confident batting up the order.

IPL 2020: Rahul Tripathi Shines as KKR Sets Target of 168 For CSK
(image: BCCI)


The KKR vs CSK match is being played at the same ground, and more importantly, on the same pitch as Tuesday’s match between Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals. KKR would’ve taken note of the match and the massive 193 the Mumbai side piled up after winning the toss and electing to bat first.

The surface on Wednesday still looked good for batting. Having seen captains choosing to field first after winning the toss in the first two weeks of the IPL, a reversal of the trend is now visible.



Wrist spinner Karn Sharma, who replaced Piyush Chawla in CSK’s starting eleven, impressed in his first match of the 2020 season with two crucial wickets.

Playing his eighth season of IPL, Sharma got in-form Nitish Rana and Narine out, caught in similar fashion at long on as he bowled four overs on the trot. He finished with figures of 25/2, at an impressive economy rate of 6.25.

Pacer Shardul Thakur was spot on as well in the middle overs, picking up two wickets for 28 runs while English all-rounder Sam Curran finished with figures of 26/2.

IPL 2020: Rahul Tripathi Shines as KKR Sets Target of 168 For CSK
(image: BCCI)


The big question on CSK supporters’ minds will be whether openers Shane Watson and Faf Du Plessis can perform an encore of their innings against Kings XI Punjab on Sunday.

Chasing a target of 179 at Dubai, the Chennai openers made a mockery of the bowling attack and raced to 181 without losing a wicket in just 17.4 overs.

Chennai have chased in every match this season, winning two and losing three. They’ll be chasing again on Wednesday and a good start in the first few overs is vital to provide cushion to a talented but slow middle-order.

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