Billings hits rapid 56 as Chennai chase 203 to win
|Indian Premier League, Chennai|
|Kolkata Knight Riders 202-6: Russell 88 (36)|
|Chennai Super Kings 205-5: Billings 53 (26), Watson 42 (19)|
|Chennai won by five wickets|
England’s Sam Billings made 56 off 23 balls as Chennai Super Kings beat Kolkata Knight Riders with a ball to spare in the Indian Premier League.
Ravindra Jadeja sealed a five-wicket victory with a six as the hosts overhauled Kolkata’s 202-6.
A thrilling match contained 31 sixes, an IPL record.
It was played amid tight security over a water-sharing dispute with a neighbouring state as Chennai returned to the IPL after a two-year suspension.
Andre Russell’s 88 not out off 36 balls, which contained 11 sixes, rescued Kolkata from 89-5.
Chennai openers Shane Watson (42) and Ambati Rayudu (39) added 75 inside six overs, before Kent wicketkeeper-batsman Billings struck two fours and five sixes in an innings containing power and innovation.
After he drove England’s Tom Curran to long-off, 19 were needed off eight balls, but Dwayne Bravo helped push Chennai closer to their target before Jadeja hit Vinay Kumar over long-on.
Victory was Chennai’s second in two games, after a one-wicket win over Mumbai Indians in Saturday’s tournament opener.
Car keys, banners, flags, black clothing, water bottles, food and bags were not allowed in the Chepauk Stadium as about 4,000 police were deployed in response to recent protests.
Chennai, champions in 2010 and 2011, will play three more matches at the venue this month.
The final will be held on 27 May.