Dubai: Ruturaj Gaikwad’s scintillating 53-ball 72 and by Ravindra Jadeja’s unbeaten 31 off 11 handed Chennai Super Kings (CSK) a six-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in a nail-biting finish in the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Thursday.
The win helped CSK take their points tally to 10, but the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led side remains at the bottom of the eight-team competition. KKR, despite the loss, hold the fifth spot with slim chances of making to the playoffs.
Chasing the 173-run target, CSK, who suffered a mini middle-order collapse, were 143/4 wickets at the end of the 18th over. However, Jadeja’s heroics ensured his side a morale boosting win.
CSK started the proceedings cautiously with opener Shane Watson (14) and Ruturaj Gaikwad, adding 44 runs in the initial six overs. Just when they touched the 50-run mark, Varun Chakravarthy (2/20) dismissed Watson.
Ambati Rayudu (38) and Ruturaj steadied the ship with a 68-run partnership, helping CSK cross the first three-digit mark in 12 overs.
Pat Cummins (2/31) finally came with some relief for his side as the Aussie quick sent back a good looking Rayudu in the 14th over.
Chakravarthy further jolted CSK when he castled Dhoni (1) in the next over before Cummins’s sent back a well-settled Ruturaj to help KKR make a comeback in the contest. Ruturaj’s knock contained six boundaries and couple of sixes.
KKRs joy, however, didn’t last long as Jadeja and Sam Curran (13 not out) amassed 20 runs of the second last over, thanks to the former who scored bulk of the runs.
With 10 needed of the final over, the duo managed only three runs in the first four deliveries, putting another twist in the tale. However, Jadeja ensured the night remains with CSK as he smacked Kamlesh Nagarkoti (0/34) for two consecutive sixes off the final two balls to finish things off in style.
Jadeja’s unbeaten 31 was laced with two fours and three massive hits into the stands. For KKR, Chakravarthy and Cummins bagged two wickets each.
Earlier, opener Nitish Rana’s valiant 87 off 61powered KKR to a decent 172/5 wickets.
Put into bat, KKR were off to a fine start as openers Shubman Gill (26) and Rana added 53 runs for the opening wicket.
However, once Gill departed, the two-time champions kept on losing wickets at regular intervals and it was solely Rana, who kept the scoreboard ticking.
Apart from Rana, Rinku Singh and Eoin Morgan chipped in with 11 and 15 runs respectively while Dinesh Karthik remained unbeaten on 21 runs off 10 balls as KKR managed a respectable total on board.
For CSK, Lungi Ngidi picked two wickets conceding 34 runs while Mitchell Santner, Karn Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja bagged one each.
Brief scores: Chennai Super Kings 178/4 in 20 overs (Ruturaj Gaikwad 72, Ambati Rayudu 38; Varun Chakravarthy 2/20) beats Kolkata Knight riders172/5 in 20 overs (Nitish Rana 87, Shubman Gill 26; Lungi Ngidi 2/34) by 6 wickets