Riding on Ruturaj Gaikwad’s fine fifty and Ravindra Jadeja’s stunning cameo, Chennai Super Kings, on Thursday, beat Kolkata Knight Riders by six wickets to register their fifth win of the season.
Chasing 173, CSK were off to a slow start as Gaikwad and Shane Watson shared a 50-run stand off 44 balls before the latter was dismissed by Varun Chakravarthy. Gaikwad and Ambati Rayudu then upped the ante and added 68 runs off just 37 balls to put CSK in a strong position.
But KKR got rid of Rayudu and MS Dhoni in quick succession to turn the game on its head. From 118 for 1, CSK found themselves 121 for 3 and then 140 for 4 when Pat Cummins bowled Gaikwad for 72. The equation was finally down to 30 runs from two overs and Ravindra Jadeja played a stunning knock of 31 from just 11 balls to seal the game on the final ball. With 7 runs needed off the final two balls, Jadeja hit Kamlesh Nagarkoti for two sixes to seal the game.
Earlier in the game, KKR posted 172 for 5 in the allotted 20 overs. Nitish Rana starred with the bat, scoring 87. His knock came off 61 balls and was studded with ten fours and four sixes. The southpaw added 53 runs with Shubman Gill for the first wicket to give KKR a good start.
KKR struggled to score at a good pace in the middle overs but finished strongly to put up a good total. In the last five overs, the two-time IPL winners scored 66 runs. Dinesh Karthik played a fine cameo off 21 from just 10 balls to take the score over the 170-run mark.
MS Dhoni’s reaction:
Speaking at the end of the game, MS Dhoni started by expressing his delight over finally a climax going in his team’s favour. He then pointed out Ravindra Jadeja for special praise for the way he has batted in the ongoing season.
“I think it was one game in which the climax went in our favour. Lot of credit to the guys. This season he has been fantastic. He has been the only one in our team who has scored in the death overs. He needed somebody else and that would have been good for us. We want to give games to people who haven’t played,” said MS Dhoni.
The CSK skipper further proceeded by praising Ruturaj Gaikwad. The former India skipper hailed the batsman as ‘one of the talented youngsters’. MS Dhoni was also delighted with the way Ruturaj has grabbed his chances in the competition after a tough start to his stay in the UAE.
“Ruturaj has shown the talent that he is. He came in and got positive with Covid. We didn’t have much time to have a look at him. He is one of the talented youngsters going around,” said MS Dhoni.
“He is not someone who speaks a lot. Once you go inside, you are the only one handling the pressure. When we made him play the first game, he stepped out and got out. But one ball is never enough. I think it is very exciting how he has grabbed his chances. It is very important to be relevant in the tournament. It was very important for us to give it our best,” he added.