Dubai: A superb cameo from Ravindra Jadeja (22 off 8 balls) towards the end helped Chennai Super Kings beat Kolkata Knight Riders by two wickets in a last-ball thriller in their IPL match here on Sunday.
Chasing a target of 172, CSK top-order batsmen chipped with handy contributions but they wobbled towards the end before Jadeja pulled off the win with an 8-ball 22 which was studded with two fours and as many sixes to help his side reach 172 for 8 in 20 overs.
Faf du Plessis (44), Ruturaj Gaikwad (40), and Moeen Ali (32) were the other contributors.
Earlier, KKR scored 171 for six after opting to bat. Rahul Tripathi made 45 off 33 balls, while useful contributions also came from Nitish Rana (37 not out) and Dinesh Karthik (26).
India pacer Shardul Thakur was one of the best bowlers for CSK in the game, returning impressive figures of 2/20 in his quota of four overs. Josh Hazlewood also picked up two wickets, including that of KKR skipper Eoin Morgan.
Dhoni, CSK captain, said, ‘ It’s a very nice victory to have. What we’ve seen in cricket is at times you play good cricket and lose the game, while at times you don’t really play well but still if you win the game – it’s slightly more enjoyable for the simple reason that you’ll still address the mistakes but going back one and a half hours to Dubai you’ll be in a better mood. So a terrific game at the end of the day. It was good cricket from both sides and it was a pleasure for the spectators. I think in patches we bowled well. Bowlers took responsibility. Not to forget it was hot and humid. It was hot and humid – it’s not easy for the fast bowlers. We tried to give them smaller spells – one or two over spells – to keep their energy level up. We did pretty well in bowling. 170 was a par score. It was not like yesterday’s game where the wicket was slow. When Jadeja was bowling you could figure out it was coming on well and was not stopping. But the kind of start we got, I think KKR deserve an upper hand for making a game out of it. Initially we were also worried about how the wicket will be. But quite a few times what I’ve seen personally is when you keep playing on the same wicket and as the tournament progresses at times the groundsmen are slightly more worried so they put more water and maybe roll it harder than usual because they’re not worried about the grass dying. I think that could be one of the reasons why the wicket played better against the spinners today. I don’t think they’ll be using the wicket again – it’ll get some rest, so that could be the reason. It gives immense pleasure to say we have rectified the problems we had and it’s good to be on the winning side.’
Ravindra Jadeja, Player of the Match, said, ‘It is difficult. You have been playing Test cricket for five months and suddenly you have to come and play whiteball cricket. It was difficult. In the nets also I was working my batswing. So I was thinking whatever I have done in the nets I have to repeat in the match. The runs I got in the second last over was more important than the wicket because that was match-winning for us. Everybody does their team role. Rutu, Faf, they gave us a good start, That’s what you need as a team, you need to be collective as a team. I was just backing my strength. I knew he had fine leg and square leg up, so he was going to bowl a wide yorker or a slower ball. So I was waiting for that and he bowled a slower length ball and I was ready, luckily I connected off the middle of the bat and we are on the winning side today.’