In a thrilling last-ball finish, Ravindra Jadeja’s eight-ball 22 (2x4, 2x6) helped Chennai Super Kings beat Kolkata Knight Riders by two wickets in the Indian Premier League match at Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
Chasing 172 for victory, openers Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis set the platform for CSK with a 74-run stand before the chase lost momentum.
Twist in the tale
The Chennai side was cruising at 101/1 after 11 overs when Prasidh Krishna removed du Plessis.
The wicket brought KKR back into the game strongly thanks to a few tight overs from Varun Chakaravarthy (1/21), leaving CSK needing 26 off the last two overs.
Krishna, who had given just 19 runs from his first three overs, started the 19th over well with two wide yorkers to left-handers Jadeja and Sam Curran for a single each.
But inexplicably, he changed plans with a short ball on leg-stump that was hit over square-leg by Jadeja.
The bowler then crumbled under pressure as Jadeja found another six and two more boundaries to leave CSK needing just four runs off the last over.
Despite Sunil Narine scalping Curran and Jadeja in the final over, CSK managed to limp across the line off the last ball to go on top of the points table.
Tripathi clicks again
Earlier, electing to bat, Rahul Tripathi’s 45 at the top, followed by cameos from Nitish Rana (37) and Dinesh Karthik (26) helped KKR post a strong total of 171/6.
Tripathi came out with a clear plan as he stepped out regularly to the medium-pacers and helped KKR get to 50 in five overs.
However, CSK pulled back things during the middle overs with some brilliant bowling from Shardul Thakur (2/20) and Jadeja (1/21).
Just when CSK felt it had a chance to restrict KKR to a modest total, Rana and Karthik came good as 44 runs came off the last three overs.
CSK made one change for this match with Sam Curran replacing Dwayne Bravo, but it proved costly as the English all-rounder went for 56 runs in his four overs.
After Andre Russell took 14 runs off Curran, Karthik too went after the young left-arm medium-pacer picking up 17 runs in the 19th over to help his side finish strongly.