IPL 2024: Jadeja’s three-fer; Gaikwad’s unbeaten fifty give CSK seven-wicket win over KKR

Ravindra Jadeja starred with a miserly spell of 3-18 to turn the game on its head, while captain Ruturaj Gaikwad made a welcome return to form through an unbeaten 67 off 58 balls as defending champions Chennai Super Kings registered their third home win of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 with a seven-wicket victory over Kolkata Knight Riders at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium.

Ravindra Jadeja starred with a miserly spell of 3-18 to turn the game on its head, while captain Ruturaj Gaikwad made a welcome return to form through an unbeaten 67 off 58 balls as defending champions Chennai Super Kings registered their third home win of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 with a seven-wicket victory over Kolkata Knight Riders at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium.

Jadeja maintained a stump-to-stump line and made subtle changes in pace and trajectory to rattle KKR’s big hitters in his four overs of a match-defining spell. Fast-bowlers Tushar Deshpande and a retuning Mustafizur Rahman bowled exceptional spells of great lines and lengths coupled with impeccable slower deliveries in the fag end to pick 3-33 and 2-22 respectively.

The trio’s efforts meant KKR were restricted to a below-par 137/9 on a sluggish pitch offering turn. Later, Gaikwad dazzled in front of the faithful home crowd with a flurry of delightful nine boundaries to carry his bat and complete the modest chase with 14 balls to spare.

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Coming into this game, Gaikwad had scored 88 runs in four matches with a highest score of 46. But when it mattered, along with dew coming in, he stood up tall and relied on timing plus piercing the gaps to get a comfortable win for CSK. He was also supported by nice 20s from Daryl Mitchell and impact player Shivam Dube in snapping KKR’s unbeaten streak.

Electing to bowl first, Deshpande got a length ball to shape away from Phil Salt, who couldn’t keep it down and slashed to backward point for a golden duck. He also made the dangerous Sunil Narine play and miss a lot in the opening over, by not giving any room and bowling majorly on his hips. But Narine got going against Deshpande in the third over, whipping, thumping and flicking to collect two fours and a six. He then brought out the straight drive against Shardul Thakur for four and dispatched Maheesh Theekshana over long-on for six to bring up KKR’s 50.

From the other end, young Angkrish Raghuvanshi played four authoritative boundaries, including launching a six over Theekshana’s head as KKR ended the power-play at 56/1. But then Jadeja arrived to bring CSK back into the match by taking three wickets in eight balls.

On his first ball, Jadeja trapped Raghuvanshi lbw, when the batter shaped up for a reverse sweep, and missed it to be out for 24. He had Narine miscuing to long-off and fall for 27, before returning to have Venkatesh Iyer pulling straight to mid-wicket. Ramandeep Singh was next to fall after being cast by a carrom ball from Theekshana.

With cutters ruling the roost, captain Shreyas Iyer struggled to get going despite collecting two boundaries. Rinku Singh looked scratchy and chopped onto his stumps off a wide, slower delivery from Deshpande. Andre Russell was kept quiet by wide slower balls, mainly from Mustafizur. After carving two fours in the off-side area, he holed out to long-on for run-a-ball 10 off a fuller slow delivery from Deshpande, despite being dropped by MS Dhoni.

Iyer’s struggle ended on 34 when he slogged to deep mid-wicket off a slower ball from Mustafizur, who also had Mitchell Starc pulling to deep square leg, as KKR made 38 runs in their last five overs, losing four wickets.

Chasing 138, Rachin Ravindra got moving with three fours coming via an on-drive, loft and heave off Starc in the third over. But in a bid to go over long-on, Ravindra miscued one to the fielder off Vaibhav Arora. From the other end, Gaikwad began by ramping Arora for four, followed by him taking three boundaries off left-arm spinner Anukul Roy, all of which had a silken touch. He backed away to create room for driving thrice in the packed off-side gap with exquisite timing and precision.

Gaikwad then smashed Arora for two back-to-back fours –- a punched drive was followed by a fierce cut, as CSK made 52/1 in power-play. Mitchell kickstarted his promotion to three, with Ajinkya Rahane nursing a calf strain, by dancing down the pitch to loft Narine for six, followed by reverse-sweeping him for four more.

With Narine and Varun Chakaravarthy bowling a few tidy overs, Gaikwad and Mitchell didn’t take undue risks to keep the scoreboard moving. Gaikwad got his first fifty of the season with a brace off Chakaravarthy, but Narine broke the second wicket stand of 70 off 55 balls by castling an advancing Mitchell with flight and turn through the gate.

With the finish line in sight, Gaikwad and Dube took a pulled four each off Starc, before the latter whacked Chakaravarthy for powerful sixes down the ground and over long-off. Dube powerfully dispatched Arora for another six over deep mid-wicket, before the pacer flattened his off stump. After Dhoni took a single, Gaikwad finished off the chase by slapping Roy through cover for four to ensure CSK got its eighth win over KKR at Chepauk.

Brief scores:

Kolkata Knight Riders 137/9 in 20 overs (Shreyas Iyer 34, Sunil Narine 27; Ravindra Jadeja 3-18, Tushar Deshpande 3-33) lost to Chennai Super Kings 141/3 in 17.4 overs (Ruturaj Gaikwad 67 not out, Shivam Dube 28; Vaibhav Arora 2-28, Sunil Narine 1-30) by seven wickets

(IANS)

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