With nine balls left and 27 to defend, Kolkata Knight Riders would have fancied its chances. But Ravindra Jadeja produced some mighty hits with an unbeaten 31 off just 11 balls (2×4, 3×6) to help Chennai Super Kings win by six wickets at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Thursday.
With 30 needed off the last two overs, Lockie Ferguson lost control of proceedings in the final three deliveries of the 19th over against Jadeja conceding 17 runs which included a no-ball leaving CSK with only ten runs to get off the last over.
Despite Kamlesh Nagarkoti’s best efforts to bring the equation to seven off the last two deliveries, Jadeja’s experience ensured he sent the next two over the mid-wicket and long-on fence to seal the match in CSK’s favour.
The defeat means KKR’s hopes of qualifying for the Playoffs is in doubt while at the same time ensured Mumbai Indians’ place in the last four.
Chasing 173 for victory, Gaikwad set it up for CSK with a classy 72 off 53 balls. The youngster played some exquisite shots against the likes of Ferguson and Pat Cummins. He was severe, in particular, against Ferguson taking him on with pull shots and lifting him over the in-field with courage and conviction.
Ambati Rayudu gave the innings tempo with a 20-ball 38 (5×4, 1×6) as he added 68 for the second wicket with Gaikwad in just 6.1 overs.
Earlier, KKR made 172 for five thanks to Rana’s scintillating 87 off 61 balls (10×4, 4×6). The left-hander built his innings by using the sweep shot to good effect against the CSK spinners. Asked to bat first, Shubhman Gill and Rana provided the KKR with a solid start, putting on 53 runs for the opening wicket.
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Rana, after a cautious start, cut loose against Mitchell Santner in the sixth over, sweeping the left-arm spinner for two boundaries in the fine-leg region, and following it up with a six over mid-wicket.
However, CSK fought back in the next few overs, through the exploits of its other tweakers Karn Sharma and Jadeja.
Rana then went after Karn in the 16th over, hitting him for three consecutive sixes on the leg-side to give KKR the final push. The southpaw seemed on course for a hundred before he was deceived by a slower one from Ngidi.