IPL

Jadeja heroics strike major blow to KKR's play-off hopes

By Sports Desk October 29, 2020

Ravindra Jadeja struck a big blow to Kolkata Knight Riders' Indian Premier League play-off hopes with a swashbuckling knock to seal a dramatic six-wicket win for Chennai Super Kings.

KKR would have moved above Kings XI Punjab into fourth place with a win in their penultimate match of the regular season in Dubai on Thursday, but they were beaten by bottom side Chennai.

Nitish Rana made a magnificent 87 off 61 balls to get KKR up to 172-5, spinner Jadeja taking 1-20 from three overs and Lungi Ngidi 2-34.

CSK were going along well with Ruturaj Gaikwad (72 from 53) and Ambati Rayudu (30) putting on 68 for the second wicket, but slipped to 140-4 after losing three wickets for 22 runs.

Pat Cummins (2-31) and Varun Chakravarthy (2-20) had KKR scenting victory, the Australia paceman having cleaned up Gaikwad and MS Dhoni falling for only one.

The Super Kings needed 30 off 12 two overs, but Lockie Ferguson conceded 20 off a nightmare 19th over and Jadeja (31 not out from 11) clattered the penultimate ball of the match from Kamlesh Nagarkoti for six before sending the last delivery beyond the ropes when just one was needed to win.

Back-to-back defeats have left KKR with their fate out of their hands ahead of a showdown with Rajasthan Royals on Sunday.

 

RANA RAISES THE TEMPO

KKR got bogged down in the middle of their innings as the Super Kings spinners gave little away after Karn Sharma uprooted Shubman Gill's leg stump.

They were 93-3 when Rinku Singh fell to the impressive Jadeja off the fifth ball of the 13th over, but Rana hung around to take them up to a competitive total.

KKR took 66 off the last five overs, Rana shifting through the gears after reaching his 50 off 44 balls and hitting four sixes in a quality knock, with Dinesh Karthik adding a brisk unbeaten 21.

LOCKIE LAPSES COST KKR

With the excellent Gaikwad still in the middle and 53 needed off six overs, it seemed to be advantage CSK but they could only take eight off the next two overs and Varun accounted for Dhoni.

Varun also dropped Sam Curran – who finished unbeaten on 13 – before he was off the mark, but it was the return of Ferguson that proved to be the most costly, the paceman bowling a wide and then a no-ball that cost three runs.

Jadeja added insult to injury by launching the resulting free hit for six and struck Ferguson's final ball to the boundary to leave KKR needing 10 off the last over.

Nagarkoti gave KKR hope by conceding three off four balls, but Jadeja was in the mood, hitting him over midwicket for six and blasting the last delivery over wide long-on to floor KKR.

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    "Now as I officially announce my retirement from all cricket, I feel crazily lucky to have lived out my dream and then some. 

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    Both sides needed an emphatic win in their last match of the regular season to stay in the hunt for a place in the last four and it was KKR who delivered.

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    The Royals could only muster 131-9 in reply, paceman Cummins doing the bulk of the damage with 4-34.

    Defeat for Steve Smith's men leaves them bottom of the table despite a late resurgence, Shivam Mavi and Varun Chakravarthy taking two wickets apiece as they fell well short of their victory target.

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    Tewatia got rid of Gill and Sunil Narine in a ninth over that went for just six runs, but skipper Morgan flexed his muscles in dewy conditions and Andre Russell smashed 25 off 11 balls.

    Ben Stokes had a day to forget, Morgan hitting his England team-mate for back-to-back sixes in a penultimate over that cost 24 runs, with the left-hander – who cleared the rope six times – also setting about Shreyas Gopal.

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    The Royals needed their key men such as Stokes and Smith to fire, but their tournament was all-but over when they were 41-5 at the end of the powerplay.

    Cummins steamed through the top order, removing Robin Uthappa, Stokes, Smith and Riyan Parag.

    Jos Buttler made 35 and Tewatia 31 but Rajasthan were never going to recover from Australia paceman Cummins' devastating early hostile burst.

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    This was the type of chase that required a disciplined approach with wickets in hand and Du Plessis produced a typically consistent knock, just missing out on a fifth half-century in the tournament. The CSK opener showed all his composure and experience as he rotated the strike cleverly, but with a dash of inventiveness as he scooped Jimmy Neesham for six.

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    At the age of 41, Gayle's knees are starting to creak and the left-hander was unable to muster a boundary in a scratchy 12 off 19 balls for the Kings XI here. Handed the ball to bowl an almost ceremonial last over will raise questions of whether he is set to bow out. The elder statesman of T20 cricket is still a draw, but he is not getting any younger and if this ends up being his IPL swansong, it was a meek way to go.

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