Ravindra Jadeja won the Chennai Super Kings’ close-up match for the tenth time as the back-end pyrotechnics beat the Kolkata Knight Riders by two wickets in the Indian Premier League thriller here on Sunday.

Jadeja (22 off 8 balls) entered the pacer Prasid Krishna in the 19th over, where the pacer completely lost his length in the Saurashtra all-rounder attack as CSK reached the target of 172 in exactly 20 overs.

Instead of bowling yorkers, Krishna repeatedly bowled length balls as Jadeja walked the cake in the final over with two sixes and two boundaries. Krishna gave up 22 runs in the last over to leave CSK with four runs in the last over.

There was more drama in the store as Sunil Narine snapped Sam Curran and Jadeja before the match with Deepak Chahar single.

However, KKR captain Eoin Morgan’s captaincy’s decision to bring in Krishna in the 19th over left many in the lurch. Morgan could see Anne Russell injured in his defense but could have thrown more of a challenge on Narine Jadeja in the 19th over.

This victory meant that CSK remained unbeaten after the IPL reopened and once again topped the Peking Order with 16 points.

In the pursuit of a challenging 172, Jadeja went down and out at CSK 142/6 before taking charge of himself.

KKR 171/6, former captains Dinesh Karthik and Nitish Rana developed late after Rahul Tripathi (45) laid the foundation.

CSK failed to capitalize on the 74-run aggressive start given by Ruturaj Gaikwad (40 off 28 balls; 2 fours and 3 sixes) and South Africa’s Faf du Plessis (43; seven fours).

KKR pegged CSK with a quick return of both openers. CSK then suffered a middle-order collapse. Spinner Varun Chakraborty brought KKR back into the game by dismissing Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Earlier, former captain Dinesh Karthik’s late guest role and Nitish Rana’s consistent long handle helped the Kolkata Knight Riders score 171 against the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League encounter on Sunday.

Seamer Shardul Thakur (2/20 in 4 overs) and Ravindra Jadeja (1/21 in 4 overs) impressed to keep KKR at 93 for 4 till the 13th over.

However, 78 runs came in the last seven overs and Sam Curran (4/56 in 0/56) leaked runs in the KKR back-end to score the most fights. Josh Hazelwood (2/40 in 4 overs) also got a little stick to help KKR’s cause.

Rahul Tripathi (45 off 33 balls) hit the stage with four boundaries and a six, but the CSK bowlers continued to infiltrate and did not allow the KKR batsmen to free their hands or settle down.

Batting first, Kolkata lost opener Shubman Gill (9) in the first over after a deadly encounter with Venkatesh Iyer.

One-down Tripathi and in-form Venkatesh Iyer (18) tried to revive the innings, but Southpa could not change his start after giving a nick to Mahendra Singh Dhoni at Thakur.

Tripathi, who scored a powerful pull shot on his first boundary, mid-wicket, also got ‘life’ after declaring the ball he hit as ‘no-ball’. Shortly afterwards, he smashed his first high on a deep extra cover.

Captain Eoin Morgan (8) also fell cheap as Josh Hazelwood went to Du Plessis as KKR struggled at 70/3. KKR fell to 89/4 and was cleaned by left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja, while Tripathi also fell in the 13th over.

Then Andre Russell (20) took Sam Curran in the 15th over, KKR 14 with two fours and a superb six. But Shardul Thakur forced Russell to pull over his stumps.

Then the Rana and Karthik show crossed 170.


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