Ravindra Jadeja’s late burst propelled Chennai Super Kings to their second win of the season, this time by four wickets amidst much drama at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.
Needing 16 off the last over, Jadeja fetched a four and a six off the first two balls from RP Singh to seize the initiative. A single there and a single here and a double in between, Chennai required two from the last ball to surpass the stiff target of 166. Though Jadeja sliced Singh to the third man’s palms, umpire AK Chowdhary rightly judged it a no-ball. Singh’s front-foot was a few inches beyond the line and Chennai thus completed a memorable victory.
When Jadeja walked in at the fall of S Badrinath, Chennai still needed 88 in less than eight overs. He went about the job meticulously, tucking singles and doubles and giving the strike to skipper MS Dhoni, whose 33 off 23 was as significant. Together, they revived Chennai with a 59-run partnership in 5.5 overs. Suresh Raina (30) and S Badrinath (34), too, made useful contributions after they had lost their openers by the fourth over.
This was after Royal Challengers made 165 for 6, mainly due to AB de Villiers’ 32-balled 64 and Kohli’s 47-balled 58. Uncharacteristically, they lost Chris Gayle, who after struggling against former teammate Dirk Nannes edged Chris Morris to Dhoni.
Thereafter, Kohli and Mayank Agarwal did the repair work, putting on 45. Kohli began positively; he played a lofted cover drive off Morris and smashed Mohit Sharma to the mid-wicket fence. Agarwal, meanwhile, straight drove Jadeja over the long-on fence before he stepped out, predetermined to Ashwin, missed the line and was stumped down the leg-side.
The platform set, de Villiers and Kohli took centrestage and they blasted 82 runs in 8 overs. Kohli picked the right ball for assault, while Villiers sought innovation. Kohli was lucky that umpire AK Chowdhary failed to spot his edge to Dhoni, when he was on 30. On 46, Dwayne Bravo spilled a simple return catch. But Morris had the last laugh as he changed the line and bowled on the off stump. Kohli charged out to cut out over point but only managed an edge to Dhoni. But de Villiers kept going. Showing his cheeky side, he moved outside the off stump and swept Jadeja to the fine-leg before being dismissed in the last ball of RCB’s innings.