Ravindra Jadeja hit six on the last two balls of the game to take the Chennai Super Kings to the line against Kolkata Knight Riders in Dubai on Friday. Incidentally, this victory and the positions of the other teams in the points table made the Mumbai Indians the first team to advance to the playoffs. With seven points needed to win the last two balls, Kamlesh Nagakoti threw two long balls that disappeared into the wicket center stand for six seconds as Jadeja finished undefeated on 31 out of 11 balls and helped CSK revise them. 172 from KKR for 5 with six wickets in hand.
KKR captain Eoin Morgan handed the ball to Nagarkoti. He kept his cool during the first four balls, bowling on the two left-handers of the crease – Jadeja and Sam Curran – but got it wrong on the last two deliveries.
30 points were needed on the last two overs after Pat Cummins had an excellent 18th, conceding just four points and dismissing the top scorer of the set, Ruturaj Gaikwad (72 points on 53 balls).
However, Lockie Ferguson, who with Varun Chakravarthy had injected new life into KKR bowling, played a no-ball for height, and the resulting free kick disappeared for a six.
An outside edge on the next ball for four meant there were only 10 points to defend in the last one with Cummins knocked out.
Earlier, Gaikwad played anchor for CSK after Shane Watson (14) was sacked early. Gaikwad combined with Ambati Rayudu (38) to add 68 points for the second wicket after adding 50 with Watson to keep CSK in the pursuit.
Rayudu and MS captain Dhoni (1) came in quick succession and Curran didn’t seem to have found his mojo in this match, but Jadeja’s six allowed CSK to record only their fifth victory in the tournament.
KKR made some strange decisions as they hit. Rahul Tripathi, who had some success in the first order, was pushed back to 7th place while Rinku Singh, who only played his first game this season, was promoted ahead of captain Morgan.
Nonetheless, Nitish Rana shone throughout the innings with 87 on just 61 balls with 10 fours and two sixes after KKR lost Shubman Gill (26 of 17) in the eighth.
Narine (7) couldn’t stay long, nor Rinku (11 of 11), and Captain Morgan, No. 5, only managed 15 of 12.
The mid-order swing meant Dinesh Karthik, at six o’clock, had to accelerate to death, and his 21 steps out of 10 bullets took KKR to 172.
Lungi Ngidi returned 2 for 34 while Mitchell Santner, Karn Sharma and Jadeja returned one wicket each for CSK.
For KKR, Cummins and Chakravarthy picked up two wickets each.
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