Ravindra Jadeja produced an impossibly brilliant innings to help the Chennai Super Kings beat the Kolkata Knight Riders by six wickets.
The India stalwart is renowned for his big-match temperament and that was on full show in Dubai, as he saved CSK from a defeat that looked certain with three overs to play.
Instead Jadeja, whose team needed 30 from the last 12 balls, got 14 in the penultimate over, then hit back-to-back sixes off the fifth and sixth balls of the final over to win it. He ended unbeaten on 31 off just 11 deliveries.
For the bulk of the match it seemed that KKR’s Nitish Rana’s high-quality innings would be the difference between the sides.
Rana’s 87 came off just 61 deliveries and featured 10 fours and four sixes. The opener was supported by Shubman Gill (26) in a first-wicket stand of 53.
But KKR would have been disappointed with what happened thereafter, a string of batsmen getting starts but not kicking on. Ultimately that resulted in an innings total of 172-5, which looked a little short of a par target.
And when CSK put up 50 for their opening stand and 58 for their second pair, it appeared that they would ease to victory.
However, they then lost two more crucial wickets for just 19 runs, MS Dhoni and Ruturaj Gaikwat (72) falling as the innings neared its end.
The spin pairing of Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine put the breaks on for KKR, and with two others to go, CSK needed 30 to win.
Then Jadeja’s hitting sealed it and all but ended KKR’s bid to make the playoffs.
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