The 49th match of the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League was played between Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders in which MS Dhoni led side won the match by six wickets.
Earlier in the match, Chennai Super Kings won the toss and decided to bowl first. Batting first, Kolkata Knight Riders posted 172 runs for 5 in 20 overs, thanks to Nitish Rana’s half-century.
After losing the toss and batting first, the Kolkata team got a decent start by Shubman Gill and Nitish Rana. They posted 52 runs together in the first 7 overs. However, in the very next over, Shubman Gill was clean bowled by Karn Sharma with 26 runs off 17 balls. Sunil Narine came out to bat at number 3, but was caught out by Ravindra Jadeja off the ball of Mitchell Santner after scoring 7 runs.
KKR got the third blow in the form of Rinku Singh who scored 11 runs and was caught by Ambati Rayudu off Ravindra Jadeja. Nitish Rana completed his half-century in 44 balls. Rana was caught by Sam Curran off Lungi Ngidi playing 87 runs. The team received its fifth blow as captain Eoin Morgan, who scored 15 runs and got dismissed by Ngidi. Kolkata’s Dinesh Karthik remained unbeaten on 21 and Rahul Tripathi scored 3 runs.
Shane Watson and Ruturaj Gaikwad opened the innings for the Chennai Super Kings to chase down the target. Together they added 44 runs in the powerplay. Varun Chakravarthy bowled brilliantly and dismissed Watson for 14 on the 3rd ball of 8th over.
Ruturaj Gaikwad scored a half-century with the help of 4 fours and two sixes off 37 balls. This is his second consecutive half-century in the tournament. He also scored a half-century against Royal Challengers Bangalore in the previous match. The team’s second wicket fell as Ambati Rayudu. He was caught by Sunil Narine off Pat Cummins for 38 runs. For the second consecutive season in the season, Varun Chakravarthy bowled Mahendra Singh Dhoni and sent him back.
Ravindra Jadeja finally came and played 31 runs off 11 balls to lead the team to victory. Jadeja hit the last ball for six to lead the team to victory by 6 wickets.
Kolkata Knight Riders,on the other hand, will now have to win their next match and relay on the results of the other teams to qualify for the playoff.
Winning Skipper, MS Dhoni’s Reaction:
“I think it was one game where the plans went in our favour. Needed a lot of effort from the players. Really glad the coin fell in our favour. This season Jadeja has been fantastic. He’s been the only batsman in our team who has taken the job of scoring in the last few overs. Not just using his power but through point if the field is up. I feel throughout the season we needed someone by his side. The changes are a conscious effort. We want to give games to people who haven’t played and we need them to grab those opportunities. Ruturaj we’d seen him in the nets, but then he got Covid positive and took 20 days. Unfortunate but he’ll remember this season. He’s one of the most talented players going around. What makes it difficult is he’s not somebody who speaks a lot! So sometimes it becomes difficult for the management to gauge a player. Once he started going in the innings, you could see that he was hitting the ball the way he wants to and he was planning. When we made him play the first game, he got out, stepped out. It becomes difficult to tell whether it was the pressure that made him step out or whether that’s his natural game. One ball isn’t enough. We haven’t performed in the tournament but we felt it’s important to be relevant in the tournament. That’s what we kept requesting the guys. We said you prepare how you want to, but 3-3.5 hours give your best. We are not in the position to qualify and there’s plenty of takeaways and at the same time it gives a glimpse.”
Losing Skipper, Eoin Morgan’s Reaction:
“We probably played a bit well there. Probably on the wrong side of the loss with the toss. Our bowlers gave it everything, but the skills were a bit off. We’ll have to move on quickly. I think the score was enough. We felt we were right in the game. Probably 165 was par if the wicket and conditions stayed the same. I actually think we had a good batting day. One world class spinner, and the other on the cusp of playing for India. They’re fantastic spinners. I can’t fault any bowlers. Nagarkoti probably didn’t have enough runs to defend, would have liked 16-17. He’s a young guy, he’ll take it on the chin and move on.”
Player of the Match, Ruturaj Gaikwad’s Reaction:
“It is feeling good. Pretty confident as well. I have backed myself. Both the innings when I got out early, I knew the situation was a little tough. Covid has made me tough. As our captain says, face every situation with a smile. I stayed positive and didn’t think much about the future.”