Bengaluru, Oct. 29: The Dubai International Stadium saw another thrilling finish as Chennai Super Kings beat the Kolkata Knight Riders by six wickets in their Indian Premier League (IPL) encounter on Thursday.
As has been the story this season, the game swung both ways and the tension built up as the match was taken down to the final ball. But a blistering innings at the end from Chennai all rounder Ravindra Jadeja saw the Super Kings pick up their fifth win of the season.
The result will not make a difference to Chennai’s chances this season as they are out of the race. But it did dent KKR’s chances of making it to the playoffs. With one game left for the Knight Riders, they cannot get to sixteen points and that worked in favour of the Mumbai Indians.
Following KKR’s loss, Mumbai became the first team to confirm their playoff berth. For the Knight Riders a lot of factors have to work in their favour for a qualification.
With the playoff race coming down to the wire, the Knights will have to win their next game against the Rajasthan Royals and then the net run rate will be the final deciding factor.
The Super Kings, who were playing for pride, spoiled the Knight Riders party.
After Chennai skipper MS Dhoni won the toss and elected to bowl, the Knights posted a solid 172/5. But Chennai Super Kings opener Rituraj Gaikwad (72 off 53) played a blistering knock once again as they chased down the total.
Two strong partnerships put Chennai in command. After Shane Watson (14) and Gaikwad put up 50 for the opening stand, Ambati Rayudu notched up a solid partnership with Gaikwad to set Chennai up for the win.
The duo scored a blistering 68 off just 37 to put Chennai in the driver’s seat. But Varun Chakravarthy and Pat Cummins put up a stellar display, pocketing two wickets each, to put KKR right back into the game.
Losing quick wickets hurt the Super Kings as the run rate climbed up. But Jadeja’s sizzling 31 off 11 saw Chennai spoil KKR’s party. Needing 7 off the last two, Jadeja hammered the young Kamlesh Nagarkoti for two maximums to hand Chennai their fifth win of the season.
Earlier, after being put into bat, Nitish Rana put up a stellar show with the willow as Kolkata Knight Riders put up a modest 172. KKR openers Shubman Gill and Rana handed the Knights a strong start in their all-important game against Chennai.
The duo put up 48 runs in the powerplay, the best powerplay score for the Knight Riders this season. The duo stitched together an opening stand of 53 off 44 to help the Knights get off to a strong start.
While Rana was the architect of the KKR innings, former skipper Dinesh Karthik played a quickfire innings at the end to help KKR reach a defendable total. Rana put up a blistering 87 off 61, which included ten boundaries and four maximums.
Following the loss, KKR’s fate now rests not only in their hands, but in the outcome of other team’s as well.
The Knight Riders will next take on the Rajasthan Royals in a must-win clash on Sunday (Oct 1). Meanwhile Chennai Super Kings will take on the Kings XI Punjab in the first match on Sunday.