Jadeja brilliance hands KKR first defeat

CSK registred their third win of the tournament. (Source: X.com)

The match was more or less sealed when Kolkata Knight Riders stumbled to 85/5 at the end of the 12th over, following a remarkable performance by Ravindra Jadeja. The left-arm spinner returned figures of 3/18 in four overs. Chennai Super Kings skipper Ruturaj Gaikwad then came up with an unbeaten 67 to help the home team past the target of 138 with lots to spare. It was KKR’s first defeat in four matches and CSK’s third win in five.

All-round bowling effort from CSK

Despite losing Phil Salt early, KKR managed 56 in the powerplay, with Angkrish Raghuvanshi and Sunil Narine leading the charge. Once Jadeja entered the scene, the game changed dramatically. Three quick wickets fell as Jadeja found some turn. But it was the slowness of the pitch that deceived KKR’s batters. Jadeja exploited their weaknesses and bowled to a plan, particularly against the left-handers. While Jadeja and Maheesh Theekshana handled the middle overs, Tushar Deshpande and Mustafizur Rahman were brilliant in the end and played their part in restricting KKR to a sub-par total. Deshpande was at his best. He varied his line and length and used cutters to great effect. Even Mustafizur resorted to bowling fast off-spinners at the end. Both made good use of the big square boundaries.

Poor batting display by KKR

After a profitable powerplay, KKR batters had to show application on a tricky pitch. The first shot that Angkrish played off Jadeja was a reverse-sweep, which led to his downfall. It seemed as if the KKR batters were determined to attack the CSK spinners, which ultimately backfired. Their efforts to play big shots resulted in a succession of wickets at regular intervals. There was a lack of adaptability. Given the challenging pitch, there was no necessity to play such aggressive strokes. This ultra-aggressive approach precipitated a collapse, with KKR plummeting from 56/2 to 112/6, ultimately settling for 137/9. Someone had to adjust to the conditions to post a competitive total of around 150. Skipper Shreyas Iyer tried to do that, but ran out of partners.

Captain’s knock by Gaikwad

Having registered low scores in the last four games, there was a bit of pressure on the CSK skipper. He responded by carving out a neat half-century, his first as CSK captain. From the beginning, he appeared resolute in aiming for a substantial score and ensuring that his team chased down the total smoothly. His primary challenge came from KKR’s left-arm bowlers, Mitchell Starc and Anukul Roy. Gaikwad was dismissed twice by left-armers in his last four IPL innings. He negated the threat of both Starc and Anukul. Since there was no pressure of run-rate, he was happy to knock it around with occasional boundaries. It was a slow innings, but given the nature of the wicket and the quality of bowling, this was just the knock that should have been played on that pitch.

Dube’s cameo towards the end

On a pitch where power hitters such as Andre Russell and Rinku Singh found it difficult to make contact with the ball, Shivam Dube effortlessly struck the ball, playing yet another rapid innings. When Dube arrived at the crease in the 13th over, he had the option of adopting a cautious approach like Gaikwad. But he went after the bowling, staying true to his style. In just 18 deliveries, he made 28. His cameo helped CSK better their net run rate.

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