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Turning Point: CSK win the mini battles

By NORMA ASTRID GODINHO
October 30, 2020 07:54 IST
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Ravindra Jadeja bats en route his match-winning 31 off 11

IMAGE: Ravindra Jadeja en route his match-winning 31 off 11. Photograph: BCCI
 

It was an IPL 2020 game that didn't have just one episode that turned the match on its head -- there were battles inside battles in this contest.

With a spot in the play-offs in sight, Thursday's encounter against the Chennai Super Kings was a must win game for the Kolkata Knight Riders.

So, when they were invited to bat after CSK Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss, KKR got off to a brisk start, racing to 50 inside seven overs.

After Shubhman Gill, who was scoring faster than Nitish Rana, was dismissed, KKR sent in Sunil Narine to up the ante.

KKR lost the plot when they sent in Rinku Singh -- playing his first IPL 2020 game -- ahead of Eoin Morgan after Narine's dismissal.

While Rana kept getting the boundaries and singles freely at one end, Rinku could not find his range and eventually perished for 11 off 11, hitting just one boundary.

This miscalculation proved expensive and even though Rana kept hitting the bowlers at the death -- Karn Sharma getting tonked for three sixes back-to-back -- Morgan found it tough going in the middle before stepping on the gas (15 off 12).

Dinesh Karthik -- who has been having a dismal IPL -- came in the 18th over after Rana (87 off 61) got out and gave KKR the much needed impetus. DK scored 21 off 10 balls and took KKR to a respectable score, as 66 came off the last five overs.

CSK on the other hand played watchfully to start off, but the train that Ruturaj Gaikwad (72 off 53) boarded could just not be stopped. Rutu took it upon himself to see his team through and stayed on till the 18th over when Pat Cummins had him bowled all ends up.

He was ably supported by Ambati Rayudu, with whom he stitched a 68 run partnership.

Even though the spinners, Narine and Varun Chakravarthy kept a lid on the big shots for a while, KKR failed to gain a stranglehold on the match.

With 30 needed off the last two overs, Lockie Ferguson was taken to the cleaners as Ravindra Jadeja smashed 17 runs in the 19th over that fetched CSK 20 runs, including a wide and a no ball.

Kamlesh Nagarkoti was given the responsibility to defend 10 off the last over, but once Sam Curran gave the strike to Jadeja -- scoring three runs off the first three balls -- Jadeja pummelled the bowler for back-to-back sixes for a CSK win.

KKR did not win the mini-battles in the game and 172 eventually proved too little.

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NORMA ASTRID GODINHO
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