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CSK return to winning ways

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Chennai, April 8: Ravindra Jadeja made optimum use of a tacky Chepauk surface as Chennai Super Kings were back to winning ways after they comfortably outclassed Kolkata Knight Riders by seven wickets in an IPL match here on Monday.
It was CSK’s third win in five games, all of which have come at Chepauk, having lost the last two matches away from home.
Jadeja, whose spin bowling has often taken a back-seat in past few seasons, took three wickets in a space of eight deliveries to clinically dismantle KKR, who could only manage 137 for 9 on a track where stroke-making became difficult.
The chase wasn’t the problem as skipper Ruturaj Gaikwad scored 58-ball-67 and was duly supported by Daryl Mitchell (25 off 19 balls) and in-form Shivam Dube (28 off 18 balls). The chase was completed in 17.4 overs.
Fittingly, Mahendra Singh Dhoni was present in the middle when they finally got the winning runs.
The match was a typical one from the KKR playbook, where they always apply the choke with their spinners on a surface where the ball grips and then their top-order controls the chase which is within manageable limits like it was on Monday.
Earlier, Jadeja worked his magic, ripping the heart out of KKR’s batting.
Having lost back to back games on the road, CSK were back in their element on a familiar Chepauk turf where the ball gripped and allowed Jadeja (3/18 in 4 overs) and Maheesh Theeksana (1/28 in 4 overs) were absolutely brilliant with both their line and length.
While KKR lost Phil Salt (0) cheaply off the very first delivery, Sunil Narine (27 off 20 balls) and young Angkrish Raghuvanshi (24 of 18 balls) continued from where they had left against DC, chancing their arms and adding 56 in Powerplay but once spinners came into operation it all fell apart.
With the ball gripping and not coming onto the bat, Narine’s lofted shot was holed out in the deep and Raghuvanshi’s inexperience became his undoing as he played an indiscreet reverse sweep to a straight delivery.
Venkatesh Iyer (3) was ill at ease against Theekshana, who got his mojo back after being hit for two sixes in his first over and then Jadeja got his man, who wanted to slog out of trouble.
With three wickets in eight balls, Jadeja seemed to snatch the momentum decisively in favour of CSK.
Shreyas Iyer (34 off 32 balls) never got going and Rinku Singh (9 off 14 balls) and Andre Russell (10 off 10 balls) couldn’t up the ante as the canny Mustafizur Rahman (2/22) and Tushar Deshpande (3/33) were fantastic at the death. (PTI)

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