Kolkata, April 20 (IANS) Ravindra Jadeja came up with a fairytale allround performance in difficult times to propel Chennai Super Kings to a four-wicket win over defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders in an Indian Premier League game at the Eden Gardens here Saturday.
The youngster backed up enviable bowling figures of 3-20 with a heroic and unconquered 14-ball 36 as the Super Kings overhauled the Knights’ modest 119/9 with five balls to spare.
Jadeja capped his cracker of an innings, embellished with three fours and an equal number of sixes, by pulling Yusuf Pathan for another half a dozen over mid-wicket in the last over as the M.S. Dhoni led Super Kings finished at 124/6.
The match had looked far from easy for the Chennai franchise at the end of the 15th over with 50 needed from the last five on a wicket that seemed to be slowing down a trifle, making shot taking look difficult.
But Jadeja, who came to the middle at 71/5 after S Badrinath (6) got out in the 16th over, changed the complexion of the game with some lusty hittings that made the KKR bowlers clueless.
For the visitors, Ravichandran Ashwin (11), Murali Vijay (2), Suresh Raina (7) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (9) got out cheaply making heavy weather of an easily achievable target.
Jadeja threw the gauntlet at the opposition with a straight field six off veteran medium pacer L akshmipathy Balaji before Opener Mike Hussey (40; 51 B, 2X4, 1X6) who was till then losing partners at regular intervals, got out in the same over.
Jadeja and Bravo, with the former doing the bulk of the scoring, picked up 10 from the 18th and 15 from the next to bring the tourists tantalisingly close to victory which was achieved soon after.
The Chennai side are now third on the league table with eight points from six games. KKR languish at seventh, remaining on four points.
Earlier, backed by some spirited bowling and fielding, CSK pegged KKR to a modest total.
Opting to bat, Kolkata Knight Riders shot off to a rousing start as skipper Gautam Gambhir partnering Yusuf Pathan up the order, hit some fluent boundaries.
However, the partnership ended when Gambhir 25 (19b, 5×4) holed out into the deep off the bowling of Chris Morris in the sixth over.
Disaster struck in the very next ball of the new over when new batsman Jacques Kallis was brilliantly run out by S Badrinath. The alrounder had to take the long walk back even without facing a ball.
There was further trouble as man in form Eoin Morgan and Pathan perished in the eighth over leaving the hosts reeling at 55/4.
Debabrata Das who joined Tiwary after the fall of Pathan, hit two giant sixes to bring cheers for the home crowd as the duo looked to repair the damage.
But Das (19) was trapped in front by R Ashwin, before the lacklustre Tiwary (13) (18b), who is yet to come good with the bat, once again failed to impress. The cavalcade of wickets continued as Jadeja saw the back of Rajat Bhatia (1) and Laxmi Ratan Shukla (1) in the same over to leave the hosts tottering at 91/8.
The Knights bowling trumpcard Offie Sunil Narine (13; 6b, 2×6) then played a cameo including two towering sixes to take his team past the 100 mark. But he too did not last long and was snared in the deep off the bowling of Jadeja.
Jadeja finished with 3-20 followed by Ashwin (2-21).