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Jadeja Brilliance Lifts CSK to Victory

Jadeja’s spell turned the game on its head, while Simarjeet Singh and Tushar Deshpande returned with figures of 2-16 and 2-35 respectively to derail PBKS’ chase…reports Asian Lite News

Veteran all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja stood tall when it mattered the most for Chennai Super Kings by hitting an unbeaten 43 and taking 3-20 in a decisive middle-overs spell as the defending champions jumped to third place in the points table after beating Punjab Kings by 28 runs at the HPCA Stadium here on Sunday afternoon.

In the start, CSK were restricted to 167/9, thanks to three-fers from Rahul Chahar and Harshal Patel. PBKS were on course to chase down the total by reaching 62/2 in 7.5 overs. But they suffered a batting meltdown to be reduced to 90/8 and eventually ended up with 139/9.

Jadeja’s spell turned the game on its head, while Simarjeet Singh and Tushar Deshpande returned with figures of 2-16 and 2-35 respectively to derail PBKS’ chase. Mitchell Santner and Shardul Thakur also took a wicket each to ensure CSK, despite being hit by injuries in their bowling line-up, got back into the top four of the points table.

On a slightly two-paced pitch, CSK were cruising at 69/1 in seven overs and seemed to be on course for a 200-plus score. But Chahar’s 3-23, including two wickets in the eighth over, and Harshal’s 3-24 ensured CSK fell way short of an imposing total, despite Jadeja’s 43 not out off 26 balls.

CSK were dealt an early blow when Ajinkya Rahane looked to flick off Arshdeep Singh but hit straight to mid-wicket. Daryl Mitchell began by pulling and lofting with panache to collect four and six respectively off Arshdeep.

Ruturaj Gaikwad cut loose in the last over of the Power-play by smashing three fours to take 19 runs off Harpreet Brar as CSK finished the Power-play at 60/1. But Chahar applied the brakes on CSK’s run-scoring by taking out Gaikwad and Shivam Dube on successive deliveries -– both nicking behind to keeper.

Harshal landed another huge blow to CSK by trapping Mitchell lbw with a nip-backer keeping low. Mitchell went for the review immediately, but replays showed the ball clipping leg-stump. Jadeja and Moeen Ali hit two fours each before the latter top-edged a pull to a short fine leg off a back-of-the-hand slower delivery from Sam Curran.

Chahar got his third wicket when Santner holed out to long-on. Shardul Thakur hit two fours and a six off Curran and Chahar, followed by Jadeja slog-sweeping the latter for six to get quick runs at the end for CSK.

But Harshal had other ideas — castling Thakur and M.S. Dhoni on successive deliveries with slower off-cutters. Jadeja hit Arshdeep for four and six on the first three balls of the final over, before the fast-bowler took the batter out with a slower knuckle ball outside the off-stump and miscued a pull to long-on, as CSK ended three runs short of 170.

CSK had a bright start to their defense of 168 when Deshpande castled Jonny Bairstow with a straighter delivery and followed it up by beating Rilee Rossouw for pace to knock over his stumps. Both of his dismissals came on length balls and seam movement aiding him to make the double-strike.

Prabhsimran Singh and Shashank Singh hit eight boundaries between themselves before Santner pulled his length back a little bit to have the latter hole out to long-on. That triggered a batting implosion for PBKS as Prabhsimran holed out to extra cover off Jadeja and Jitesh Sharma nicked behind off impact player Simarjeet.

Though Ashutosh Sharma was dropped early on, he was hit twice on the body by Simarjeet. The pressure built by CSK gave them rewards when Jadeja had Sam Curran holing out to long-on and Ashutosh gave a catch to short third man. Simarjeet’s persistence paid off when Harshal miscued a pull to mid-wicket, as PBKS were reduced to 90/8.

Chahar and Brar tried to delay the inevitable by hitting five boundaries collectively before Thakur hit the former’s off-stump while going for a scoop. The pacer gave away just seven runs in the final over to ensure CSK got a vital win to be in contention for the playoffs.

Brief scores:

Chennai Super Kings 167/9 in 20 overs (Ravindra Jadeja 43, Ruturaj Gaikwad 32; Rahul Chahar 3-23, Harshal Patel 3-24) beat Punjab Kings 133/9 in 20 overs (Prabhsimran Singh 30, Shashank Singh 27; Ravindra Jadeja 3-20, Simarjeet Singh 2-16) by 28 runs

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