Ravindra Jadeja (L) scored just 21 off 16 balls and failed to finish the game for CSK. (P.C.:iplt20.com)
Ravindra Jadeja couldn’t get Chennai Super Kings (CSK) over the line against the Punjab Kings (PBKS) as the latter held their nerves to win a close game by 11 runs. Ambati Rayudu played a sensational knock of 78 off just 39 balls and set it up nicely for the Men in Yellow.
With 47 runs needed off 24 balls and six wickets in hand, it looked like CSK were the favorites to get their second win on the bounce. However, some sensational death bowling by Arshdeep Singh in particular made life difficult for the likes of Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni and that proved to be the difference in the end.
Fans on Twitter were disappointed to see CSK lose from what looked like a winning position after the end of the 16th over. Ravindra Jadeja remained unbeaten on 21 but consumed 16 deliveries. Some fans felt the CSK skipper had to take most of the blame for not getting them over the line.
Fans were also baffled to see Chennai stick to the experiment of sending all-rounder Mitchell Santner to bat at No.3. Here are some of the reactions:
Ravindra Jadeja couldn’t provide finishing touches to CSK’s chase after Rayudu’s brilliance
Chennai needed a good start to the powerplay as their poor fielding had cost them those extra 15-20 runs. Robin Uthappa was dismissed early by Sandeep Sharma and that pushed CSK back.
Santner’s counter-attack didn’t come off as he could only score 9 runs off 15 balls. CSK were in deep trouble when hard-hitting Shivam Dube departed with the scoreboard reading 40/3. Rayudu was hit on the wrist while fielding which meant there was a bit of doubt about how he would bat.
However, the veteran right-hander showed just why he is one of the most impactful batters in the IPL. Rayudu showed great intent from the get-go and gave Ruturaj Gaikwad time to settle-in. The duo added crucial 49 runs for the fourth wicket while Rayudu did the bulk of the scoring.
Gaikwad’s wicket fell at the wrong time for CSK and it looked like Punjab had the game within their grasp. But Rayudu changed gears once again and took the PBKS bowling apart. Before Ravindra Jadeja got set, Rayudu brought the equation down to less than 12 runs per over with 24 deliveries to go.
However, the right-hander also seemed exhausted and Jadeja not being able to find boundaries didn’t help Chennai’s cause. Arshdeep Singh bowled a sensational 17th over and that put pressure on the batters to plunder Kagiso Rabada for runs in the next over.
However, Rabada ended up getting Rayudu’s wicket and Punjab had victory within their sights. The stage was set for MS Dhoni to produce another finishing masterclass. However, young Arshdeep showed tremendous nerves under pressure and gave Rishi Dhawan a massive 27 runs to defend off the last over.
Dhoni tried his best but in the end, it was too much for the 40-year-old to pull off. Ravindra Jadeja and his men might rue their mistakes on the field and the intent shown by batters other than Rayudu.