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Allround Jadeja guides Chennai to crucial win against Kolkata

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The Chennai Super Kings continued to climb up the IPL standings winning yet another low scoring contest as they triumphed over the disintegrating Kolkata Knight Riders by 4 wickets in front of 70,000 boisterous fans at the Eden Gardens. The men in yellow survived a middle order hiccup as 'Sir' Ravindra Jadeja showed the world that IPL is not only about Gayle-storm, taking three crucial wickets before smashing a 14 ball 36 that was studded with three vicious sixes to seal it for the men in yellow.

This was the first time these two sides came face to face after the final of IPL 2012. Kolkata skipper Gautam Gambhir drew first blood by winning the toss and electing to bat first under overcast conditions. Asked what he would have done had the coin landed in his favor, Dhoni confessed he too would have batted first.

The Knight Riders replaced the misfiring Manvinder Bisla with allrounder Laxmi Ratan Shukla while Chennai expectedly retained the side that crushed Delhi by 86 runs a couple of days ago.

Despite a good aggressive start by Gambhir(25) and his new partner Yusuf Pathan (25), who was promoted up the order, Kolkata never recovered from the regular jolts that they suffered after the opening partnership of 46 runs from 35 balls was ended. Gambhir top edged to Hussey at third man, Kallis (0) falling to a brilliant direct throw from Badrinatha and Morgan (2) needlessly chipped the ball high straight into Jadeja’s hands. Pathan wasted a great opportunity to convert his promising start into a big score due to a reckless mix up in the middle and was run out, leaving the hosts reeling at 55 for 4.

The second half of the innings brought more grief for KKR as the middle order faltered miserably. Manoj Tiwary (13), Laxmi Ratan Shukla(1) and Rajat Bhatia(1) could only add to the woes of the Knight Rider's camp as Ravindra Jadeja ran through the lower order, returning with figures of 3-20. Debabrata Das (19) and Sunil Narine (13) hit a couple of sixes each later on as Kolkata hopped to 119 for 9 from the allotted 20 overs.

The Chennai Super Kings threw up a big surprise by sending off spinner Ravi Ashwin to open the innings with Mike Hussey. The mother of all strange experiments did not quite pay off as Ashwin's (11) early departure triggered a mini collapse with Murali Vijay (2) and Suresh Raina (7) succumbing to the Kolkata spinners.

However, the Australian legend Michael Hussey showed maturity, scoring a patient 40 from 51 deliveries even as he lost partners at the other end at regular intervals. MS Dhoni (9) was made to exit by a Jonty-like throw from Eoin Morgan while Subramaniam Badrinath's stumps were undone by Kallis.

The Eden Gardens erupted in joy when Hussey holed out to Pathan at deep square leg but was silenced withing the next few moments as Jadeja's whirlwind 36 from just 14 balls handed Kolkata their fourth defeat of the season.

The Super Kings have only a day to celebrate as they meet one of the form team of the tournament Rajasthan Royals in an eagerly awaited clash on Monday. The Knight Riders will have some time off to sort out their batting woes before they host the Mumbai Indians on Wednesday.


Kolkata Knight Riders : G Gambhir(c), Y Pathan, J Kallis, E Morgan, M Tiwary, D Das(wk), R Bhatia, L R Shukla, S Senanayake, S Narine, L Balaji

Chennai Super Kings : M Hussey, M Vijay, S Raina, S Badrinath, MS Dhoni(c/wk), R Jadeja, D Bravo, A Morkel, R Ashwin, C Morris, M Sharma

Mini Scorecard

Kolkata Knight Riders 119/9 (20 Overs, 5.95 rpo)

G Gambhir 25 (19) R Jadeja 3-20

Y Pathan 25 (22) R Ashwin 2-21

Chennai Super Kings 124/6 (19.1 Overs, 6.46 rpo)

M Hussey 40 (51) Y Pathan 1-9

R Jadeja 36* (14) S Senanayake 1-18

Chennai win by 4 wickets