IPL 2024: Ruturaj Gaikwad’s 67 not out gives CSK third win at home; end KKR’s unbeaten streak

Captain Ruturaj Gaikwad made a welcome return to form through an unbeaten 67 off 58 balls as defending champions Chennai Super Kings

Chennai, April 8 (IANS) Captain Ruturaj Gaikwad made a welcome return to form through an unbeaten 67 off 58 balls as defending champions Chennai Super Kings registered their third home win of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 with a seven-wicket victory over Kolkata Knight Riders at the MA Chidambaram Stadium here on Monday.

After Ravindra Jadeja starred with a miserly spell of 3-18, followed by Tushar Deshpande and Mustafizur Rahman bowling exceptional spells of 3-33 and 2-22 respectively to restrict KKR to 137/9, Gaikwad dazzled in front of the faithful home crowd with a flurry of delightful boundaries to carry his bat and complete the modest chase with 14 balls to spare.

Coming into this game, Gaikwad had scored 88 runs in four matches with a highest score of 46. But when it mattered, along with dew coming in, he stood up tall and relied on timing plus piercing the gaps to get a comfortable win for CSK. He was also supported by nice 20s from Daryl Mitchell and impact player Shivam Dube in snapping KKR’s unbeaten streak.

Chasing 138, Rachin Ravindra got moving with three fours coming via an on-drive, loft and heave off Mitchell Starc in the third over. But in a bid to go over long-on, Ravindra miscued one to the fielder off Vaibhav Arora. From the other end, Gaikwad began by ramping Arora for four, followed by him taking three boundaries off left-arm spinner Anukul Roy, all of which had a silken touch. He backed away to create room for driving thrice in the packed off-side gap with exquisite timing and precision.

Gaikwad then smashed Arora for two back-to-back fours -– a punched drive was followed by a fierce cut, as CSK made 52/1 in Power-play. Mitchell kickstarted his promotion to three, with Ajinkya Rahane nursing a calf strain, by dancing down the pitch to loft Sunil Narine for six, followed by reverse-sweeping him for four more.

With Narine and Varun Chakaravarthy a few some tidy overs, Gaikwad and Mitchell didn’t take undue risks to keep the scoreboard moving. Gaikwad got his first fifty of the season with a brace off Chakaravarthy, but Narine broke the second wicket stand of 70 off 55 balls by castling an advancing Mitchell with flight and turn through the gate.

With the finish line in sight, Gaikwad and Dube took a pulled four each off Starc, before the latter whacked Chakaravarthy for powerful sixes down the ground and over long-off. Dube powerfully dispatched Arora for another six over deep mid-wicket, before the pacer flattened his off stump. After M.S. Dhoni took a single, Gaikwad finished off the chase by slapping Roy through cover for four to ensure CSK got its eighth win over KKR at Chepauk.

Brief scores:

Kolkata Knight Riders 137/9 in 20 overs (Shreyas Iyer 34, Sunil Narine 27; Ravindra Jadeja 3-18, Tushar Deshpande 3-33) lost to Chennai Super Kings 141/3 in 17.4 overs (Ruturaj Gaikwad 67 not out, Shivam Dube 28; Vaibhav Arora 2-28, Sunil Narine 1-30) by seven wickets



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