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KOLKATA: When he chooses to, he can move mountains and part rivers. But on Saturday, Sir Ravindra Jadeja opted for something more pragmatic. At the Eden Gardens, MS Dhoni’s favourite cricketer chose to smash 36 runs off 14 balls to destroy Kolkata Knight Riders’ dreams of pulling off an unlikely win over Chennai Super Kings.
Jadeja's six-assault brought Chennai home from a precarious 71/5 in the 16th over chasing a paltry 119 – a total in the attainment of which the left-hander had played a pivotal part with figures of 3/20 in the first innings.
Man of the Match
As much as Jadeja was responsible for Chennai pulling of yet another heist, Michael Hussey cannot be lauded enough for controlling the chase. Hussey's composed 40 was the axis around which Chennai rebuild and when he was finally out – in the 17th over – Jadeja took over and yanked back the above-10 required rate without missing a beat.
The young southpaw was declared Man of the Match for his all-round show, at a presentation ceremony that also included Dhoni revealing his big hopes of Jadeja coming good , not just for Chennai but also for India.
One of Jadeja's big hits on the evening was a murderous pull – the winning shot – off Yusuf Pathan. Pathan’s lot symbolized his team’s. He dropped Jadeja at deep square-leg and conceded a boundary when the batsman was running amok. He had run out Jacques Kallis in the first innings, and then run himself out after he was promoted to open the batting as Kolkata collapsed dramatically and fatally.
It did not, at the start, look so bad for the home team. Gambhir’s decision to bat seemed to have paid off when, in the company of Pathan, he propelled Kolkata to 45 without loss in the fifth over. From such a promising beginning the side lost nine wickets for 73 runs in 14 overs, setting Chennai a altogether trifling target of 120.
It was mainly a failing in the face of good spin bowling, tight fielding and rash run-outs. After the first four were accounted for by seam and indiscriminate running, R. Ashwin and Jadeja came tightened the noose and allowed no respite.
Ashwin was introduced as late as the 11th over and finished with probing figures of 4-1-21-2. Sir Jadeja was even more successful, picking up three, conceding just twenty and showing batsmen their place with that withering glare that he often condescended to pass.