Ruturaj Gaikwad had certainly shown that he has a lot of spark in him after the youngster guided Chennai Super Kings to a consecutive consolatory win as the yellow outfit defeated Kolkata Knight Riders by six wickets in Dubai on Thursday.
While Ruturaj’s 53-ball 72 laid foundation of the win, it was Ravindra Jadeja, who took CSK over the finishing line with a cameo of 11-ball 31 that included 20 runs off the 19th over of the final over. He finished off the game in the final over with two sixes as CSK chased down 173.
The defeat for KKR effectively means they are no more in control of their fate in the race to play-off as they remain on 12 points with just one game to go.
Earlier in the match, KKR opener Nitish Rana shone with a 61-ball 87 but Ruturaj was on a class on his own on the day as he struck six boundaries and two sixes in the successful chase.
Chasing the challenging total on a sluggish surface, Gaikwad with his new opening partner Shane Watson gave CSK a strong start with 44 runs in the first six overs. Gaikwad did most of the scoring at this stage with three boundaries and a six.
However, the run rate significantly came down post-powerplay with introduction of KKR spin duo Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine into bowling attack.
The pressure of the rising run rate soon got to Watson (14 off 19) who mistimed Varun’s lofted delivery straight to Rinku Singh at long-on in the eighth over to end the 50-run opening-wicket stand.
This allowed Ruturaj to open up his arms and he shot pacer Lockie Ferguson for a boundary and a six in the next over and soon reached his 50 with a single as CSK closed on 100-run mark.
The duo stitched a 68-run second wicket stand off just 37 deliveries. However KKR were in no intention to go out without a fight as Cummins picked Ambati Rayudu (38 off 20) in the 14th over.
Chakravarthy castled MS Dhoni, something he did in the previous tie as well, in the very next over to leave CSK in a spot on bother at 121/3 at the end of 15th over.
Put into bat first, Rana and Dinesh Karthik helped KKR take 66 runs from the last five overs of their innings to help them to a total of 172/5.
Rana hit 10 fours and four sixes, three of which came on the trot in the 16th over, on his way to 87 off 61 balls at the Dubai International Stadium. He fell in the 18th over to Lungi Ngidi after which Karthik saw them through to the last over, with captain Eoin Morgan chipping with 15 off 12 balls.