Saturday, October 23, 2021

Ruturaj Gaikwad's unbeaten 88 powers Chennai to 156/6

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Dubai, Sep 19 (IANS) Opener Ruturaj Gaikwad carried his bat through for an unbeaten 88 to power Chennai Super Kings to a respectable 156/6 in 20 overs against Mumbai Indians in the first match of the UAE leg of IPL 2021 on Sunday. Ravindra Jadeja and Dwayne Bravo chipped in with cameos to lift Chennai from a precarious 24/4 in six overs.

Electing to bat first, Chennai got an early jolt with Trent Boult taking out Faf du Plessis for a three-ball duck, slashing straight to Adam Milne at short third man. In the next over, it was Milne’s turn to take a wicket, taking out Moeen Ali for a three-ball duck, hitting straight to short cover.

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Chennai’s troubles increased when Ambati Rayudu was smacked on left elbow while trying to duck a short delivery from Milne and retired hurt on zero. Boult came back to pepper Suresh Raina (4) with short balls and away-going deliveries. Though Raina got an edgy boundary, Boult had the last laugh as Raina’s misery ended with a miscued slice to backward point while breaking his bat into two.

Milne grabbed his second wicket of the night with MS Dhoni (3) pulling straight to Boult at deep square leg, taking a well-judged reverse-cupped catch on last ball of the power-play.

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Gaikwad and Jadeja resurrected Chennai’s innings with a partnership of 81 runs off 64 balls for the fifth wicket. The duo took 18 runs off Krunal Pandya’s second over of the night.

Gaikwad opened up in the middle overs with an eye-catchy loft followed by a reverse sweep while Jadeja made use of width to cut past third man. Gaikwad, dropped at 19, reached his sixth half-century in IPL with a pull through mid-wicket off Pollard before slamming him flat over long-on. Jasprit Bumrah, playing his 100th IPL match, ended the partnership with an off-cutter which Jadeja (26) sliced to Pollard at long-off.

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Bravo’s lofted drive over extra cover off Milne began late fireworks for Chennai. Boult’s last over was smashed for 24 runs with Gaikwad hitting a four and six while Bravo smacked two sixes on both sides of the wicket. Though Bumrah brought an end to Bravo’s cameo, Gaikwad’s cover drive followed by a slog sweep over backward square leg on the final ball ensured Chennai ended their innings on a high.

Brief scores:

Chennai Super Kings 156/6 in 20 overs (Ruturaj Gaikwad 88 not out, Ravindra Jadeja 26, Dwayne Bravo 23, Adam Milne 2/21, Jasprit Bumrah 2/33, Trent Boult 2/35) against Mumbai Indians

–IANS

Nr/bsk

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