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Just when it looked like RCB had the game under control, some tight death bowling – and a special piece of fielding – by KKR stole it away from the Garden City franchise. In what turned out to be the catch that turned the match, Chris Lynn literally plucked the game out of thin air at the midwicket fence. The Australian fielder landed just inches from the boundary as he foiled AB de Villiers’ attempt to finish the game with a big hit.
Earlier, Virat Kohli won the toss and asked KKR to bat first. The decision did not bode well for his opposite number, Gautam Gambhir (0), who was out for his third consecutive duck this season. In fact, this was a first-ball duck for the left-hander, who was trapped leg-before by Mitchell Starc. Manish Pandey (5) also returned to the dugout soon after, failing to capitalise on the good run he has had in Pepsi IPL 2014 thus far; he got out off the bowling of Albie Morkel with the scorecard reading 10 for two in the second over.
It was up to the veteran Jacques Kallis and young Chris Lynn to resurrect the KKR innings. The pair did step up to the plate and pulled KKR out of a slump. With Lynn taking charge, Kallis played a more solid knock as they kept scoring at a fair clip. By the half-way stage, the initial setbacks were clearly a distant memory as both batsmen helped put up 82 for two by then.
However, just when it looked like KKR had got a leg up on RCB, they lost Lynn (45) off Varun Aaron. During his 31-ball stay, the Australian batsman struck three fours and three maximums. And two balls later, Aaron dealt a big blow by getting rid of the dangerous Yusuf Pathan (0), before he could make any impact on the scorecard. Predictably, KKR’s run-rate dipped during the next few overs, and they reached the three-figure mark only in the 14th over. Yuzvendra Chahal then dismissed Kallis (43) in the 16th over, leaving KKR on 107 for five.
Robin Uthappa (23) and Suryakumar Yadav then paired up and tried to up the scoring rate. While they were successful in adding 22 off just 11 balls for the sixth wicket, Uthappa fell to Aaron in the 18th over. Yadav(24*), however, hung around till the end of 20 overs to take KKR to 150 for seven. His late-overs partner, Vinay Kumar (4), was dismissed by Starc off the last ball of the innings.
For RCB, Varun Aaron, was the chief tormentor. Bowling frequently in the 145 kph range, the pacer from Jharkhand picked up three wickets for 16 runs in his four overs.
In response, the RCB openers – Parthiv Patel and Yogesh Takawale – gave their team a great start. The pair put together 67 runs in 7.4 overs, of which 40 came off Takawale’s bat. The 29-year-old Maharashtra batsman, who was making his IPL debut, took charge of the situation. With Patel providing him great support, Takawale kept the scorecard ticking at a decent rate, until Kallis trapped him leg-before. Patel (21) fell shortly thereafter, caught by Lynn off the bowling of Vinay Kumar.
Skipper Kohli and Yuvraj Singh then added 55 runs for the third wicket. By the end of their liaison – which ended with Kohli’s (31) dismissal off Narine in the 16th over – the RCB run-rate was well over the seven-and-a-half mark. Yuvraj Singh (31) continued to lead the run-chase, until Umesh Yadav sent him back to the dugout to add drama to the proceedings.
Then, with RCB needing nine runs off the last over, Vinay Kumar took the ball for KKR. After Albie Morkel and AB de Villiers took singles off the first three deliveries of the over, the run-chase equation read six off three balls. And what happened next can only be described as the catch of the season so far – with the hard-hitting de Villiers striking what seemed like a maximum to midwicket, Chris Lynn plucked an incredible catch, just inches from the ropes. After that, Morkel got home for a quick two off the next ball, leaving the equation at four from one ball. And then, much to the delight of KKR, the final ball yielded just one run, to hand them a famous two-run win.
Man of the Match: Chris Lynn for his quick-fire 45 and the spectacular catch that won the match
The left-arm spin of Ravindra Jadeja proved too much to handle for the Rajasthan Royals in Match 10 of Pepsi IPL 2014. The all-rounder claimed four vital wickets – after scoring a valuable 36 runs earlier in the game – as CSK registered a seven-run win in Dubai.
Earlier, Shane Watson chose to field first after winning the toss. However, Dwayne Smith came out all guns blazing for CSK. The West Indian opener went after the RR bowlers, while his opening partner, Brendon McCullum (6), was uncharacteristically quiet at the other end. In fact, the Kiwi batsman departed in the sixth over after scoring at less than a run-a-ball. Smith (50), however, continued to hammer the bowlers all over the park as he powered his way past 40. But he too perished soon off the bowling of Stuart Binny; CSK were on 59 for two in 7.2 overs at that point.
Suresh Raina was then joined by Faf du Plessis in the middle. However, Raina (4) soon departed off the bowling of Rajat Bhatia a short while later. Bhatia then ran du Plessis’ (7) out a couple of overs later, leaving CSK on 71 for four and in deep strife. RR then capitalised on the momentum and ensured MS Dhoni (5) did not lead a comeback with the bat. Pravin Tambe’s leg-spin did the CSK skipper in, reducing the opposition to 74 for five in 11.1 overs.
Ravindra Jadeja and Mithun Manhas then set about the arduous task of rebuilding the CSK innings while ensuring the run-rate did not dip too much. The pair added 27 runs off 22 balls, before Manhas was dismissed off the bowling of Bhatia, who finished his fours overs with figures of 13 for two. Jadeja (36*) and R Ashwin (9*) then stuck it out in the middle and denied the RR bowlers any more wickets. The pair carved out the best partnership of the innings that amounted to 39 runs. Thanks to their stand, CSK managed a respectable 140 for six in their 20 overs, after it seemed like they had been steamrolled by the Royals bowlers.
For RR, James Faulkner, Tambe and Binny were the wicket-takers apart from Bhatia, who was the pick of the bowlers.
RR then had a shaky start themselves as Abhishek Nayar (5) was run-out by McCullum in the second over of the run-chase. Ajinkya Rahane and Sanju Samson then got the chase back on track. Both batsmen smashed the bowlers around to gather 27 runs for the second wicket. Rahane (15), however, departed when he tried to go for a big hit off Ashwin and ended up handing a catch to Manhas. Meanwhile, Samson, who had struck two big hits by then, was joined by Watson (7) at the crease. But the RR captain’s innings, despite comprising one maximum, ended shortly; he miscued a Jadeja delivery and got caught in the deep by Ben Hilfenhaus. And then, off the very next ball, Jadeja caught Samson (16) off his own bowling. The left-arm spinner, however, missed out on a hat-trick as Steven Smith safely negotiated the next ball. With RR on 44 for four after seven overs, CSK were right back in the game.
Binny (8) was the next to return to the dugout; Mohit Sharma claimed his wicket in the 11th over with the score on 63 for five. There was no respite for the Royals as Smith (19) fell prey to Jadeja, becoming his third wicket of the night. CSK continued to apply pressure on the RR batters, and it was too much for Faulkner (4) to handle; the Australian all-rounder lost his wicket to Ishwar Pandey soon afterwards. Jadeja then returned to clean up Tim Southee (4) – his fourth victim of the match.
However, with Bhatia (23) still at the crease, there was still some hope for the Royals. But with 29 needed off 12 balls, the equation was in the Super Kings’ favour. And Bhatia did perish in the 19th over, off Hilfenhaus, while going for a big hit, leaving RR on 113 for nine. Despite two big hits by Dhawal Kulkarni in the final over, there was no fairy-tale ending for the Royals in this match. Pravin Tambe (2) was run-out with one ball to spare, as RR were bowled out for 133 – seven short of CSK’s total.
Jadeja was the star for CSK as he claimed four wickets for 33 runs in his four overs.
Man of the Match: Ravindra Jadeja for his all-round performance, which included an all-important four-for