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Talking points from Chennai's nerve-racking win over Kolkata

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A sensational hard-hitting display from Ravindra Jadeja in the final two overs put a massive dent to Kolkata's hopes of achieving a playoff berth in this year's Indian T20 League as Chennai won their second game on the trot for the first time this season. Kolkata, riding on the back of Nitish Rana's 61-ball 87, put 172/5 on board and while Chennai looked out of sorts at times, Jadeja snatched the game right at the death by scoring a quickfire 11-ball 31. A win for Chennai, meanwhile, means Mumbai have become the first team to qualify for playoffs.

That said, here are some key talking points from Chennai's six-wicket win over Kolkata

Sunil Narine's form continues to fickle

A lot was expected from Sunil Narine ahead of the season, and while the West Indies all-rounder has been decent with the ball, his returns with the bat have been truly underwhelming. 

On Thursday in what was his 350th T20 game, the all-rounder, who came at No. 3, departed after scoring a mere seven off as many deliveries. That’s Narine’s fifth single-digit score in eight innings in this year’s Indian T20 League. It is rightly troubling, but there’s more to it. Getting out in seven deliveries means it was the sixth time this season where he departed after playing less than 10 balls.

Sunil Narine in 2020 Indian T20 League
Balls faced Dismissals
1-10 6
11-20 1
21-30 0
30 plus 1

To say Chennai have always been Narine’s bane would be an understatement to make. Their bowlers have always managed to get the better of him and the fact that since 2017, all of Narine’s dismissal against Chennai have come against spin - Harbhajan Singh (2), Mitchell Santner (2), Ravindra Jadeja and Karn Sharma - is the perfect example of it.

Shane Watson’s spinning voodoo

Shane Watson was back in the fold after missing two back-to-back games - a defeat against Mumbai and a win over Bangalore - but failed to assert his claim. Opening the batting alongside Ruturaj Gaikwad, the Aussie scored a dull-witted 19-ball 14 at a lowly strike rate of 73.68 before being dismissed Varun Chakravarthy. This is, in fact, the fifth time that Watson was dismissed by a right-arm spinner this season. His stats against this bowling type further underlines how substandard he has been against them:

  • 79 runs
  • 59 balls
  • 5 dismissals
  • 15.80 avg

Before tonight’s game, Watson had scored just 30 runs off as many deliveries in seven innings against Narine while being dismissed a whopping five times, which also includes the last meeting of these two teams earlier in the season. Despite a steady start, Watson never really looked settled on the night, and we might have seen the last of him in the Indian T20 League.

Dhoni’s failure to get past Chakravarthy

There are only a handful of bowlers who have dismissed MS Dhoni twice in a single Indian T20 League season. On Thursday, spinner Varun Chakravarthy became only the sixth man to do so after his scorching delivery managed to breeze through the Chennai captain to find its way to the leg stump. Dhoni, as has been his trend this season, has struggled to go big against Chakravarthy in particular, having scored just nine off many deliveries against him, while hitting a solitary boundary.

Here is the list of bowlers who have dismissed Dhoni twice in the same Indian T20 League season:

Bowler Innings Runs Balls Outs Avg SR 4s 6s Dots Year
Pragyan Ojha 2 16 22 2 8 72.7 0 1 13 2008
Roelof van der Merwe 2 19 19 2 9.5 100 0 0 5 2009
Zaheer Khan 4 26 13 2 13 200 2 2 5 2011
Kuldeep Yadav 2 10 9 2 5 111.1 0 1 5 2017
Jasprit Bumrah 4 26 20 2 13 130 1 2 8 2017
Varun Chakravarthy 2 9 9 2 4.5 100 1 0 5 202

Off day for Ferguson

Lockie Ferguson made an instant impact for Kolkata in the Indian T20 League, picking six wickets in his last four appearances (before tonight’s game). On Thursday though, the New Zealander was hit for 54 runs his quota of four overs; most by any Kolkata bowler in the ongoing season. He went for nine runs in his first over, but Ruturaj Gaikwad hit 12 past him in his second. And while his third over was decent, to say the least, Ravindra Jadeja took a swing at him in the penultimate over, hitting 20 runs to put a massive dent in Kolkata’s hopes of achieving the final playoff spot.

Feature image courtesy: Twitter / @IndianT20League

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