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April 14, 2013
Chennai Super Kings pulled off another one of the heists they have earned a reputation of being able to pull off in the IPL, beating Royal Challengers Bangalore at Chepauk off what should have been the last ball of the game. Had it been the last ball of the match, Royal Challengers would have won by one run, as Ravindra Jadeja was caught at third man. But a no-ball from RP Singh meant Super Kings had the two runs they required, winning by four wickets. It took the team a while to absorb what had happened, batsman Suresh Raina said after the match.
"It was chaos. When Jadeja played that last shot, we sat in the dugout and saw the RCB guys going up thinking they'd won. We thought so too," Raina told the IPL website. "Then suddenly [umpire Anil] Chaudhary signalled the no-ball, and we didn't know what was happening. It was only after a few moments that we realised we were sitting in the winning team's dugout."
Super Kings were chasing 166, and had got off to a poor start in the chase, managing only 10 for 2 in four overs. Raina was the third man out, in the 11th over, with the team still needing another 100 runs from 57 balls. S Badrinath fell soon after, for 34, bringing Jadeja to the crease. In a key stand, MS Dhoni and Jadeja added 59 at over 10 an over. When Dhoni was dismissed at the start of the 18th over, it looked like the game had slipped away from the hosts, but Jadeja saw it through. In the final over, with 16 needed, he edged to third man for four and blitzed one down the ground for six, before the drama of the final ball.
Watching the match from the sidelines, Raina said, was nerve-wracking, but he was pleased that Jadeja had the chance to display his skills. "It was very difficult to watch this game from the dressing room. But Jadeja showed today what sort of a player he is. He showed character and took responsibility. He has scored a lot of runs in the domestic competitions, and he's more determined as a batsman."
Raina said that he had a hand in bringing Uttar Pradesh pacers, Ankit Rajpoot and Imtiaz Ahmed, into the Super Kings squad. Raina captained UP in the Ranji Trophy and, he said, their first-class performances prompted him to vouch for them. "I played with them during the domestic season and these guys were putting in a lot of effort on the field. Imtiaz and Ankit had a major role to play in UP qualifying for the Ranji Trophy knockouts, with RP Singh, Bhuvan [Bhuvneshwar Kumar] and PK [Praveen Kumar] not around. They were really keen on getting some international exposure and I thought they deserved a crack at the IPL.
"So I spoke to Flem [coach Stephen Fleming] about them. He said he'll definitely have a look at them and he liked what he saw." In the Ranji Trophy, Imtiaz was the leading wicket-taker for UP, with 37 from nine matches at 25.45. Rajpoot, who made his first-class debut this season, claimed 31 wickets from seven games at 18.80. While Rajpoot played against Kings XI Punjab, Imtiaz is yet to debut for Super Kings.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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