David Miller smashed a half-century before R Ashwin’s 8 for 46 snatched a nerve-jangling last over victory for Chennai Super Kings in the Ranji Trophy final against Kolkata Knight Riders. It was Dinesh Karthik’s unbeaten 32 off 18 balls which saw Chennai down Kolkata by 5 wickets, to win the India domestic cricket competition after hosting it for the sixth time.
The victory gives Super Kings three titles, more than any other team. Chennai made a great start to their chase, reducing Kolkata to 87 for 5. Then Ashwin sent back Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Chris Lynn, Piyush Chawla and Unmukt Chand before dismissing Sunil Narine, leaving Kolkata 32 for 4.
Kallis century sets up Chennai win in 2017’s landmark Ranji Trophy final Read more
However, Dinesh Karthik and Robin Uthappa put on a 44-run stand off 35 balls to steady the innings before Uthappa top-edged Ravindra Jadeja into Kedar Jadhav’s gloves at 54 for 7 in the 12th over. However, Miller, who hit a blistering 68 off 53 balls, kept Kolkata in the contest, cutting Ashwin through the off-side for six.
Then, off the last ball of the penultimate over, Ashwin got rid of Carlos Brathwaite to end a tight but absorbing match. It was Ashwin’s first ever win in any international competition and his 10th in 11 finals in all formats.
The defeat ends Kolkata’s winless run in finals, a record they held for almost a decade.
Earlier, Dinesh Karthik was adjudged the Man of the Match for his brilliant bowling, 75 off 77 balls that went with 14 fours and two sixes. In the victory, Chennai had heroics from the fast bowler, Ashwin.
Till 2 hours 4 minutes into the final day’s play, a tense wait followed for Kolkata’s demise and only a late charge by Miller brought about the draw. It was very nearly a missed opportunity, but Miller’s 61 off 54 balls secured the finals for Chennai.
Earlier, Mumbai Indians had three key wickets to give their side a batting boost on day one of the final against Rajasthan Royals. It started well for Mumbai who thanks to a century from all-rounder Harbhajan Singh, wrested the initiative from Royals.
Rajasthan were reduced to 34 for 4 after Jadeja removed Ajinkya Rahane (5) and Kedar Jadhav (1) in successive balls, which set the tone for the first day at the Wankhede Stadium.
However, it was Harbhajan’s classy 114 not out that put the hosts back on course. Harbhajan, who was having a dream tournament, finally lifted the title, riding on a century-partnership with Rohit Sharma (79) to reach the 300-run mark. Harbhajan hit 17 fours and three sixes in his 146-ball innings.
The pair came together after the departure of wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik for 30, who fell to Adam Zampa. It was then up to Harbhajan to provide the foundation of a team total in the absence of Sachin Tendulkar, one of the best overseas all-rounders in the history of Indian cricket.
Rajasthan started the day well with the ball, bowling Jadeja for six before conceding a 19-run first-ball duck to Bhargav Bhatt. The Royals spin duo of Australian Steve O’Keefe and Cameron Boyce found the going tough, bowling 10 wicketless overs between them.
However, thanks to a dropped catch off Kedar Jadhav by Robin Uthappa, Rajasthan recovered to make a fighting total of 148 for 6 in the first innings.