Jadeja, Harbhajan share wickets as Chennai beats Bangalore

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BANGALORE, India: Spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Harbhajan Singh shared five wickets as Chennai Super Kings moved to the top of the Indian Premier League table with a six-wicket victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore on Saturday.

Jadeja picked up 3-18 and Harbhajan took 2-22 to restrict Bangalore to 127-9 after Chennai captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and chose to field.

Chennai reached 128-4 in 18 overs with Dhoni (31 not out) smashing three sixes off leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal in a final over costing 22 runs.

With seven wins in 10 games, Chennai now has 14 points, two more than Sunrisers Hyderabad which played Delhi Daredevils later Saturday.

“On surfaces such as these, Jadeja bowls very well … and so did we as a team,” Dhoni said. “Identifying our death bowler before the knockouts is the only thing we’re worried about and that’s why we’re making a few changes.”

Parthiv Patel, playing his first game of the season, top-scored for Bangalore with 53 off 41 balls and Tim Southee’s unbeaten 36 off 26 gave the total some respectability. No other Bangalore batsmen reached double figures.

AB de Villiers (1) returned after missing two games due to fever but lasted only four deliveries as the South African was stumped off the first delivery he faced against Harbhajan.

Jadeja clean bowled captain Virat Kohli (8) off his first ball as the batsman tried to chop the left-arm spinner’s arm ball but missed out on it completely.

Patel also chipped a straightforward catch to Jadeja in the 13th over and Bangalore struggled to put on partnerships against some tidy Chennai bowling.

David Willey, one of three changes made by Chennai, had Colin de Grandhomme caught at extra cover and Bangalore stuttered at 87-7 in the 15th over.

Southee smashed three fours and a six and raised the best partnership of the innings ? 39 for the ninth wicket ? with Muhammed Siraj (3).

Chennai’s target was eased by some sloppy Bangalore fielding with wicketkeeper Patel and Chahal dropping Dwayne Bravo (14 not out).

Ambati Rayudu (32 off 25) and Suresh Raina (25 off 21) added 44 runs for the second wicket before Raina was smartly caught by Southee at the boundary and Rayudu fell to leg-spinner Murugan Ashwin’s first delivery.

Dhoni and Bravo then shared a winning 48-run unbeaten stand to hand Bangalore its sixth defeat in the tournament.

“Dropped catches don’t help,” said Kohli, whose team has only six points from three victories.

“We know it’s a tough road ahead. We need to win probably four out of five (matches). These situations bring the best out of us.”—AP

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