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Friday, May 24, 2024

Gujarat Titans start their defence on winning note


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Ahmedabad: Shubman Gill’s 63 off 36 balls helped Gujarat Titans to defeat Chennai Super Kings by five wickets in 2023 IPL opener at Narendra Modi Stadium here on Friday.

Earlier in the day, Ruturaj Gaikwad played a classy innings, scoring 92 off 50 balls which helped CSK post 178/7 after they were sent into bat by rival captain Hardik Pandya.

In reply, Gujarat got off to a flier as the first-ever impact substitute Tushar Deshpande was whacked by Wridhiman Saha (25 off 16) for a maximum on the roof.

Before he could return to the dugout inside the powerplay, the chase was nicely set up for Gujarat. Shubman donned the mantle of an anchor and showcased a few splendid shots in trickles as the rest upped the ante.

Gujarat got handy contributions from their impact substitute Sai Sudharshan (22 off 17) who walked in the place of the injured Kane Williamson, and Vijay Shankar (27 off 21).

Gujarat lost two quick wickets at the death as CSK’s debutant Rajvardhan Hangargekar impressed with a three-fer, but Rahul Tewatia sealed the game with his trademark six and a four, and before him Rashid Khan did the same.

Earlier, Ruturaj mesmerised CSK fans with his delectable shots. He hammered 4 boundaries and 9 sixes. He missed on his second IPL century. If he could got one, the CSK opener would have reached a unique feat of becoming the 9th batsman in IPL to smash two centuries.

Players including Ben Stokes, Adam Gilchrist, Murali Vijay, Virender Sehwag, Brendon McCullum, Ajinkya Rahane, Hashim Amla and Shikhar Dhawan had scored 2 centuries in the tournament.

Ruturaj had cracked his first hundred in the 2021 IPL wherein he ended up bagging the orange cap. Interestingly, the rest of the CSK batsmen scored 78 off 71 balls.

CSK lost opener Devon Conway early for one to Mohammad Shami who picked up his 100th IPL wicket, but Ruturaj looked blithe despite his partner’s departure.

Conway dominated the power play alongside Moeen Ali who went big against Shami, plundering 17 runs scored in an over. But, the magician Rashid Khan struck in his first over and got rid of Moeen (23) and Ben Stokes (7).

Despite this, Ruturaj continued with his blitzkrieg. Few of the boundaries and sixes he struck were prescription shots mentioned in the book. He brought up his fifty off 23 balls with a magnificent six.

CSK, however, lost the momentum after the second strategic timeout where Gujarat Titans pulled things back to an extent.

Ruturaj missed out on his century, but it was mainly due to Shivam Dube (19 off 18) and Ambati Rayudu (12 off 12), that CSK could not accelerate towards the end.

Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (14 off 7, 1×4 1×6) played a couple of enterprising shots, but would not be sure if he is pleased with the total.

For GT, Shami, Rashid and Alzarri Joseph picked two wickets each, and a wicket was bagged by Joshua Little.

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