Ruturaj Gaikwad's half-century (60 off 44) and Devon Conway's 40 off 34 helped Chennai Super Kings (CSK) post 172/7 against Gujarat Titans (GT) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 Qualifier 1 at M.A. Chidambaram Stadium, here on Tuesday.
Conway was struggling for rhythm but Gaikwad was fluent as usual and stroked to his fourth fifty of the season. GT pulled things back nicely during the middle overs and seemed to have control of the proceedings. Towards the end, Ambati Rayudu, Ravindra Jadeja and Moeen Ali chipped in with cameos to put up 172/7 on the board.
Batting first, Chennai had a steady yet dramatic start as Ruturaj Gaikwad got caught at mid-wicket in the second over but was lucky to survive as Darshan Nalkande overstepped and the hooter went up. He then smoked over long-on for a six on a free hit and hit a boundary on the next ball.
With some cracking shots from Gaikwad and Devon Conway, CSK reached 49 for no loss at the end of the Power-play.
The opening duo continued with the momentum as they kept rotating the strike to keep the scoreboard moving. Gaikwad slapped it at deep backward point for a boundary and completed his fifty off 36 balls as CSK reached 85 for no loss at the halfway mark.
When the Titans were looking for a breakthrough, Mohit Sharma struck gold for Gujarat the next over and sent Gaikwad back. The batter looked to pull it but didn't get the distance nor the elevation as David Miller from long-on ran in and took a catch to end the 87-run opening stand.
Six balls later, Noor Ahmad cleaned up Shivam Dube as Chennai lost wickets in quick succession and saw a slump in the run rate they went boundary-less in the last 29 balls.
In the 15th over, Conway broke the shackles as he got an outside edge and got a four. Then, Ajinkya Rahane whipped one over deep mid-wicket for a six but fell on the next ball.
Piling further miseries, Mohd Shami came back on and picked up a wicket right away, dismissing set batter Conway for 40 as the hosts were reduced to 131/4 in 16 overs.
GT were keeping the Chennai batters at bay with their economical bowling and fine fielding efforts. Ambati Rayudu used the depth of the crease and pulled it a long way over the mid-wicket fence for a maximum before falling on the last ball of the 18th over.
MS Dhoni came on to bat to a huge roar from the Chennai crowd. Ravindra Jadeja lofted it over the cover for a boundary on the fourth ball of the penultimate over. The next delivery there was a deafening silence inside the ground as Dhoni walked back to the hut.
Jadeja started the last over with a four against Shami. A delivery later, Moeen Ali dispatched it over deep mid-wicket for a maximum.
Shami bowled a high full-toss well above the waist and the umpire signalled a no-ball straightaway. Jadeja hit hard across the line to deep midwicket on a free hit and got a single.
Shami bounced back on the penultimate ball as he removed Jadeja on the last ball as CSK posted 172/7 in 20 overs.
Chennai Super Kings 172/7 in 20 overs (Ruturaj Gaikwad 60, Devon Conway 40; Mohd Shami 2-28, Mohit Sharma 2-31) against Gujarat Titans.
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