Chennai Super Kings enter IPL finals for 10th time, down Gujarat Titans by 15 runs


Image Source: PTI CSK beat GT

GT vs CSK: MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings made a brilliant defense of 172 runs in the first qualifier of IPL 2023 as they beat Gujarat Titans by 15 runs. Four-time champions CSK scored 172 on the challenging surface at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai, before their spinners starred and helped them restrict GT to 157. With this, Chennai have booked their ticket to Ahmedabad and reached their 10th IPL final.

Apply the brakes on CSK challenging surfaces

The target of 172 looked doubtful as the dew helped the chasing teams. But with no dew and a slow surface, the Chennai bowlers put the brakes on GT’s strong batting unit. The spinners were quite economical in the middle. The pair of Mahesh Thikshana and Ravindra Jadeja conceded only 46 runs in their 8 overs and also took 4 wickets.

Deepak Chahar started doing the damage by dismissing Saha in his second over. Shubman Gill and Hardik Pandya then tried to stabilize the ship, but the latter fell on Theekshana. Gill was batting well and timing the ball beautifully. But a short ball from Chahar ended his innings of 42 runs. With 58 runs needed off 24 balls, Rashid Khan looked to inject some life into the chase. He and Vijay Shankar dashed the hopes of the visitors by scoring 32 runs in the 16th and 17th overs. But Pathirana, whose off-day was rare, took Shankar before Dhoni conspired to dismiss Rashid by adding an extra fielder on the off side for Tusshar Deshpande. Pathirana conceded 11 runs in the final over but it was not enough as CSK found a way to beat GT for the first time in 4 attempts.

Chennai scored 172 runs thanks to Gaikwad

Chennai Super Kings got off to a rough start as Ruturaj Gaekwad was lucky to start. Newcomer Darshan found the CSK right-handed opener at mid-wicket but overstepped. Gaikwad then hit a six and a four to start the innings. The openers took Chennai to 49 runs without losing a wicket. They quickly scored a few more runs and reached 85 in the first 10 overs, but the ball looked a little catchy. Mohit Sharma soon found the opening, mistaking Gaekwad to pull it to long-on in the 11th over.

After Gaikwad’s wicket, CSK slowed down a bit in the middle overs. Noor Ahmed bowled Shivam Dubey in the 12th over and Rahane fell victim to Darshan with a six in the 15th over. By the end of the middle phase, CSK were at 31/4 after 16 overs. Ravindra Jadeja later hit some fours and helped CSK put a challenging score on the board.

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