Kriralok Desk: Former champions Chennai Super Kings beat defending champions Gujarat Titans by 15 runs in the first qualifier match of the 16th edition of the ongoing IPL. With this victory, Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s team once again entered the title deciding final.
Three-time champions Chennai scored 172 runs for the loss of 7 wickets batting first in the match between the top two teams in the points table held at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Tuesday (May 23). Chasing the target, Gujarat were all out for 157 runs in 20 overs.
Despite losing to Chennai, Gujarat’s hopes of retaining the title are still alive. Hardik Pandya will face the winner of the eliminator between Lucknow Super Giants and Mumbai Indians in the second qualifier.
Gujarat Titans have been playing great cricket since the start of this season of IPL. Ahead of the playoffs, the Hardik Pandya-led side topped the table with 20 points after winning a maximum of 10 out of 14 matches. On the other hand, Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings secured the playoffs as the second team with 17 points after winning only 8 out of 14 matches.
Chennai captain Dhoni won the toss and decided to bat first against Gujarat Chennai got off to a flying start with the bats of the two openers Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway. Gaikwad scored 60 runs in 44 balls with 7 fours and a six for the team. And Kiwi batsman Conway scored 40 runs from 34 balls.
After that, Ajinkya Rahane 17, Ambati Rayudu 17 and Ravindra Jadeja 22 runs, Chennai put up a challenging collection of 172 runs. In bowling, Mohammad Shami and Mohit Sharma took two wickets each for Gujarat. Besides, Darshan Nalkande, Rashid Khan and Noor Ahmad took one wicket each.
Chasing the target, Gujarat went on the backfoot from the start, losing wickets at regular intervals. After Hridiman Saha 12, Hardik Pandya 8, Shanaka 17 and David Miller 4 runs, opener Shubman Gill departed with maximum 42 runs off 38 balls, they lost their way.
Then Vijay Shankar scored 14 and leg-spinner Rashid Khan scored 30 runs off 16 balls to reduce the margin of defeat. In the end, the hosts burst into cheers with Shami’s departure from the last ball of the innings.