Match 1, Ahmedabad, March 31, 2023, 07:30 PM
Gujarat Titans beat Chennai Super Kings by 5 wickets
Man of the Match
That is it from the opening game of the Indian T20 League 2023 but it is just the start of more amazing things to come. In the first Super Saturday on the 1st of April, we have a doubleheader lined up. First up, Punjab will lock horns with Kolkata in Mohali at 3.30 pm IST (10 am GMT) and then it will be a clash between Lucknow and Delhi in Lucknow beginning at 7.30 pm IST (2 pm GMT). You can catch the build-up for both of those games a lot earlier. Cheers!
Rashid Khan has been adjudged the PLAYER OF THE MATCH for his game-changing spell of 2 for 26 runs and a crucial couple of lusty blows at the death with the bat. He starts by thanking the almighty and adds that he is happy to get this award in the team's win. Shares that he tries to do his best in all three departments. On bowling against Moeen Ali and Ben Stokes, he says the plan was to keep it tight and he was rewarded with those were crucial wickets. Mentions that it was important to bowl in the right areas and put them under pressure. Ends by saying that the maximum amount you spent in the nets, the more result you get and adds that the confidence shown by Hardik Pandya and the coaching staff has been good.
The skipper of Gujarat, Hardik Pandya says that he is very happy but they did put themselves in a difficult situation and applauds Rashid Khan and Rahul Tewatia to get them over the line. Adds that they were looking at a score of around 200 but bowled well to pin Chennai down to 178 runs. Mentions that the Impact Player rule makes his job difficult and having more options makes it a bit difficult to pick the playing XI but will see how it all works out. On Rashid Khan, he says that he is a star player and can change the game with either bat or bowl and admits that his own shot and Shubman Gill's shot did put the team in a spot of bother but they got over the line.
The Presentation ceremony...
Shubman Gill, the star with the bat for Gujarat is in for a flash interview. He says that he is disappointed with himself for not finishing the game but feels happy that they got over the line. Mentions that it makes a difference when you have runs under the belt. Adds that his T20I career has been off to a good start which has given him confidence. On his partnership with Wriddhiman Saha, he says that there are no specific roles and it is all about playing the situation. Shares that the plan was to get as many runs as possible in the Powerplay. Ends by saying that he is very excited to play half of the games at this venue.
MS Dhoni, the captain of Chennai says that they were 15-20 runs short and adds that they knew that there would be dew later in the innings. Feels that they tried to muscle the ball where the need was for a bit more batsmanship by using the pace of the delivery and hitting proper shots. Mentions that Ruturaj Gaikwad has been brilliant and he has groomed himself well over the years. Also says that it is important to give exposure to youngsters and feels that Rajvardhan Hangargekar has a lot of potential. Adds that no balls are in the bowler's control and the bowlers should try not to bowl those. Ends by saying that he had an option in the form of Moeen Ali but he thought bowling two left-arm spinners was the better option.
Earlier in the game, Hardik Pandya put Chennai into bat first and this decision worked well at the start as Mohammad Shami sent back Devon Conway early. However, Ruturaj Gaikwad who didn't have the best of seasons last time around looked like a man on a mission and effortlessly hit maximums after maximums. Gaikwad received a bit of support from Moeen Ali after the first wicket fell but after that, Gaikwad found it difficult to keep strike. Gaikwad eventually fell for 92 and Chennai ended up scoring 178 runs instead of something around the 200-run mark. Mohammad Shami, Rashid Khan and Alzarri Joseph all three senior bowlers were really good with the ball and picked up a couple of wickets each as well and it was the effort of these three that Gujarat were able to pull things back. Coming to the chase, Gujarat seemed in control right from the first over and they managed to shrug off a bit of a nervy final few overs to start their campaign with a win.
Chennai will be a tad disappointed with that effort but they did fight back really well. Deepak Chahar bowled a tidy spell up top but the inexperience of Rajvardhan Hangargekar and Tushar Deshpande did spoil the Powerplay for them. Mitchell Santner too received a bit of a tap early on but Ravindra Jadeja did well to slow down the scoring. This pressure helped Rajvardhan Hangargekar come back and pick up wickets and right through the middle phase, Chennai were able to break crucial stands. They did manage to make things nervy for Gujarat in the final few overs but three boundaries in the 19th over cost them dearly. In all fairness though, they were certainly a few runs short with the bat.
Gujarat needed 179 runs to win on a good batting wicket and they got off to an ideal start. Wriddhiman Saha rode his luck early on and got away a few boundaries with Shubman Gill timing the ball gloriously at the other end. Saha got out soon but the Impact Player, Sai Sudharsan did his job really well to put on a 50-plus stand with Gill. Sudharsan and then Hardik Pandya got out but Gill kept on going before eventually getting out on 63. Vijay Shankar played a handy cameo and then in the last two overs, Rashid Khan and Rahul Tewatia found the fence at the crucial moments and Gujarat ended up winning the game with 4 balls remaining.
There go the fireworks! What a game to get the 2023 season of the Indian T20 League underway! A fascinating contest but it is the reigning champions who have come out on top and have made it 3 wins out of 3 against Chennai. The crowd inside the stadium also erupts as the home team seals victory in style.
In over# 20
Tushar Deshpande 51/1(3.2)
FOUR! THAT'S IT! Rahul Tewatia takes Gujarat home with 4 balls to spare! Tushar Deshpande bowls it full and at the stumps, Rahul Tewatia gets into a good position and drills it back past the stumps at the non-striker's end. The ball races away to the fence and it is Gujarat who emerge victorious in this opening game by 5 wickets.
SIX! That should do it for Gujarat! Goes searching for the yorker on the off side, Rahul Tewatia gets across to the off side and thumps it over long off for a maximum. The scores are level now.
WIDE! Sprays it full but way outside off, Rahul Tewatia frees his arms to carve this one over covers but misses. He does not connect and the umpire signals a wide.
Tushar Deshpande (3-0-40-1) to bowl the final over. Can he defend 7 runs?
In over# 19
Deepak Chahar 29/0(4)
Slower and short outside off, Rashid Khan steps out of his crease and tries to slap this one hard but connects with thin air. Gujarat need 8 runs from the last over.
FOUR! Rashid Khan is taking Gujarat home here! Pace on this time and bowls it short on off, Rashid Khan throws his bat at the ball and finds success. The ball flies off the outer part of the bat and goes over short third man for a boundary.
SIX! BANG! Rashid Khan is up and running! Deepak Chahar bowls it right in the slot at the stumps, Rashid Khan isn't one to miss out as he clears his front leg and smokes this one well over the mid-wicket fence for a biggie.