Qualifier 1, Chennai, May 23, 2023, 07:30 PM
Chennai Super Kings beat Gujarat Titans by 15 runs
Man of the Match
That is it from Qualifier 1 but there's still plenty of action left in the 2023 Indian T20 League. Next up is the Eliminator between Mumbai and Lucknow at this very stadium and that game will take place on Wednesday, the 24th of May. That game will begin at 7.30 pm IST (2 pm GMT) with the winner facing Gujarat in Qualifier 2 and the loser getting knocked out of the competition. The build-up for that game though will begin a lot earlier. Do join us then, take care and goodbye!
Ruturaj Gaikwad is the PLAYER OF THE MATCH for his crucial knock of 60 runs in the first innings. Gaikwad says that the last 3-4 games in Chennai have been different from the earlier games where the pitch was more flat and he had to adapt and wait for the bad balls. Adds that both Devon Conway and Faf du Plessis are great players and having these international players at the other end helps him a lot and Conway keeps on scoring which takes the pressure off him. On whether the 60 runs he scored or the catch in took in the outfield was better, he says that the 60 he scored was better because it made a lot of difference and ends by saying that he knew their 'Baby Malinga', aka Matheesha Pathirana would do the job at the death.
MS Dhoni, the skipper of Chennai, says that Indian T20 League is too big to say it is just another final. Adds that with 10 teams now, it just is not another final. Mentions that it is a hard work of 2 months. Says that everyone has contributed and adds that the middle order has not got ample opportunity. Feels that Gujarat are a fantastic chasing team and wanted to put them into bat first. Reckons that it was a good toss to lose. Also says that Ravindra Jadeja is very difficult to hit when he gets conditions that help him. States that they try to create an environment and work out what is the strength of a fast bowler. Adds that they try to motivate them as much as possible. Shares that he can be a very annoying captain, asking fielders to move 2-3 feet. Mentions that he isn't sure if he will be back next year and says that he has 8-9 months to decide. Ends by saying that he will always be there for Chennai, whether he's playing or sitting something else and watching them play.
The Presentation ceremony...
Deepak Chahar is in for a chat. He starts by informing that everything is okay with him and adds that there is one more game to go. Mentions that they looked to bowl on a length as the ball was sticking in the surface. Shares that it was important not to experiment too much and stick to the basics. Feels that chasing 170 in a semi-final with the crowd against you is difficult. Says that they had spoken in the team meeting that it is all about handling the pressure. Reckons that they have the belief and feel that they have the benefit of having seniors in the team who have played in pressure games.
Hardik Pandya, the skipper of Gujarat, says that they were spot on with the ball and adds that basic errors cost them the game. Feels that they conceded 15 runs more. Mentions that they did execute their plans but gave away soft balls as well. Shares that they do not need to look much into it and adds that they have one more game to reach the final. Reckons that they need to focus on things that they have done right. On MS Dhoni, he says that they kept losing wickets and he kept changing the bowlers. Also says that it will be a good sight to meet MS Dhoni in the final. Ends by saying that he does not regret the decision to bowl first and adds that they expected the dew to come but it did not.
Earlier in the game, Hardik Pandya opted to field first in expectation of the dew coming later on and helping them chase but it didn't quite work out. Darshan Nalkande did get an early breakthrough as he got Ruturaj Gaikwad out but it was later called a no ball for over-stepping and this proved very costly as Gaikwad went on to put on an 87-run stand along with Devon Conway and scored a half-century as well. Gujarat did well to pick up a few wickets in the second half of the innings but their spinners weren't able to do much damage and a late blitz from Ravindra Jadeja helped Chennai posted 172 runs on the board. Coming to the chase, Gujarat never got off to a flying start and were unable to press on later in the innings as well as they kept on losing wickets and Chennai notched up a pretty solid win.
It was never going to be easy to get over 170 runs chasing on this ground without the dew and Gujarat simply couldn't build up a significant partnership. They lost a couple of wickets inside the Powerplay but in the middle overs, the likes of David Miller and Dasun Shanaka weren't able to counter the spinners. Shubman Gill did start off well but with wickets falling at the other end, he too got bogged down and eventually got out soon after. From thereon, it was a struggle for them and even though there was a bit of a fightback from Vijay Shankar and Rashid Khan toward the end, they were outclassed overall.
Having put on a solid total of 172 runs on a wicket that was dry and had no signs of dew as well, all Chennai needed were early wickets. They got just that as Deepak Chahar got Wriddhiman Saha early and then Maheesh Theekshana also managed to send Hardik Pandya packing in the final over of the Powerplay. After that, Chennai dominated play as Ravindra Jadeja breezed through his overs and picked up a couple of big wickets as well. MS Dhoni brought on his front-line bowlers back on early and they provided the breakthroughs as well. Matheesha Pathirana was handed the quota of bowling 3 out of the final 5 overs and picked up a couple of wickets as well. All in all, a masterclass at home from Chennai and they can now sit back and relax for the final in a few days' time.
CHENNAI ARE BACK IN THE FINALS! What a commanding display with the ball and it is Chennai who win Qualifier 1 and advance to their 10th Indian T20 League final. The crowd inside the stadium also goes wild as they witness the home team trump the reigning champions. It was a very solid performance from them in the field and as for Gujarat, their perfect record against Chennai is gone and they now have to play Qualifier 2.
In over# 20
Matheesha Pathirana 37/2(4)
OUT! TAKEN! Gujarat have been bowled out on the last ball! Pathirana bowls it slower and shorter as well, on off and middle, Mohammad Shami backs away and looks to go down the ground. Does not get a proper connection and skies this one high in the air towards mid on. Deepak Chahar from mid off backtracks and keeps his eyes on the ball all the way through. Completes a well-judged catch and does start to limp after completing the catch. Chennai fans go berserk as their side makes it to their 10th Indian T20 League final. Chennai win by 15 runs!
WIDE! Another wayward delivery by Matheesha Pathirana, bowls a low full toss way down leg, Mohammad Shami lets it go for a wide.
Keeps it short and on middle, Noor Ahmad pulls it towards deep mid-wicket and takes a single.
EDGED AND FOUR! Bowls it on a length, outside off, Noor Ahmad goes for a mighty heave across the line. Gets an outside edge that flies over short third man for four more runs.
Bowls it into the wicket and outside off, Mohammad Shami hangs back and slaps it down to long on for a single.
Full and straight, heaved away through mid-wicket for a run.
TWO WIDES! An attempted yorker, goes on to being a high full toss down the leg side. MS Dhoni does well to move to his left and get a hand on it. The batters scamper through as well.
Good length around off, Noor Ahmad hangs back and mistimes the lofted shot down to long on for one. Also, Chennai have an extra man inside the inner ring due to a slow over rate.