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IPL 2023: Dhoni's CSK seal final berth, GT on hold
Image Credit: UNI

IPL 2023: Dhoni's CSK seal final berth, GT on hold

| @indiablooms | 24 May 2023, 11:05 am

Chennai/UNI: Home favourites Chennai Super Kings, eyeing for a fifth title, stormed into the final of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 defeating defending champions Gujarat Titans in a tense finish to the first qualifier of the playoffs at the M.A.Chidambaram Stadium here on Tuesday.

CSK entered the final for the 10th time by virtue of their 15-run win over GT, who were bowled out for 157 in 20 overs chasing 172.

For CSK, bowlers, who had been marshalled well by CSK skipper M.S.Dhoni, rose to the occasion, bowled to their field, overcame tense moments before emerging triumphant for a place in the title clash, when the visitors despite losing wickets at regular intervals, showed signs of a come back.

For CSK, there were two wickets apiece for pacers Deepak Chahar, impact bowler Mathesha Pathirana and spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Mahessha Theekshana, and Tushar Deshpande picked up one wicket.

Chasing a somewhat tricky target, GT started off a little bit on a confident note with openers Wriddhaman Saha(12, 11 bals, 2x4) and in-form opener Shubman Gill, with back to back centuries just managed to negotiate the opening overs.

The quality leadership of CSK skipper M.S.Dhoni led to the downfall of Saha, who holed out to deep square leg of pacer Deepak Chahar and soon GT skipper Hardik Pandya (8, 7 balls) perished to spinner Mahessh Theekshana.

Dasun Shanaka impressed for a brief while in his 16-ball 17 with a four and a six, but his reverse sweep proved to be his wrong doing off Ravindra jadeja as the visitors were reduced to 72 for three in 10.3 overs, with Gill being left with the job of guiding the team home, when David Miller joined him amid mounting asking rate, on a wicket which has slowed down considerably with the spinners coming into play.

However, the CSK spinners applied the pressure, when Jadeja castled Miller (4) to peg back GT to 88 for four in the 13th over, picking up his second wicket, that brought local star Vijay Shankar who rose to the occasion in tight situations.

Jadeja finished with 2 for 18 in four overs, in an impressive spell that brought back CSK into the contest and placed in the final for the 10th time in 16 editions.

In the same core off next over, Gill (42, 38b 4x4 1x6) perished to a pull shot of pacer Deepak Chahar and held by Devon Conway at square leg fence as GT were tied to 88 for five in the 14th over, raising CSk hopes of a place in the summit clash, with the back of a packed yellow brigade cheering them.

After Rahul Twewaita was castled for just three runs, Rashid Khan and Vijay Shankar took up the charge of the chase. Rashid Khan's six and four hastened GT's chase as they needed 57 in four overs.

A six by Vijay Shankar brought down the target to 50 from 22 balls, raising the tension among both the teams.

Pressure piled upon CSK as Rashid Khan slammed another six and a streaky boundary of Tushar Deshpande, adding more element of tension into the contest as GT needed 39 in the last three overs, raising hopes of a tight finish.

It all boiled down to 16-ball 37 runs, with Vijay Shankar (14, 10 balls) exiting, leaving Rashid Khan to handle the chase, further heightening the tension in the most crucial contest (136 for 7 in 17.3 overs).

In the next ball, CSK heaved a sigh of relief as Darshan Nalkande was run out for a golden duck, with the target coming down to 37 in 14 balls, resting full hopes on Rashid Khan,who too fell scoring 16-ball 30 with three fours and two sixers.

This brought down the target to 27 runs in the last over, bowled by slinger Pathiarana and the home team successfully defended the total to enter the final, eyeing for a fifth title.

GT, who were the IPL table toppers, will get a second chance to reach the final. They will lock horns with the winner of the second qualifier on Friday. 

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