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62nd Match (D/N), Wankhede, May 15, 2022, Indian Premier League
(19.1/20 ov, T:134) 137/3

Titans won by 7 wickets (with 5 balls remaining)

Showing newest first
  • Mission top two = complete

  • Result seems to be a formality

  • Say hello to junior Malinga

  • Saha rides his luck

  • An innings lacking momentum

  • The Gaikwad innings...

  • On Rashid and the powerplay

  • R Sai Kishore, and CSK

  • Rashid goes for plenty

  • Shami, around the stumps - here to stay

  • Powerplay crucial for Titans, always

  • "Very hot, we'll bat first..."

  • Remembering Andrew Symonds

  • Dead-ish rubber? Think again.

  • Top two in Titans' grasp

Updated 15-May-2022 • Published 15-May-2022

As it happened: Chennai Super Kings vs Gujarat Titans, IPL 2022, Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai

By Sreshth Shah

Mission top two = complete

Unless you're from Gujarat or you are a Hardik Pandya superfan, there is no way you would've envisioned this. The team considered 'unbalanced' after the auction has done it: Gujarat Titans are the first team to secure a top-two finish in the league stage of IPL 2022. Their tenth win in 13 games secures two bites at the cherry that is the IPL 2022 final in Ahmedabad.
At the start of the season, the buzz was that they were an inexperienced team that did not have proper squad balance. The first few wins were put down to 'beginning's luck.' The next few victories were categorised as games they got lucky in. But as the league stage of IPL 2022 has chugged along, the Gujarat Titans juggernaut has rolled on with comprehensive wins over Lucknow and Chennai over the last few days.
The last time Chennai Super Kings and Titans met, it needed a David Miller and Rashid Khan heist to take them home from a difficult position. This time, the Titans bossed an underwhelming Super Kings through the whole game. The Titans did not experiment with their XIs, the Super Kings gave some new faces a go, and in the end, the team in form proved too hot for MS Dhoni's side.
Match 63, a crucial one for the points table, is getting underway soon so we won't have the players' reactions right away. Stay tuned to ESPNcricinfo to get those as soon as we get a hold of them. Thanks for your company, and congratulations to all Titans fans.

Third 50 for Saha

Remember, he didn't even start for the Titans. But the side have found a way to bring Saha in, and he's delivered in that role so well. Another fifty, this time in the 14th over, holding up one end, playing smart cricket, and carrying the chase along. The Super Kings attack, barring a brief Moeen Ali spell, has looked comfortable to play against after the powerplay.
Titans need 23 in 26

Result seems to be a formality

Gill's wicket hasn't stopped Titans from how they were playing. Saha keeps attacking, albeit the timing is now beginning to fall away, and Matthew Wade has been quick to get off the blocks from No. 3
Super Kings are playing with a bowling attack that is perhaps their most inexperienced in history, or atleast in recent past, and that is showing more so in a game they are trying to defend 133.
What Titans will want now is to complete a nine-wicket win, with Wade also getting among the runs. Would be the perfect way to confirm their top two finish...
*edit: Wade falls trying to take Moeen Ali on, out for 20, and Hardik walks in at Titans on 90/2

Say hello to junior Malinga

Dear Chennai Super Kings,
Why did you hide Matheesha Pathirana away for so long?
Cricket fans
Runs in quick, and then bowls a sling-arm #MalingaStyle ball full on the stumps, and Shubman Gill can't connect with the flick. Hits Gill's front leg, umpire raises his finger, Gill unsuccessfully reviews, and what a start to the young man's IPL career! Junior Malinga is here, and Gill walks back for a 17-ball 18.

Saha rides his luck

Mukesh Choudhary has a big heart. He tempts Wriddhiman Saha to go for the expansive shots with the new ball, and Saha finds two streaky boundaries that on another day would've seen him walking back. In Choudhary's next over, Saha is dropped by Ruturaj Gaikwad in what is a simple catch, and after that reprieve, Saha isn't looking back. Continues to punish the other bowlers Simarjeet and Mitchell Santner coming his way, allowing Shubman Gill a watchful, risk-free start to his own innings.
He is a powerplay phenom, best utilised in the top six, and the Titans have extracted plenty from him. Soon enough, Saha finds the first six of the innings by pulling Singh over the leg side in the fifth over and Titans are 45 for no loss after five overs. Saha 37 in 23, Gill run-a-ball 7.

An innings lacking momentum

Innings Chennai Super Kings 133 for 5 (Gaikwad 53, Jagadeesan 39*, Shami 2-19, Joseph 1-15) vs Gujarat Titans
The tired wickets and hot conditions for running between the wickets are a small reason, but Chennai Super Kings will be disappointed making only 133 when they've lost just five wickets.
Atleast two partnerships bloomed after the early Conway wicket, but the acceleration just wasn't there. Smart bowling from Shami and Dayal in the back end to take pace off, Rashid came back strongly with only 14 runs off his last three overs, Hardik knew when to stop bowling after two tidy overs with the new ball, Alzarri Joseph impressed with his pace when it wasn't easy to run in, and R Sai Kishore provided another good spell of left-arm spin. Titans 81% favourites
Here's how CSK's innings progression went:
Overs 1-5: 30 for 1 (RR of 5)
Overs 6-10: 43 for 1 (8.6)
Overs 11-15: 36 for 0 (7.2)
Overs 16-20: 24 for 3 (4.8)*
*this is the second lowest that CSK have ever scored in the first innings of the last five overs of an innings.

The Gaikwad innings...

Out for a 49-ball 53 to Rashid Khan, and only will we know if this was a good innings at 7.30pm IST when the game ends. Shubman Gill made a 61 in similar fashion, although marginally quicker, and took him the POTM award in Titans' last win over Lucknow Super Giants where Rashid Khan took a four-for.
So you never know the value of an innings till both sides have batted, however, Dhoni did choose to bat first which set him up to play in very warm conditions. They have been settling for ones on what could've been twos in evening games. Gaikwad's dismissal to deep midwicket too was one that showed that he was exhausted.
Alzarri Joseph gets a short ball to dismiss Shivam Dube for 0 thereafter, and MS Dhoni walks in for what's remaining of the innings. Rashid bowls a tidy 18th to finish with 1/31. CSK 119 for 4 in 18 overs, and haven't seen a boundary in 2+ overs

On Rashid and the powerplay

Was the 17-run over from Rashid a lesson that Hardik will remember for future games? Even though Titans are in control of the run flow, that sixth over - the last one of the powerplay - will sting them.
Numbers say Rashid does not having a successful outing when he starts his spell inside the powerplay. Among 18 spinners who have bowled their first overs more than 20 times in the powerplay overs, Rashid’s rate of conceding a six every 12.9 deliveries is the worst. Barring one of those 18 bowlers (Pragyan Ojha), no other bowler gets hit for a six even once in three games.
Maybe it has to do with field restrictions combined with the last powerplay over, but Rashid specifically struggles in the sixth over. His economy while starting his spell in the sixth over of the innings is 9.
But whatever the lesson may be in there, I hope the #stats don't stop Hardik from going with his gut. It didn't work today, but on another day the plan will fall in place. The point is if you are promised one wicket, then you wouldn't mind conceding 10-12 runs for that over. And Hardik has earned the luxury of "trying" a few things out given they have a 9-3 record in the competition.
About the match state: Gaikwad has reached a 44-ball fifty and Jagadeesan has hit his fellow TN player Sai Kishore for 6 and 4, but with eight wickets in the bag, the current run rate of 7.23 needs to get a push towards 8.50.
CSK 111 for 2 in 15.3, and ESPNcricinfo's forecaster says they'll get 157.
stats on Rashid unearthed by Shiva Jayaraman

R Sai Kishore, and CSK

Sai Kishore used to be a net bowler with CSK and was part of one of their title-winning squads but didn't get a game over three seasons despite his sustained brilliance in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. After a two-for in his last game for Titans, he starts off with the wicket against his former side straight away.Moeen Ali paying the price for trying that slog sweep a tad too often.
Gaikwad, meanwhile, rides a bit of luck - a caught chance off Dayal's bowling could've gone either way. He's anchoring along, at a strike-rate of 110, but isn't getting the powerful strokes from N Jagadeesan from the other end either. CSK 90 for 2 in 13 overs. Shami, Hardik, Joseph, Sai Kishore all have economies of six or under. The last five overs have gone for 30 runs.

Rashid goes for plenty

With CSK at 30 for 1, going at only 6 per over after five overs, Hardik Pandya went in search of an attacking over, bringing Rashid Khan on, but it hasn't gone as per plan. Moeen Ali, expected to have the ball turning away from him, takes Rashid on for two sixes over the leg side. One could've been out on another day, but Rashid's opening over goes for 17 and CSK finish the powerplay with a decent 47 for 1. Gaikwad 23, Moeen 18.
CSK, though, had the momentum going into the Rashid over. Yash Dayal's first over, the fifth, hadn't gone well either with Gaikwad being the aggressor with 4,6,4 in a 15-run over. He doesn't return for a second over, with Alzarri Joseph now starting the seventh with the field spread.

Shami, around the stumps - here to stay

After two quiet overs, Shami gets the breakthrough, relying on what's made him so potent with the red ball. Here's Sidharth Monga summing it up, as Devon Conway is out 5.
"This is just too good. Test-match stuff. Round the wicket, angling in, making him play the angle, and then leaving him just a touch to take the edge. Conway tried to walk down at him but it didn't help him"
Moeen Ali at No. 3 is welcomed with that same angle, but despite a few edges he sees the over out unscathed. Hardik Pandya has bowled two from the opposite end. Tidy, barring a no ball.
On Shami's around the wicket plan: It seems like a thing he's been doing more and more in the IPL. Halfway into his opening spell today, he has bowled 80+ deliveries around the stumps (with four wickets) to left-handers in IPL 202, compared to just 14 over the stumps (just one wicket). So it's a ploy worth keeping an eye out for. Fascinating.

Powerplay crucial for Titans, always

It is no rocket science that wicket up top helps you win games, but that has pretty much been the recipe for Titans' success with the ball so far. In the eight games they've taken 2+ wickets in the powerplay, they've won all - it's that simple. Shami enjoys this venue - taking six wickets in two games so far. He takes the new ball with Gaikwad on strike, and Conway at the non-striker's. Shami's ten wickets in the powerplay are the second most in the IPL this season.
But it won't be easy to penetrate this duo. In just five innings, Conway-Gaikwad have racked up 349 runs at an average of 64.8 and a strike-rate of 160. They've had two century stands and one fifty stand in five! However CSK's season goes, rest assured, they've got their opening paid #LockedAndLoaded for 2023.

"Very hot, we'll bat first..."

That's what MS Dhoni says after winning the coin flip. Says that heat/comfort is as important a toss factor as playing XIs. "Not always easy to say what happened," Dhoni says. "But I look at more positives than negatives. The two fast bowlers, Theekshana, Conway the way he has batted - excellent. Apart from that we've had people doing well but not consistent." Lot of changes: Four in, four out. Uthappa, Bravo, Theekshana and Rayudu are sitting this game out. N Jagadeesan (TN batter), Prashant Solanki (legspinner), Santner and Sri Lankan Matheesha Pathirana are in. Sadly no Rajvardhan Hangargekar, and interestingly no Ambati Rayudu.
"We're talking to the team about what kind of team we show off," says Hardik Pandya. "We can either let the game drift or play as No. 1 irrespective of the heat." Same team.
Chennai Super Kings 1 Ruturaj Gaikwad, 2 Devon Conway, 3 Moeen Ali, 4 N Jagadeesan, 5 Shivam Dube, 6 Mitchell Santner, 7 MS Dhoni (capt. & wk), 8 Matheesh Pathirana, 9 Simarjeet Singh, 10 Prashant Solanki, 11 Mukesh Choudhary.
Gujarat Titans 1 Shubman Gill, 2 Wriddhiman Saha (wk), 3 Matthew Wade, 4 Hardik Pandya (capt.), 5 David Miller, 6 Rahul Tewatia, 7 Rashid Khan, 8 Alzarri Joseph, 9 Mohammed Shami, 10 Sai Kishore, 11 Yash Dayal.

Remembering Andrew Symonds

Earlier today, the world of cricket was devastated to hear about the passing of Andrew Symonds at only 46. The man needs no introduction for world cricket, but over here in the IPL, he too had a record first.
Symonds was the most expensive overseas player at the inaugural auction and went on to win the title with Deccan Chargers in the second season. The cricket world will miss him just as he was developing into an ace broadcaster working in the BBL and other competitions. Here is ESPNcricinfo's full coverage on the tragic incident:
2. Ricky Ponting: Andrew Symonds 'an extraordinary player and even better human being'
3. 'This really hurts' - reactions from around the world
4. Archive: Symmo comes in swinging (Video)
5. Interview from 2010 with Harsha Bhogle: "It was always my dream to play for Australia"

Dead-ish rubber? Think again.

The Titans are assured of a spot in the playoffs. They're the only team so far to have a confirmed spot. That can't be snatched away from them. But they've lost two of their last three games, and the one thing you don't want as a team to have peaked too early before the business end.
The two losses before their previous game did make them step up against Lucknow Super Giants, bowling the team at second place all out for only 82. That would've boosted their confidence, but this game is the one they'd want to win because of the extra cushion a top two spot offers. They wouldn't want to keep that for the final game against RCB.
As for CSK, Jadeja is not there, Rayudu has been a bit iffy on social media. This is not what CSK are known for - not under MS Dhoni. The team will be keen to finish the season strong, for pride definitely but also to know where they are lacking before 2023.
Here's all our preview content:
1. It could be a chance for both teams to test their reserves, but for completely different reasons.
2. Ian Bishop and Sanjay Manjrekar on whether Titans have found their best XI.
4. Feature by Deivarayan Muthu: Two CSK boys named Sai, lined up against their former team. The story of Spinner Sai Kishore and batter Sai Sudharsan.

Top two in Titans' grasp

It's the final double-header day of the season, and we start off with match 62. Table-toppers Gujarat Titans need one more win to be assured of a top-two finish, but with only two games left in the league stage for them, the last thing they'd want is to get on a losing run entering the playoffs. Chennai Super Kings can make Titans nervous today, but they seem to have a bit of a weird thing going on in their camp, with Ravindra Jadeja not with the team and Ambati Rayudu making a u-turn after tweeting his IPL retirement. Don't forget the 97 all out against Mumbai Indians.
In the USA, you can watch the action live on ESPN+ in English or in Hindi.
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