7th Match (N), Chennai, March 26, 2024, Indian Premier League
(20 ov, T:207) 143/8

CSK won by 63 runs

Player Of The Match
51 (23)
Cricinfo's MVP
89.84 ptsImpact List

Rachin, Dube and CSK's quicks dispatch the Titans

Rachin Ravindra and Shivam Dube set up CSK's 206 before their five fast bowlers shut down Gujarat Titans' chase

Alagappan Muthu
Alagappan Muthu
Chennai Super Kings 206 for 6 (Dube 51, Ravindra 46) beat Gujarat Titans 143 for 8 (Sudharsan 37, Chahar 2-28, Deshpande 2-21) by 63 runs
The new faces of Chennai Super Kings impressed against the team they took down in the IPL 2023 final, signalling that the post-MS Dhoni era could also be filled with lots of success.
Rachin Ravindra (46 off 20), Shivam Dube (51 off 23), Sameer Rizvi (14 off 6) and the captain Ruturaj Gaikwad himself (46 off 36) led them to a total of 206, which proved plenty more than enough for a bowling attack that is also undergoing change.
For the second game running, Chepauk offered no wickets to the home team's spinners. Instead, it was the fast bowlers led by Deepak Chahar (2 for 28) and Tushar Deshpande (2 for 21) who did all the damage. The times, they are a'changin.

Rachiiiiin Rachin!

Rachin is a back-foot player. Yet his drives are the best part of his game. They look so natural. Almost instinctive. This is basically a result of a switch in mindset, which was very apparent at the ODI World Cup, where he gave himself permission to go hard at the ball. Now watching him, there's almost no bias.
He was straight-driving sixes. He was front-foot pulling boundaries. He was pouncing on rare short balls from Rashid Khan. This was a batter showing off just how early he was picking length and just how good his hand-eye coordination is. He was never out of position. He was never rushed. He never even looked like he was trying. His 46 off 20 balls is already in the Super Kings hall of fame because he hit nine boundaries, the joint-fifth-most by any CSK batter inside the powerplay in all IPL history.

Dube destroys spin

Left-arm spinner Sai Kishore and Rashid Khan were immense in helping Titans shut down Mumbai Indians in their first match of the season. Here they were almost not allowed to finish their full quota of overs. Because Shivam Dube.
The first ball of the 11th over resulted in Ajinkya Rahane's wicket with the score on 104 for 2. The second and third were sent up into orbit by the one of the league's best spin-hitters.
Dube's story might well be the strongest argument in favour of role-clarity in T20 cricket. Here was a power-hitter who had only one fifty from his first 22 IPL innings because teams kept using him as a finisher. He isn't that, because he is still a work in progress against fast bowling.
All the power he had was going to waste, until CSK came calling in 2022 and decided they'd use him against the slower bowlers; against the kind of people he can just plant that front foot down and use all of his wingspan. Even Rashid wasn't able to keep Dube quiet. That's the quality of his spin-hitting. He has 57 sixes since the switch to yellow and that puts him level with IPL legend Andre Russell and Liam Livingstone and behind only Jos Buttler (59).

Rizvi rises

At the fall of Dube's wicket, with less than two overs to go, Chepauk might have expected Dhoni to stride out to the middle. The camera certainly did. It kept panning to him in the dressing room.
Instead, it was 20-year old Rizvi who stepped up. And he swept the first ball that he faced in the IPL for six. That it happened to be Rashid bowling and that he hit him for another six - this one a bit of a mis-hit as he charged out of his crease and swung himself almost off his feet - only added to the occasion. If this is the new CSK, there's going to be a few more special years ahead.

Pace, not spin, in Chennai

Deepak Chahar was finding that his slower ball wasn't working tonight; that the pitch instead of offering grip only let it slide onto the bat. But Chepauk didn't totally bail on its team. There was a moment in the third over when a little bit of a low bounce resulted in Shubman GIll's wicket. He was lbw while playing that front-foot pull shot with an angled bat that usually goes to the boundary.
More mischief happened as a team that is not really known for their fielding pulled off three incredible catches - Dhoni diving full length to his right to get rid of Vijay Shankar, Ajinkya Rahane running in from midwicket and diving forward to snap up a David Miller helicopter shot at deep midwicket, and Ravindra gobbling up a skier from Azmatullah Omarzai.
The Titans chase never got going. They had only 34 on the board when their openers fell, 114 when their top-scorer Sai Sudharsan fell, and at 129 for 8 they were even in danger of being bowled out. That didn't happen but this loss was their worst in terms of runs in the IPL.

Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Win Probability
CSK 100%
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Over 20 • GT 143/8

CSK won by 63 runs
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