The playoffs week has kicked off with a big bang with Chennai Super Kings booking their seats for the grand finale of the Indian Premier League! This is Ninaad Dixit here saying goodbye for the time being on behalf of my co-commentators Akshay Bhide, AkshayaKrishna Polya and scorer Paras Yadav. Stay tuned for more cricketing action from around the world.
Ruturaj Gaikwad: "It is okay, I love to hear (on being asked it's been a delay as MS Dhoni was speaking). I think the last 3-4 games here at Chennai have been different with the pitch slowing up a bit. Before, during the first few games the pitch was looking good for batting. As the tournament progressed it helped the spinners, sticking and holding up on the surface and hence had to adjust according to it. I just said to Devon Conway to take singles and give the strike back to me. I was waiting for the bad deliveries to make full use of it. Both Faf du Plessis and Conway are great players. There is nothing like one is great or the other one. Faf was the one who was aggressive and Conway is the one who has a great batsmanship. He has been giving great support for me and plays according to the merit of the ball. The innings of 60 I played is more satisfying than that catch to dismiss Vijay Shankar."
Player of the Match: Ruturaj Gaikwad
MS Dhoni (Chennai Super Kings Captain): "Earlier it used to be eight teams with the best players in the world and now its 10 teams so it will be even tougher. Its hard work of 2 months that's why we are standing here. Lot of character shown by the individuals from where we started to where we are. I feel everybody has contributed. Middle order has not got ample opportunity but in between everybody has got chance to chip in and they have done that so very happy with where we are.
GT are a fantastic team and more often than not they have chased so this game maybe let's try to get them in but its a good toss to lose. I would say there was a bit of dew in the last few overs, ball started coming slightly better but the way it turned in the middle. If Jaddu gets the conditions which helps him, he gets very difficult to hit. I feel his bowling at that point of time really changed the game not to forget the partnership between him and Moeen. On a slow wicket, every run is important.
I think we try to create an environment and reiterate the strength of the fast bowler and we make sure they are improving in the areas where they need to be good at. IPL, with the new ball most people know what needs to be done. We try to give them that confidence and tell them 'please try to explore your bowling. Whenever you're watching a game try to see what other bowlers have planned for a particular batter and try to execute if the conditions are similar.' There are a lot of people like Bravo and Eric are there to guide them.
I didn't want it to go that way but you just hope it goes that way. You keep adjusting the field. I can be an annoying captain as I shift the fielder here and there every time. So the fielder needs to keep an eye on me. I believe in my gut feel and what is really happening so it pays off.
The thing you are asking me is whether I will come and play again here or not. I don't know, I have 8-9 months to decide. The small auction will be around December so why to take that headache right now? I have ample time to decide but I'll always be there for CSK whether in the player's form or outside I don't really know. It takes a toll. I have been out of home for 4 months now. Jan 31st was when I got out of my house, finished my work started practicing from 2nd-3rd of March."
Active Catch of the Match: Ruturaj Gaikwad
Longest Six Hit in the Match: Rashid Khan (87 m)
Most Fours Hit in the Match: Ruturaj Gaikwad (7 fours)
Most Valuable Asset of the Match: Ravindra Jadeja
Game Changer of the Match: Ravindra Jadeja
Electric Striker of the Match: Rashid Khan
11:43 PM IST: Time for the post-match presentation.
Deepak Chahar (Chennai Super Kings): "Yeah, yeah, I am okay (on being asked about limping after the last catch to dismiss Shami). One more to go for us. I think the length and the learning from the other team. It was slowing down and holding up a bit. So with the pitch helping us, it was important to hit the correct lengths. With the pitch helping so much, with 172 runs on the board and with the crowd cheering at such intensity, it is difficult to score runs chasing.
Nothing much, I told others to keep their cool despite getting hit for a four or two as it was raised in the team meeting. I said in the meeting that is all about the pressure this is their first franchise semi-finals here. It is about keeping your nerves and having confidence in such games and it is not only about the skills. People may drop catches off your bowling but you need to take the second opportunity.
We have confidence and trust in MSD and in the management. We have done it many times. That is the advantage of having seniors in the side. They have faced such situations and know how to control things under pressure including nerves. Will take the ice bath for the next four days."
Hardik Pandya (Gujarat Titans Skipper):"I think we were quite spot on with the ball but we did the basic errors and that cost us the game. With the way the pitch was behaving, I felt we gave away exactly 15 extra runs than we would have liked. We bowled too many soft balls. We didn't bowl according to the plan and it didn't help us. We need to get up and turn the tables around quickly to reach the final.
(On MS Dhoni) With his mind and the way he uses the bowlers, it feels like he is adding 10 runs more on the board. He kept bowling the right bowlers while defending. Happy for him also and it will be a great side to beat in the final on Sunday.
No regrets. Regrets are not good in life. The dew came in which we expected. We didn't do well in both the departments and that's the reason I'm talking with you now. I'll watch tomorrow as my brother is playing."
11:25 PM IST: The Chennai Super Kings deservingly get into the finals of the Indian Premier League 2023 after a thumping 15 run win against the current champions and table toppers Gujarat Titans! A steady start by the openers first set them up to get around the par score with 172/7 on the board, the total being restricted by the Titans thanks to some handy bowling from Mohammad Shami (2/28), Mohit Sharma (2/31) and Noor Ahmad (1/29).
What was looking as an easy chase for a team which has chased well from the previous season and to top that up, has won the toss in the much important qualifier, some early wickets and not so fiery powerplay dented their innings. With partnerships not building up between the in-form batting order, the Titans crumbled losing all their 10 wickets.
Wriddhiman Saha was the first man to depart in the powerplay when Deepak Chahar (2/29) chipped in the third over. Shubman Gill continued his good form and was the top scorer with 42 in 38 balls but saw the crumbling of Hardik Pandya (8), Dasun Shanaka (17) and David Miller (4) for cheap scores.
Chahar returned in the middle overs for another spell and performed the trick he was invited for, getting rid of the set Gill. Ravindra Jadeja bowled 4 overs in no time and was brilliant again conceding just 18 and picking up 2 big wickets of Shanaka and Miller.
Rashid Khan (30 off 16) and impact player Vijay Shankar tried to take the game deep and kept them in the hunt with a 38 run partnership, the biggest of the innings but Matheesha Pathirana got rid of Shankar with Rashid slogging one straight to Conway off the bowling of Tushar Deshpande.
Subhranshu Senapati who fumbled in the field and was asked to calm down by the skipper Dhoni then put up a magical display of fielding sending Darshan Nalkande for a golden duck hitting the bowling end stumps directly from mid off.
Maheesh Theekshana was at his best finishing with 2/28 with his compatriot Pathirana also picking up a couple of wickets but conceded 37 runs. 4 bowlers picked up a couple of wickets with Deshpande getting the key wicket of Rashid at a crunch moment.
CSK has now entered their 10th final of the Indian Premier League and will take a six-day long gap alongside waiting for the other finalist.
Akshay: Chennai Super Kings will be taking the flight tomorrow to head to Ahmedabad for yet another final. This will be their 10th final in 14 seasons. Simply incredible from the men in yellow.
W Shami departs on the final ball! Wickets in both the innings on the last ball! 125.8 kph. A short of length delivery around the off stump. Shami goes for a hit in the leg side and lofts this high in the mid on region. Deepak Chahar runs across from long off and takes a brilliant catch!! Titans are bowled out! First time CSK has beaten the current champions.
19.6 M Pathirana to M Shami
WD Full toss but this is again outside the leg stump. Umpire signals wide and Shami gets another delivery to slog.