Chennai Super Kings equalled Mumbai Indians’ record of five Indian Premier League (IPL) titles after Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s side triumphed in a last-ball thriller, beating champions Gujarat Titans by five wickets in Monday’s rain-marred final in Ahmedabad.
Put into bat, Gujarat racked up 214-4 after their number three batter Sai Sudharsan capitalised on a strong start and smashed an incendiary 96 off 47 balls that included six sixes.
Chasing a revised target of 171 from 15 overs after a lengthy rain interruption, Chennai survived intense drama before Ravindra Jadeja sealed their victory, milking 10 runs off the last two deliveries.
The final was originally scheduled on Sunday but incessant rain forced the organisers to move the game to its reserve day.
After Chennai skipper Dhoni won the toss and elected to field, Shubman Gill walked out to bat having smashed three hundreds in his last four innings, read the report.
The opener seemed to have luck on his side too as Deepak Chahar dropped Gill, the tournament’s leading scorer, at square leg when the batter was on three.
Gill also survived a run-out chance when Jadeja could not properly gather the ball before breaking the stumps.
The left-arm spinner, however, made amends in the same over.
Jadeja lured Gill (39) out of the crease and Dhoni proved age has not dulled his reflexes as the 41-year-old whipped off the bails in a flash.
Chahar also floored a return catch from Wriddhiman Saha, who smashed 54 before falling to the seamer with Dhoni collecting the top edge, Reuters reported.
Sudharsan then tore into the Chennai attack and hit Matheesha Pathirana for back-to-back sixes in the final over of the innings to inch closer to a hundred.
Pathirana denied him the milestone but Gujarat could not be denied a 200-plus total.
Chennai’s openers faced three balls before rain forced them off the field and held up play for two hours and 20 minutes.
Chasing a revised target on return, Ruturaj Gaikwad (26) and Devon Conway (47) plundered 72 runs from the first six overs before Noor Ahmad removed both in the seventh over.
Shivam Dube, who made 32 not out, kept Chennai in the race but Mohit Sharma removed Ambati Rayudu and Dhoni in successive deliveries to inject fresh drama into the contest.
Chennai needed 13 runs from the last over from Mohit, who conceded three runs in his first four deliveries.
Needing 10 off the last two, Jadeja hit Mohit over his head for a six and followed it with a boundary to seal a thrilling victory.
“I was just trying to swing hard because every ball was important,” Jadeja said of the dramatic last over.
“I knew anything could happen, so I was trying to swing hard and hit it straight.”
Afghanistan-South Africa Cricket World Cup warm-up game washed out
Afghanistan’s Cricket World Cup warm-up game against South Africa was washed out Friday because of heavy rain.
Both teams were confined to their hotels before umpires called off the game at 3:45 p.m. because of steady rain and a wet outfield, the Associated Press reported.
South Africa is scheduled to play another warm-up game against New Zealand on Monday while Afghanistan will meet Sri Lanka on Tuesday. The World Cup begins in Ahmedabad on Thursday with the opening game between New Zealand and England.
In Guwahati, Sri Lanka opening batter Pathum Nissanka (68) and Dhananjaya de Silva (55) scored half centuries before the team got bowled out for 263 in 49.1 overs. Offspinners Mahedi Hasan (3-36) and Mehidy Hasan Miraz (1-32) tuned up for the mega event with impressive figures.
In Hyderabad, Mohammad Rizwan scored 103 and captain Babar Azam made 80 off 84 balls as Pakistan racked up 345-5 against New Zealand in another warm-up game that was briefly disrupted by rain.
Rizwan and Babar shared a 114-run stand after openers Imam-ul-Haq and Abdullah Shafique couldn’t make their mark and were dismissed early. Left-handed batter Saud Shakeel staked his claim in the middle-order with 75 off 53 balls as Pakistan accelerated well in the end and made 107 runs in the last 10 overs.
New Zealand was led by Tom Latham because regular captain Kane Williamson will miss out on the opening World Cup game against England as he recovers from knee surgery.
Williamson will bat on Friday and is also expected to take the field and bat in the next warm-up game against South Africa.
Williamson injured his knee during the opening game of this year’s Indian Premier League and had surgery. He was with the team in England during the white-ball series while continuing his rehabilitation for the World Cup.
ODI World Cup 2023: Warm-Up Match 2, Afghanistan vs South Africa
Afghanistan and South Africa will lock horns in a warm up match on Friday, September 29, at the Greenfield International Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram in India, as both teams head into the eagerly anticipated ODI Cricket World Cup.
While Afghanistan recently wrapped up a forgettable Asia Cup campaign, South Africa won their most recent challenge, the five-match home series against Australia, 3-2.
Playing Friday at Greenfield, which generally favors batters, the toss-winning captain will likely choose to bowl first in order to have a clear target in sight.
For Afghanistan, the batter to watch out for will be Heinrich Klaasen. He was crucial for South Africa in the series against Australia, as he finished top scorer with 243 runs from five games. He is expected to carry forward his form in the upcoming match as well.
This will be only the second meeting between the two teams in an official ODI, their first face off coming in the 2019 Cricket World Cup in England. South Africa rolled Afghanistan for 125 in 24.1 overs.
South Africa will however be without their skipper on Friday as Temba Bavuma has returned home for family reasons and will miss all his team’s World Cup warm-up matches. Aiden Markram will assume the captaincy duties.
Cricket experts have said that while Afghanistan might not be Cricket World Cup contenders, they have the potential to beat many of the top teams because of their skillful spin bowlers.
The Asian heavyweights — host India and regional foe Pakistan — are the top two south Asian contenders for the semifinals, mainly because of experienced batters in their side. But both lack depth in their spin departments and could hardly match the spinners of at least Sri Lanka and Afghanistan.
Spin wizard Rashid Khan leads Afghanistan’s strong spin trio that also include other impact spinners — Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Mohammad Nabi — while left-arm spinner Noor Ahmad could also prove to be a surprise package.
Rashid’s experience of playing Indian Premier League should come in handy for Afghanistan and his wizardry on slow surfaces during the World Cup could turn the tables in Afghanistan’s favor.
Mujeeb and Nabi also could lend Rashid ideal support in the middle overs to stem the flow of runs. Afghanistan, which had direct qualification for the World Cup, also recalled fast bowler Naveen-ul-Haq to its ODI team after two years.
Despite Afghanistan’s formidable bowling base, it could all come down to the Afghan batters and how well they support their bowlers.
South Africa meanwhile have traveled to India a lot lately, having played 11 white-ball games in India since the start of 2022. Because of this, they understand the conditions at the various grounds.
After Friday, Afghanistan will play Sri Lanka in their second and final warm up at Barsapara Cricket Stadium, in Guwahati on October 3.
Watch all warm up matches live
Ariana Television Network will kick off its live broadcast campaign of the ODI World Cup on Friday, September 29, with the Afghanistan vs South Africa warm up match.
Both Afghanistan’s warm up matches will be broadcast live, on Ariana Television, along with other key matches. However, the balance of matches will be streamed live on our website.
Ariana Television broadcasts of warm up matches will start at 12:30pm on Friday, Saturday, Monday and Tuesday. Live coverage of other matches, on the same days, will be streamed on our websites.
For the full warm up broadcast and streaming schedule CLICK HERE
Naveen ul Haq set to retire from 50-overs format after Cricket World Cup
Naveen ul Haq, who made a surprising return to Afghanistan’s ODI squad for the World Cup, has announced on social media that he would be retiring from the fifty-overs format at the end of the tournament in India.
Naveen had made a return after a two-year absence from the format in Afghanistan’s World Cup squad, and is still only 24 years old.
The pace bowler has played only seven ODIs but has become a pivotal part of the T20I setup since making his international debut in 2016.
“It has been an absolute honour to represent my country and I would like to announce my retirement from the ODI format at end of this World Cup and will continue to wear this blue jersey in T20 cricket for my country,” he said in his statement.
“It hasn’t been an easy decision to make but to prolong my playing career, I had to take this tough decision would like to thank the Afghanistan Cricket Board and all my fans for their support and unwavering love.”
Afghanistan had named a strong squad for the marquee tournament in India with Naveen’s return a major talking point. Aside from Naveen, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Abdul Rahman and Omarzai form a strong pace attack for the team as they head to the World Cup.
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