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Gujarat win IPL opener in front of more than 100,000 fans

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(Last Updated On: April 1, 2023)

The Gujarat Titans started their defense of the India Premier League (IPL) title with a five-wicket win with four balls to spare against the Chennai Super Kings in Ahmedabad on Friday.

Chasing 179, the Titans, needing eight from the final over, reached 182/5, thanks to a quickfire 10 not out from three balls by Rashid Khan and an undefeated 15 from 14 balls by Rahul Tewatia, Super Sport reported.

Titans openers Shubman Gill and Wriddhiman Saha (25) posted 37 for the first wicket in 3.5 overs and impact player Sai Sudharsan, coming in for the injured Kane Williamson who hurt his right knee in attempting a catch at square leg, added 53 for the second wicket, Sudharsan looking comfortable for his 22 from 17 balls.

Gill, who has enjoyed a solid season playing for India, settled quickly, bringing up the Titans’ fifty in 4.3 overs and finishing the powerplay on 65/1. He brought up his 50 from 30 balls before holing out to mid-wicket for 63 from 36 balls (6×4, 3×6). Captain Hardik Pandya contributed eight and Vijay Shankar’s 27 from 21 balls in the latter overs keep the Titans in the hunt.

Khan’s six and four from the first two balls he faced was the death knell for the Super Kings and their impact player, Tushar Deshpande, replacing Ambati Rayudu, could not defend the eight runs required at the death, Super Sport reported.

Super Kings captain MS Dhoni surprisingly used just five bowlers, not calling upon Moeen Ali , preferring to use Ravindra Jadeja and Mitchell Santner for the spinning duties. Medium pacer Rajvardhan Hangargekar bagged 3/36 in his four overs while Jadeja and Deshpande took a wicket apiece.

Asked to bat, the Super Kings innings was held together by opener Ruturaj Gaikwad’s superb 92 from 50 balls (4×4, 9×6) after the early loss of Devon Conway (1) in the third over. Moeen Ali (23), Rayudu (12), Shivam Dube (19) and Dhoni (14*) were the other batsmen to reach double figures.

The Titans’ bowling was lead by Khan’s 2/26 in four overs, his wickets of Ali and Ben Stokes (7) crucial in keeping his side in the game. This was good enough for Khan to claim the Man of the Match award and he was supported by Mohammed Shami (2/29), claiming his 100th IPL wicket in his spell, Alzarri Joseph (2/33) and Ireland’s Josh Little, the first player from Ireland to play in the IPL, with 1/41.

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Chennai Super Kings pip Gujarat Titans in dramatic final to win fifth IPL title

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(Last Updated On: May 30, 2023)

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.”

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IPL: Chennai v Gujarat final, a ‘replay’ of opening match

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(Last Updated On: May 27, 2023)

After nearly two months of intense action, cricket fans around the world will get to see a “rematch” of the opening game of this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) when Gujarat Titans take on Chennai Super Kings in Ahmedabad.

The title match of this year’s Indian Premier League is a repeat of the opening game – a coincidence that did not surprise many.

Gujarat are the defending champions and hammered Mumbai Indians by 62 runs on Friday through Shubman Gill’s stunning 126 off 60 balls – which powered Gujarat to 233-3. 

Gill hit 10 sixes in his knock and put on a second-wicket stand of 138 with Sai Sudharsan, who made 43, to tear into the opposition attack at the world’s biggest cricket stadium.

He became the leading batsman this season with 851 runs, surpassing Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Faf du Plessis (730), before he reached his IPL best and the top score of this season.

Chennai however are near permanent residents of the play-offs and will be fighting for the trophy for the 10th time.

If Hardik Pandya’s Gujarat manage to defend their title, the franchise will establish itself as the undisputed pioneers of the tournament in just their second season.

Chennai however has a lot riding on the game and victory will not only give them their fifth crown but also provide veteran captain MS Dhoni with what many expect will be a perfect send-off. Dhoni, 41, is expected to retire after having played this year’s IPL with a serious knee injury.

IPL 2023 prize money

Over the years, the prize money for the IPL, the richest T20 league in the world, has grown substantially and the winning team this year will receive a cheque of $2.4 million. 

The runners up will get $1.5 million, third place will take $840,000 and fourth place will get $780,000.

Friday meanwhile saw the back of Mumbai Indians, who went down to Gujurat in the final playoff. 

Mumbai’s coach Mark Boucher put his team’s loss down to injuries to fast bowlers Jasprit Bumrah and Jofra Archer which he said left a hole in the team. 

Boucher, in his first season with Mumbai, said the replacement players offered their best efforts but were still not good enough for a place in the final.

“If you are losing out on your quality players, yes it’s going to leave a hole,” Boucher told reporters after his team’s 62-run hammering.

“Not to put any blame on anyone, those things happen in sports, injuries happen in sports and you’ve got to deal with it.”

Boucher, regarded as one of the world’s best wicket keepers during his playing days, said Mumbai may have to replace some of the team down the line.

“Hopefully the guys can get over the injuries. If they can’t, then we’ve got to look for other places,” said Boucher.

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Afghanistan beat Lebanon 3-2 in first futsal friendly

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(Last Updated On: May 26, 2023)

Afghanistan defeated Lebanon 3-2 in the first futsal friendly match in Beirut on Thursday.

Reza Hussain Pur, Ali Amiri and Farzad Mahmoodi were the goal-scorers for the Afghan team in the match.

Afghanistan’s National Futsal team arrived in Beirut on Tuesday for three friendly matches.

The next match will be played on Saturday.

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