Darshan Nalkande’s joy turned into despair in a matter of seconds after his celebrations for the wicket of Chennai Super Kings opener Ruturaj Gaikwad was cut short due to a no-ball. Nalkande, who replaced Yash Dayal in Gujarat Titans’ Playing XI, struck in his first over of the IPL 2023 Playoffs, when he had Gaikwad chipping the ball to Shubman Gill at midwicket. However, as the GT players surrounded the pacer for his early success, the hooter rang signalling that Nalkande had overstepped, over-ruling the decision. The call left Nalkande heartbroken and captain Hardik Pandya nearly numb as all could muster at that moment was a smile.
Still, being the motivating captain that Hardik is, the GT skipper walked up to his promising youngster to not lose heart, talking to him wearing a smile on his face throughout the conversation. The chat however, didn’t work as planned as Gaikwad latched on to the free-hit and smacked it for six. Gaikwad’s crisp blow nearly took out Deepak Chahar in the dugout, who was forced to run for cover. The hit allowed CSK, who hadn’t got a move on until then, to break the shackles as Gaikwad followed it up with a boundary making it a 14-run over. Darshan, welcome to the pressure of the IPL.
Watch the video below:
Immediately after the over, as Nalkande went back to field near the boundary, he was walked up to by GT coach Ashish Nehra, who had a word with the youngster. Nehra was at his animated self as he seemingly tried to motivate Nalkande and tried to convince him to not lose heart. Nalkande’s second over was slightly better, giving away eight runs.
Here is how Nehra reacted:
For CSK, it proved to be a blessing in disguise as right after the dramatic no-ball, Gaikwad and Devon Conway got a move on and struck a fifty-plus partnership – their ninth of the season, before Mohit Sharma gave CSK the breakthrough. After scoring a fine 60 off 44, Gaikwad mistimed a hit and was taken by David Miller. The duo of Conway and Gaikwad is now CSK’s second most successful opening pair after Michael Hussey and Murali Vijay.
The winner of the first Qualifier gets a direct ticket to IPL final, while the losing team will get one more shot when they play the Qualifier 1 against the winner of the Eliminator between Mumbai Indians and Lucknow Super Giants at the same venue on Wednesday.