Chennai Super Kings will be immensely happy with their finish on a rather slowish MA Chidambaram track on Tuesday in the IPL 2023 Qualifier 1 tie. At one point even the commentators were thinking if Chennai should decide on a 160 finish after the openers – Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway – added an 87-run stand with the former scoring a half-century. But two cameo knocks at the fag end of the innings, one from Ambati Rayudu (17 off 9) and other from Ravindra Jadeja (22 off 16) saw CSK finish with 172 for seven against Gujarat Titans. Yet, the Chepauk crowd would be slightly disappointed at not having seen much of MS Dhoni’s batting as the skipper incurred a shock dismissal. (CSK vs GT, IPL Qualifier 1 Live Score)
Dhoni walked in at the end of the 17th over after the dismissal of Rayudu. In the first ball he faced, against former CSK teammate Mohit Sharma, he only managed a single against the slower and wider delivery. On returning to strike in the fith ball of the over, Mohit stuck to his strategy against the legend, and Dhoni threw his bat at it but failed to get the elevation he wanted when looking to get it over cover. Hardik Pandya, who was stationed there, grabbed it comfortably, but despite it being a big wicket given the form Dhoni has been throughout IPL 2023, he did not celebrate.
The reaction however that left commentators talking was that from the Chepauk crowd. Throughout Dhoni’s short stay at the crease, the spectators were cheering their loudest as it has been all through the season. But suddenly there as pin-drop silence with that dismissal.
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Darshan Nalkande, who was playing his first game this season, had managed to deceive Gaikwad with a slower one, but it was unfortunately called a no ball. The CSK opener did not look back after that as he throughly punished the GT attack with his fourth successive half-century score against the franchise. He is now the highest scorer against GT in IPL history.
However, while Gaikwad was cruising with his runs, Conway looked in absolute discomfort in his knock of 40 runs. Mohit Sharma provided the first breakthrough, in the 11th over, dismissing Gaikwad. Shivam Dube and Ajinkya Rahane followed shortly after before Mohammed Shami ended Conway’s struggle.
Shami was the pick of the bowlers for Gujarat, picking two wickets at seven runs an over. Mohit too picked two wickets for 31 runs.