A packed house turned up at our Narendra Modi Stadium to cheer the Gujarat Titans in the opening match of TATA IPL 2023, and they were not disappointed. A good team effort was the hallmark of the finishing act, helping us complete yet another run chase in style. 

Rashid, Shami and Alzarri star with the ball

Mohammad Shami vindicated skipper Pandya’s decision to field first instantly. His inswinger beat Devon Conway and sent the stumps cartwheeling. Just when Moeen Ali and Ruturaj Gaikwad got the scorecard running, Rashid Khan was introduced in the final over of powerplay and magic unfurled! 

Moeen Ali survived an LBW scare in the over courtesy of DRS, but our Afghan star had the final laugh. A terrific take from Wriddhiman Saha behind the wickets got the English batter walking back almost instantly and Rashid went on his first celebratory run for the season. The Rashid-Saha duo combined once again to dismiss Ben Stokes. 

Gaikwad went on a boundary-hitting spree later on to put the Super Kings in command. They were coasting at 114/3 in 12 overs, but our bowlers pulled things back in some style. Joshua Little, our Irish debutant, got his first wicket in TATA IPL to send Ambati Rayudu back to the pavilion. 

Alzarri Joseph joined the wicket-takers party as well, dismissing the dangerous Gaikwad and Ravindra Jadeja in the same over. The Titans finished on a positive note after a shaky first, restricting Chennai to 178/7 in 20 overs. 

Shubman scores fifty, familiar duo provides finishing touch

After a fantastic day behind the sticks, Saha continued the good work with the willow. He smacked our first six of the season, followed it up with a few more boundaries to give us a solid start in the run chase. Shubman Gill took over the mantle after Saha’s dismissal, picking up from where he left for the Indian team. 

Sai Sudharsan, who replaced Kane Williamson as our Impact Player for the day, got going as well. He added a 50-run partnership alongside Gill in quick time, keeping us on course to complete the chase. Shubman completed his 15th fifty in TATA IPL in the 12th over. 

Vijay Shankar kept the ship sailing after our half-centurion departed. We needed 23 runs to win in the final two overs and that’s when Rashid Khan, our Afghan superstar, yielded his sword yet again for the Titans. 

He smashed a six and four off his opening two deliveries and compiled 15 runs in the penultimate over. In a customary way, it was Rahul Tewatia scoring the winning runs, taking the Titans home with four balls remaining. 

Rashid Khan was named Player of the Match for his all-round exploits. 

Next up, we travel to the national capital to face the Delhi Capitals on April 4. 

Brief Scores

Chennai Super Kings 178/7 in 20 overs (Ruturaj Gaikwad 92, Rashid Khan 2/26, Mohammad Shami 2/29) lost to Gujarat Titans 182/5 in 19.2 overs (Shubman Gill 63, Vijay Shankar 27)

Player of the Match: Rashid Khan