Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], May 24 (ANI): Gujarat Titans (GT) skipper Hardik Pandya believes basic errors and a few "soft balls" cost GT the Qualifier 1 match against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023.
CSK cruised into the final of IPL 2023 as they beat GT by 15 runs in Qualifier 1 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.
After opting to bowl first, Gujarat restricted Super Kings to 172/7. Ruturaj Gaikwad starred with the bat as he hit a flamboyant 60(44) to lay the platform. Ambati Rayudu (17 off 9) and Ravindra Jadeja (22 off 16) then played brisk knocks to provide a crucial late flourish and take CSK to a competitive 172/7.
Titans struggled throughout the chase and were eventually bundled out for 157.
"I think we were quite spot on [with the ball], but we made basic errors. And I think that cost us the game. After the first innings, the kind of wicket and at the same point of time the kind of bowlers we had, I felt we exactly went 15 runs above the score where we should have stopped them," Hardik said in a post-match presentation.
"A lot of things we did right. I think it's just that we bowled a couple of soft balls in between. We were executing quite some plans and all of a sudden in between we gave some runs ... where we must have given soft balls," he added.
"No, no, I don't think so. You know regrets are not good in life. We expected dew might come. It did not come but still I think we gave 15 runs extra and as a batting unit we lost wickets and we were always chasing the game," Hardik said when asked if he regretted his decision at the toss.
Talking about their performance in all departments, Pandya said, "So overall I think in both departments we did not do the right things and I mean that's the reason I'm talking to you [as the losing captain] right now."Chasing 173, Gujarat Titans got off to a mixed start as they lost Wriddhiman Saha inside the Powerplay and would have had Shubman Gill back in the hut too but Deepak Chahar couldn't hold on to a tough catch at mid on. In between the opening pair cracked a couple of fours and a six. Hardik Pandya got going with a brilliant drive on the up through cover-point for a four and Gill hit another marvellous flick for the second four in the next over from Tushar Deshpande as the pair took 10 off it. Dhoni then introduced Maheesh Theekshana in the sixth over and he struck to have GT captain Pandya caught at backward point. GT reached 41/2 at the end of the Powerplay.
GT sent Dasun Shanaka up the order at No.4. The Sri Lankan all-rounder got together with Gill and stabilised the innings. Gill hit an odd four an over while Shanaka then upped the ante going after Theekshana, hitting him for a four and a six to take GT to 72/2 at the halfway mark.
Shanaka though couldn't continue for long as he mistimed his reverse sweep to short third man off Jadeja in the next over. GT kept losing wickets at regular intervals as two overs later Jadeja struck a crucial blow as he cleaned up David Miller. But the big moment arrived in the next over as Dhoni brought back Chahar and he had the set Gill (42 off 38) caught at deep square leg off a slower short ball. GT got derailed in the 11 to 14 over phase with the loss of three wickets.
The wickets continued to fall as Theekshana cleaned up Rahul Tewatia in the next over as GT were reduced to 98/6 in the 15th over. With 71 needed off 30 and the required rate above 14, Rashid Khan provided some relief, hitting a six and a four off Pathirana to take 13 off the over. Shankar and Rashid cracked two sixes and a four off Deshpande in the next over to take 19 off it as the equation came to 39 needed off 18.
A couple of moments of brilliance saw the match turn again as Ruturaj pulled off a stupendous diving catch at deep mid-wicket off Pathirana to send back Shankar (14 off 10) and then substitute fielder Subhranshu Senapati ran out Darshan Nalkande via a brilliant direct hit off the next ball. Pathirana bowled a splendid 18th over, conceding just 4 runs. With 35 needed off 12, Rashid Khan(30 off 16) cracked a four off Deshpande but two balls later he hit a low full toss straight to deep point. Deshpande bowled a good over and gave away just eight including the crucial wicket of Rashid.
With 27 needed off the last over, Gujarat Titans could manage just 11 runs as Pathirana picked up the final wicket of Shami to spark wild celebrations in the stands as CSK marched into their 10th IPL final, more than any other team in the competition. (ANI)