Defending champions Gujarat Giants (GT) registered a thrilling 5-wicket win in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 season opener against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Friday. Young batter Shubman Gill overshadowed Ruturaj Gaikwad’s 92-run knock with a dazzling 20-ball half-century as Gujarat Titans chased down the 179-run target with four balls to spare.
Titans needed 41 off the last five overs but CSK managed to take the game down to the wire. It needed a cameo from Rashid Khan (10 not out off 3) to settle the nerves in the Titans dressing room.
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Heaping praise on the Afghanistan spinner, who also bagged the Player of the Match award, GT skipper Hardik Pandya said having Rashid Khan is a huge positive for the team.
“Having Rashid is a real asset, he will get you wickets and get you some runs late down the order as well,” Pandya said at the post-match presentation.
Though the Titans maintained their winning spree in the IPL, they seemed to have lost the plot at one point in the chase of 179. CSK’s ‘Impact Player’ Tushar Deshpande removed Shubman for 63 while Ravindra Jadeja cleaned up Hardik Pandya, putting the defending champions under pressure for a while. But some late hitting by Rashid and Rahul Tewatia brought GT back on the winning ways.
IPL 2023 Gujarat Titans vs Chennai Super Kings Highlights
“We did put ourselves in a difficult situation but Rahul and Rashid did very well. We were happy at the mid-innings because at one point they looked like getting 200, but we got those couple of wickets to pull things back,” Pandya said.
The Gujarat Titans captain said the shots played by him and Shubman Gill in the game weren’t good ones and they need to do much better going forward in the tournament.
“But today mine and Shubman’s shot wasn’t the best, we need to do better to ensure we don’t put the responsibility on these guys lower down,” he added.
Earlier, it was a display of effortless hitting from Gaikwad, who relied on his lofted drives over extra cover and crisp pull shots to collect as many as nine sixes.
Apart from Gaikwad, the only other batter who put the Titans under pressure was Moeen Ali who came up with a 17-ball 23
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