Ahmedabad: B Sai Sudharsan led the charge with a terrific 96 as defending champions Gujarat Titans set Chennai Super Kings an imposing target of 215 in the IPL final here on Monday.
Sudharsan struck eight fours and six sixes to make his runs from a mere 46 balls, forging crucial partnerships along the way and helping GT find their feet in the summit clash, after Shubman Gill perished for 39 and Wriddhiman Saha failed to go beyond his half-century.
Put in to bat, Gujarat Titans posted a formidable 214/4.
A big moment arrived in the game as early as in the second over when Tushar Deshpande had Gill flicking a delivery on the leg side, as if executing a well-planned delivery, but with no success.
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Deepak Chahar, positioned at short fine leg, spilled a regulation chance but Gill also could not hurt CSK the way he did Mumbai Indians a few nights ago, here. Saha piled further pressure on the bowler, collecting 16 runs off the third over and providing the Titans momentum.
Gill followed with three consecutive fours off Deshpande, but Chahar’s poor luck continued when spilled a tough return catch off Saha’s bat.
The two drops indeed proved costly as GT reached 62 for no loss after the powerplay.
However, the brilliance of MS Dhoni ended Gill’s sensational IPL with the bat, stumping the batter for a 20-ball 39 (7x4s) off Ravindra Jadeja (4-0-38-1) in the seventh over.
With 890 runs in 17 matches with three centuries and four fifties, an average of 59.33 and strike rate of 157.80, the 23-year-old Gill finished with the second best performance for any batter in IPL history.
Saha brought up his second fifty of this IPL in the 13th over but his 64-run stand with B Sai Sudharsan ended in the 14th over, with Chahar getting him caught by Dhoni.
Saha hit five fours and a six to make 54 from 39 balls.
The second highest run-scorer for Gujarat Titans this season, Sudharsan accelerated to his third fifty in this IPL, bringing it up with consecutive fours off Matheesha Pathirana.
The young left-handed batter from Chennai recovered well from a sedate start to accelerate after the 14th-over mark, hitting three fours and a six off Deshpande and two sixes against Theekshana.
In fact, Sudharsan was on 36 from 25 balls when Saha was dismissed, and on the next 21 balls he faced, the 21-year-old former CSK academy alumni smacked 60 runs.
However, in the final over, Sudharsan’s carnage ended as Pathirana pinned him in front of the wickets for his first breakthrough in the game.
GT skipper Hardik Pandya scored an unbeaten 12-ball 21.
- Wriddhiman Saha c Dhoni b Chahar 54
- Shubman Gill st Dhoni b Jadeja 39
- B Sai Sudharsan lbw b Pathirana 96
- Hardik Pandya not out 21
- Rashid Khan c Gaikwad b Pathiran 0
- Extras: (B-1, LB-1, W-2) 4
- Total: ( For 4 wickets in 20 overs) 214 Fall of wickets: 1-67, 2-131, 3-212, 4-214
- Bowling: Deepak Chahar 4-0-38-1, Tushar Deshpande 4-0-56-0, Maheesh Theekshana 4-0-36-0, Ravindra Jadeja 4-0-38-1, Matheesha Pathirana 4-0 -44-2.