By Razeen Gutta
MS Dhoni and the Chennai Super Kings defeated the Gujarat Titans in qualifier one, as the Indian Premier League playoffs got underway at Chepauk on Tuesday.
Hardik Pandya won the toss and put the hosts in to bat, with Ruturaj Gaikwad making the most of that and putting up a fourth half-century in as many matches against the Titans.
Mohit Sharma and Mohammed Shami each took two wickets, with Chennai finishing on 172/7 in their 20 overs.
In response, it was Shubman Gill that would top score for the champions yet again. The youngster was unable to translate a good start of 42 in 38 into another 50 or 100, though, with Deepak Chahar dismissing him and proving to be the star of the second innings alongside Ravindra Jadeja.
The pair each got two dismissals as Gujarat were bowled out for the first time this season while Chennai reached their 10th final in 14 seasons. Their captain has insisted, however, that it is never “just another final”.
“The IPL is too big to say it’s just another final. It used to be eight top teams, now it is 10. I won’t say it’s just another final. It’s hard work of two months and everybody has contributed,” Dhoni said post-match.
“It was a good toss to lose. We try to create an environment and work out what is the strength of a fast bowler. We try to give them confidence and tell them ‘please try to explore your bowling’. We try to motivate them as much as possible.”
Gujarat will have another chance to make the final on Friday, when they play the winner of Mumbai Indians and Lucknow Super Giants, who face-off in Wednesday’s eliminator.
Pictured above: MS Dhoni
Image source: @ChennaiSuperKings