IPL 2022: Miller’s 94*, Rashid’s blitz power Gujarat to 3-wicket win over CSK (Ld)

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A fighting unbeaten knock by David Miller (94 off 51) and Rashid Khan’s late blitz powered Gujarat Titans to a memorable three-wicket win over Chennai Super Kings in a thrilling IPL 2022 match at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium, here on Sunday.

With this win, Gujarat climbed to the top of the table with 10 points in six matches while CSK slumped to their fifth loss in six outings.

Opener Ruturaj Gaikwad returned to run-scoring with an excellent half-century (73 off 48) and helped Chennai Super Kings post 169-5 in 20 overs. Apart from Gaikwad, Ambati Rayudu (46 off 31) played a solid knock and both batters stitched a crucial partnership of 92 runs off 56 balls for the third wicket. Lower down the order, Ravindra Jadeja (22 off 12) and Shivam Dube (19 off 17) also made valuable contributions with the bat for CSK.

Chasing a par total, Gujarat were off to a terrible start as they lost the wickets of Shubman Gill (0), Vijay Shankar (0) and Abhinav Manohar (12) inside the powerplay. While pacer Mukesh Choudhary dismissed Gill in the very first over, the Sri Lankan spinner Maheesh Theekshana got rid of Vijay Shankar (0) and Abhinav Manohar (12) in his back-to-back overs, leaving Gujarat to struggle at 16-3.

With successive tight overs, the required rate was going up and Wriddhiman Saha (11) tried to press the accelerator pedal but he could only pull it to the fielder at deep square leg in Jadeja’s over.

David Miller was in fine touch and gave Gujarat hope by tonking Jadeja for two sixes and a boundary but DJ Bravo gave nothing in Tewatia’s zone for him to hit and the batter, eventually, spooned a catch to mid-off.

At 87/5 in the 13th over, Gujarat were tottering but Miller and stand-in skipper Rashid Khan had other plans. Even after Tewatia’s exit, Miller didn’t let the run-rate drop as he picked two fours off Chris Jordan in the 14th over. The Proteas batter also carted a wide yorker from Bravo for a big six to head into the strategic timeout with Gujarat on 108 for 5 in 15 overs, still needing 62 to win.

For CSK, the game was there to steer back in their direction with a wicket but that just didn’t happen. Even the mystery spinner Theekshana offered Miller a loose delivery which was deposited over deep backward square-leg in a 10-run over. The veteran Bravo then bowled an exceptional over in the death under all the pressure as Rashid and Miller could only pick four singles off it.

With 48 needed off 18 balls, it seemed a bridge too far for Gujarat but Rashid suddenly took centrestage. The Afghan cricketer struck two big sixes on the leg-side off Jordan, who was adamant about trying to nail the yorker and ended up bowling a full toss to Rashid, who lifted it over cover for a four. Showing the strength of a strong bottom hand, Rashid picked his third six of the 25-run over that deflated CSK.

Bravo, who came to bowl the next over, tried to salvage the game for his side, dismissing Rashid as well as taking out Alzarri Joseph to leave CSK with 13 runs to defend in the final over.

Jordan was already not having a great day with the ball but considering his death-overs credentials, CSK went back to him with a lot of hope. But those were dashed on the third ball when Miller flicked one for a six.

The Jadeja-led side thought they had their man on the next ball when a wide swipe went straight to the short third man fielder, but the ball was a waist-high no-ball. Miller then flicked the free-hit ball for a four on the leg-side and collected the two winning runs off the penultimate delivery to take Gujarat over the victory line.

Dwayne Bravo (3/23) was the most successful bowler for CSK while Maheesh Theekshana (2/24), Mukesh Choudhary (1/18), Ravindra Jadeja (1/25) also picked wickets but it was not enough in the end.

Earlier, invited to bat first, CSK didn’t have a great start as Mohammed Shami struck in the third over of the innings to dismiss Uthappa, who tried to play across the line but was hit on the back leg. The onfield umpire ruled in favour of the batter but a successful review from Gujarat ended Uthappa’s stay for 3 off 10.

However, Gaikwad targeted the inexperienced Dayal in the fourth over and hit him for a six and a four. But, on the other end, Moeen Ali didn’t seem in touch as his struggle at the crease was ended by Alzarri Joseph.

From there on, a well-set Gaikwad and new batter Rayudu kept the scoreboard ticking with constant strike rotation and timely boundaries to take CSK to 66/2 after 10 overs.

After spending enough time on the pitch, both Gaikwad and Rayudu decided to free their arms and took the Gujarat bowlers to the cleaners by smashing boundaries and sixes all over the ground, taking the score to 124 after 14 overs. During the process, Gaikwad also brought up his first half-century of the season in 37 balls.

With both Gaikwad and Rayudu set at the crease, CSK was cruising toward a big total. But Joseph came back and executed the wide-outside-off line to dismiss Rayudu and soon Dayal took the big wicket of Gaikwad in the 17th over as Gujarat made inroads.

Joseph and stand-in skipper Rashid Khan bowled the next overs and kept things tight as Jadeja and Dube were failing to connect the ball well. However, Jadeja hit Ferguson for successive sixes off the fourth and the fifth deliveries to provide a flourish as CSK scored 18 runs off the final over to finish with 169-5 on the board.

Joseph (2/34) was the most successful bowler for Gujarat while Mohammed Shami (1/20), and Yash Dayal (1/40) chipped in with one wicket each.

Brief scores: Chennai Super Kings 169-5 in 20 overs (Ruturaj Gaikwad 73, Ambati Rayudu 46; Alzarri Joseph 2/34) lost to Gujarat Titans 170-7 in 19.5 overs (David Miller 94 not out, Rashid Khan 40; Dwayne Bravo 3/23) by three wickets

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