David Miller
David Miller's stunning knock guided Gujarat Titans score a brilliant win over Chennai Super Kings. Image Credit: Courtesy: BCCI

Dubai: David Miller’s stunning counter-attack has given Gujarat Titans an improbable win over Chennai Super Kings in another thriller that went all the way to the penultimate ball and three-wickets to spare in the Match 29 of the Indian Premier League Season 15 at the Maharashtra Cricket Stadium in Pune on Sunday.

The four-time champions Chennai Super Kings produced a clinical display until the 15 overs after reducing the table-toppers to a hopeless 87/5 in 13th over. But Miller, in the company of stand-in skipper Rashid Khan, showed the patience and started taking calculated risks to keep the run rate under check.

The double-paced wicket was extremely difficult to score early on, but makes stroke-making easy once a batter assess the pace and bounce. Rashid Khan did that before he launched into the attack off Chris Jordan in the 18th over, where he scored 25 runs to tilt the contest on its head.

But Dwayne Bravo once again provided the twist in the 19th over, where the West Indian all-rounder claimed two wickets giving away just 10 runs. But Miller, who stood tall among the ruins and took the extra responsibility in the absence of skipper Hardik Pandya due to injury, ensured that he scored the required 13 runs in the final over to give Titans their fifth win in six games.

Though it was a tough loss to digest for the Chennai Super Kings, who are known to pull off victories from the jaws of defeat, the return to form of Ruturaj Gaikwad and Ambati Rauydu and the bowling attack the Yellove will give them plenty of confidence going forward.

At the start of the Gujarat innings, one got a feeling that Rashid had gifted the match away by winning the toss and electing to bowl, but that was not to be as all is well that ends well for Gujarat.

Gujarat’s fortunes in Miller’s firm hands

Bravo gets Rashid Khan off the penultimate ball of his spell, but it has come a little too late for Chennai Super Kings. The Gujarat skipper’s cameo has certainly made the Titans the favourite to win the contest. But Bravo has provided another twist. Jordan takes a stunning catch to dismiss Joseph, two wickets off two balls. Now the match is in Miller’s hands, 13 needed off six balls.

Game tilts in Gujarat’s favour

Oh what an over. Stand-in skipper Rashid Khan’s total attack has changed the game on its head and now Titans need 25 off 12 balls.

Plenty of drama in Bravo’s over

When Bravo is operating, there is no dearth to drama on the field. The West Indian has kept the scoring rate down, giving away just 4 runs while almost having Miller caught at deep midwicket, where Dube lost the sight of the ball and didn’t go for it and then had a brilliant yoker just digged out by Rashid Khan. After 17, Titans are 122/5.

Miller’s counter-attack keeps Titans hopes alive

Miller is proving a big threat to Chennai Super Kings. The men in yellow need to get the South African left-hander if they hope to take home this game. Miller with unbeaten 69 is threatening to take the match away single-handely with calculated counter-attack, the left-hander has done a similar act in the past too. After 15 overs, Titans are 108/5, needing another 62 off 30 balls.

Bravo strikes to leave Titans in deeper trouble

Bravo strikes in his first over. After three dot balls, Tewatia loses his cool and tries to take the aerial route to ease the pressure, only to sky the ball to Jadeja at long off. The West Indian all-rounder is too good for this wicket and completes a wicket maiden over. More pressure on Miller, who could play a false stroke shortly due to the mounting run rate. After 13 overs, Titans are 87/5.

Miller completes a fighting half-century

Miller is opening up, scoring sixes at will to keep the chase alive. He’s been severe on Jadeja to complete a fighting half-century. But how long will he be able to do it is a big question as may be in an over’s time, Dwayne Bravo will start operating and will be bowling the last four overs from one end. After 12, Titans are 87/4 with Jadeja’s last over costing 19 runs.

It's getting increasingly tougher for Gujarat

A climbing asking rate and with only a couple of batters still remaining after four wickets down, the Gujarat are like a rudderless ship drifting towards troubled waters at 58/4 after 10 overs. Miller and Tewatia are their last hope as Titans need to score 112 runs in 60 balls.

A lot depends on Tewatia’s skills

Nothing seems to be going right for Gujarat. After a four-over spell when the Titans clawed their way back from the disastrous start, Saha, trying to hit a short ball off Jadeja over the fence, hits straight into the hands of Gaikwad at deep square leg. After 8 overs, Gujarat are 48/4, certainly playing into the hands of Chennai. Now Tewatia, the man with the magic wand, has to play a long innings.

Gujarat concede too many wickets in powerplay

After living dangerously and getting some cheeky runs, Miller finds his groove to hit Theekshana straight back over the spinner’s head to end the powerplay 37/3 with the Sri Lankan claiming two wickets off three overs. Gujarat’s chances depend a lot on this experienced pair.

Gujarat Tians losing their way

Wicket falling like nine pins and the absence of Hardik Pandya is clearly showing on Gujarat Titans. Their chase of a tricky target is faltering at rapid pace and none of the batters seem to show the patience to grind out in the middle and build their innings. Manohar plays a lofted drive off Theekshana straight to Moeen Ali at extra covers to leave Gujarat at 16/3 after 4 overs. David Miller needs to use all his experience to bring their chase back on track.

Vijay Shankar misses a big opportunity

Dear oh dear. Vijay Shankar has missed a good opportunity and let his team down in the process. Another wild shot outside the off stump, cutting the ball that’s probably on the wide line, to give Dhoni a sharp catch to leave Titans 5/2 after two overs. Abhinav Manohar has been among runs, hopefully some sense prevails.

Dreadful start to Gujarat

It’s just the start Gujarat fans dreaded. Shubman Gill showed his impatience and chased a short ball to hit straight to Robin Uthappa off the last ball of the first over. If one goes by what happened in Chennai innings, batting becomes easier once you get your eye in, as demonstrated by Gaikwad and Rayudu. Patience is key for Gujarat. After 1 over, it is 1/1. Vijay Shankar has a big role to play.

Ruturaj Gaikwad returned to form to boost Chennai Super Kings to a fighting total of 169/4 against Gujarat Titans on a wicket that is increasingly getting difficult to strokplay at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune on Sunday.

Gaikwad, the Orange Cap winner of the previous season, was not getting his touch, despite playing at home conditions. However, the Chennai opener weathered the storm when the Titans pacers were breathing fire on a wicket that had good bounce and the grass helped in the lateral movement off the pitch.

Gaikwad found an able partner in veteran Ambati Rayudu, who crossed 4,000-run mark in the Indian Premier League. They duo added 92 runs for the third wicket and their dismissal in quick succession swung the momentum towards Gujarat as the new batters could not get their timing right to start with until skipper Ravindra Jadeja provided his trademark finish to score 18 runs off the final over.

Though it looks a below par target, Gujarat are without their skipper Hardik Pandya, who has been doing their bulk of their scoring, especially holding one end up after an early wicket. So a couple of early wickets, which Chennai will certainly target, will push Gujarat really on the backfoot, as they will be on an unknown territory.

Titans pacers pull back Super Kings

Titans have pulled the Super Kings back after the fall of Rayudu. With Gaikwad also going, now the last stage is left to the new batters to take the Super Kings to a good score where the wicket is still offering plenty of assistance to pacers. Now skipper Jadeja is in. After 16.2/ CSK are 131/4.

Rayudu’s brisk knock comes to an end

After over number 10, the next four overs have fetched 15, 19, 13, 13 runs to take CSK to 124/3 with even Rashid Khan leaking runs. It’s a perfect setting for Jaddu to come and throw his sword, read bat, around to slice the opponents. Sadly Rayudu hits straight into the hands of Vijay Shankar, who didn’t make any mistakes at deep point with the 3D glasses on! A well-made 46 for Rayudu, sadly the veteran batter missed a good half-century. Now Dube walks in.

Half-century for Gaikwad as runs rain for CSK

A sigh of relief. Gaikwad scores his first half-century of the season, coming off 37 deliveries. With Gaikwad and Rayudu scoring a six each off Joseph, 15 runs comes of over 11 and 19 off 12, runs are flowing quite easily now. CSK are 100/2 after 12 overs.

Super Kings ready to shift gears

Super Kings are in prime position to improve their scoring rate after setting the launchpad with 66/2 at the halfway stage. With plenty of batting still to come and Shami bowling three overs and Rashid Khan two, it’s advantage Chennai.

Chennai inching their way against tight bowling

Some number crunching time. Ambati Rauydu crosses 4,000 runs in IPL, while Rashid Khan was very close to getting his 100th wicket, however it was not to be as the ball just missed Rauydu’s bat. David Miller is just 33 runs away from 8,000 runs in Twenty20. Back to action on the field, after 8 overs Chennai are 51/2 with Gaikwad on 37.

Patience is the key on this bouncy track

Moeen Ali dragged an innocuous delivery onto his stumps off Alzarri Joseph to give him early success on a wicket that’s offering plenty of bounce. The need of the hour is to play the waiting game. Once the ball is old, it will come nicely on to the bat and make stroke-making easier. The good news for Chennai is that Gaikwad is still there, and has found his touch that helped him to be the highest scorer last season, of course luck helped him earlier. After the powerplay, CSK are 39/2.

Rashid Khan goes for early wickets

Good aggressive captaincy by Rashid Khan. With Shami in sizzling run, troubling the batters, the skipper took the gamble to get another wicket, even at the cost of using his ace bowler for the third over on the trot. Sadly, the move did not get the desired result and after five overs, CSK are 31/1.

In-form Uthappa goes early for Chennai

Super Kings’ cautious start did not get the desired result. Shami gets some inswing and extra bounce to hit the right thigh of Uthappa and the review by Giants show that the ball would have hit the stumps. With Moeen Ali coming in, the start of the left-right combination, should at least make the bowlers change their line and give extra runs. After 3 overs, Chennai are 16/1.

MCA pitch promises plenty of runs

The wicket looks nice and promises plenty of runs with a tinge of green. Chennai openers Ruturaj Gaikwad and Robin Uthappa are in to face Mohammed Shami.

Gujarat win toss and elect to field

In a major setback to the high-flying Titans, skipper Hardik Pandya has been ruled out of the crucial clash against Chennai Super Kings due to a stiffness in his groin, which forced the all-rounder to leave early in their previous game against Rajasthan Royals. Alzarri Joseph and Wriddhiman Saha make their debut for Gujarat. Super Kings have retained their same squad that beat Bangalore. Rashid Khan, who is leading in Pandya’s absence, wins the toss and elects to field.

Yellow Lions a difficult opponents with their tails up 

Dubai: Newcomers Gujarat Titans, who are on a roll after winning four of their five games, face a resurgent Chennai Super Kings in Match 29 of the TATA Indian Premier League Season 15 at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune on Sunday (today).

Gujarat skipper Hardik Pandya has been in a form of his life and the extra responsibility seemed to have spurred him to bring out all of his repertoire for his new franchise. The talented all-rounder, who is also proving a point to the Indian selectors that he is still not a spent force by bowling at good pace, is occupying the third spot in the race for Orange Cap for the top-rungetters of the season.

Though it is important for Gujarat for him to continue in the same fashion, Chennai Super Kings are known to target the vital cog in their rivals wheel to dismantle them. New skipper Ravindra Jadeja, armed with the acumen of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, knows that they have the arsenal to get Pandya cheaply. The clash between Jadeja and Pandya is an interesting sub-plot in grand scheme of things. 

The win against Royal Challengers Bangalore should have given the ‘Yellove’ team the confidence and energy to move ahead, though the only concern is the form of opener Ruturaj Gaikwad, who was the top-scorer last season but yet to make his mark on wickets that are familiar to the Pune-born opener. With most of the other boxes ticked and veteran Robin Uthappa and Sivam Dube among the runs, it should not be a concern for CSK.

If one goes by law of averages then it certainly bound to catch up with Gujarat as the Yellow Lions are a very dangerous side with their tails up. The depth in batting and the variety in bowling have made Super Kings the favourite to win today’s clash.