• Wednesday, April 24, 2024

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Ravindra, Dube shine as Chennai thrash Gujarat

Rachin Ravindra (R) celebrates with teammate after taking a catch to dismiss Gujarat Titans’ Azmatullah Omarzai (not pictured) during the IPL Twenty20 cricket match against Gujarat Titans at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on March 26, 2024. (Photo by R. SATISH BABU/AFP via Getty Images)

Pramod ThomasBy: Pramod Thomas

NEW ZEALAND’s Rachin Ravindra hit an explosive 46 and took three catches to help holders Chennai Super Kings to their second straight IPL win with a 63-run thrashing of Gujarat Titans on Tuesday (26).

The left-handed Ravindra, in his debut IPL season, made his runs off 20 balls while captain Ruturaj Gaikwad also hit 46 as Chennai posted 206-6 at their home M A Chidambaram Stadium.

Seam bowlers Mustafizur Rahman, Deepak Chahar and Tushar Deshpande took two wickets each to help restrict Gujarat, led by Shubman Gill, to 143-8 and go down to their biggest IPL loss by runs.

“Today’s game was near to a perfect game, in the sense of batting-bowling-fielding, all three departments,” said Gaikwad.

“Against a team like Gujarat, we had to produce this kind of performance.”

Chennai’s Shivam Dube top-scored with his 51 off 23 deliveries to boost the total after Ravindra and Gaikwad gave the team a quick start in their opening stand of 62.

Old warhorse M.S. Dhoni shocked his fans ahead of the T20 tournament when he passed on the Chennai captaincy to Gaikwad after he had led the team to its fifth IPL title last year.

Gaikwad, who led the team to a win over Royal Challengers Bengaluru in the IPL opener last week, survived an early reprieve on one and made use of the spill.

Gaikwad is learning the leadership ropes under Dhoni’s mentorship as the 42-year-old former skipper, who took a diving catch as wicketkeeper to dimiss Vijay Shankar, kept guiding the new captain throughout the game.

The left-handed Ravindra remained defiant and clubbed three sixes and six fours.

Gujarat’s Afghanistan spin wizard Rashid Khan denied Ravindra his fifty as the leg-spinner had the batsman stumped while Gaikwad fell caught behind off Australia’s Spencer Johnson.

Dube, who was named man of the match, reached his fifty in 22 balls before he fell in the 19th over to Rashid, who took two wickets but leaked 49 runs.

Gujarat, who won a title in their debut IPL season in 2022 and ended runners-up in 2023, were never in the chase after they lost Gill lbw off Chahar.

Gill took charge of the team and won his opening match on Sunday after Hardik Pandya switched to Mumbai Indians for another captain’s role.

“Lot of new learnings, new experiences and different things,” said Gill.

“It’s exciting to captain a team like Gujarat Titans, we’ve made it to the finals in the last couple of years so very exciting.”

(AFP)

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