Wriddhiman Saha starred with an unbeaten 67 as Gujarat Titans completed a comfortable seven-wicket win over Chennai Super Kings in match 62 of the IPL 2022 at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday.
After the bowlers produced a brilliant show to restrict Chennai to a below-par 133/5, Saha carried his bat throughout the innings to chase the total with five balls to spare. The result also means that Gujarat have confirmed their spot in the top two of the points table, which means they will get to play in Qualifier 1 at Kolkata on May 24.
Saha got Gujarat off to a brisk start in pursuit of 134, taking three boundaries off Mukesh Choudhary in the opening over, two of them coming through an inner edge past stumps and top-edge over keeper. In Choudhary’s next over, Saha was dropped on 21 by Ruturaj Gaikwad at point amidst the right-hander collecting two boundaries.
From there onwards, it was no looking back for Saha, pulling Simarjeet Singh over deep mid-wicket for six in the fifth over followed by thumping one over the bowler’s head for a boundary. Saha’s fast and furious start allowed Shubman Gill to take his time and bring out the pull as well as sweep to take boundaries off Mitchell Santner.
But Matheesha Pathirana, the pacer with an uncanny resemblance to countryman Lasith Malinga’s sling-arm bowling action, bagged his maiden IPL wicket by trapping Gill lbw with a full, pacy delivery which hit him low on the pad as the right-hander attempted to flick. Gill reviewed but was unable to overturn the decision, ending the 59-run opening partnership.
Matthew Wade got going with a brace of boundaries off Pathirana but fell while trying to loft against Moeen Ali in the 12th over and mistimed to long-on. Two overs later, Pathirana got his second wicket when his off-cutter took the leading edge off Hardik Pandya’s attempted flick and was caught by mid-on.
Saha, meanwhile, hanged around to reach his third fifty of the tournament in 42 balls and shared an unbeaten 37-run stand with David Miller to take Gujarat past the finishing line. Fittingly, it was Saha who hit the winning runs – guiding one past short third man off Pathirana to give another convincing win to Gujarat.
Brief Scores: Chennai Super Kings 133/5 in 20 overs (Ruturaj Gaikwad 53, N Jagadeesan 39 not out; Mohammed Shami 2/19, Alzarri Joseph 1/15) against Gujarat Titans 137/3 in 19.1 overs (Wriddhiman Saha 67 not out, Matthew Wade 20; Matheesha Pathirana 2/24, Moeen Ali 1/11)