IPL 2022: Saha's unbeaten 67 gives Gujarat a comfortable seven-wicket win over Chennai
Wriddhiman Saha of Gujarat Titans in action during match 62 of the Tata Indian Premier League 2022 against Chennai Superkings at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on May 15, 2022.Rahul Gulati/IPL

IPL 2022: Saha's unbeaten 67 gives Gujarat a comfortable seven-wicket win over Chennai

Mumbai, May 15, 2022

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 through the innings to chase down the target 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, there was no looking back for Saha, as he pulled Simarjeet Singh over deep mid-wicket for six in the fifth over and then thumped 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, hung 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.

Earlier, Gujarat put up a tidy bowling show to restrict Chennai Super Kings to just 133/5 in their 20 overs.

On a sluggish pitch, Ruturaj Gaikwad began really well for his 49-ball 53 but gradually slowed down as the innings progressed.

He found an ally in Moeen Ali but Chennai never found the acceleration they needed, faltering badly in the last five overs as the batters couldn't hit a single boundary in that phase. For Gujarat, Mohammed Shami was the pick of the bowlers with 2/19 while Rashid Khan, Alzarri Joseph and R Sai Kishore took a wicket each.

Pushed into bowling first, Shami got the breakthrough when he found the outside edge of Devon Conway's bat on a ball straightening and giving a straightforward catch to Wriddhiman Saha. But Chennai made a good recovery as Gaikwad and Ali took 32 runs off the last two overs of power-play.

While Gaikwad smacked two boundaries and a six off Yash Dayal in the fifth over, Ali hit Rashid for back-to-back sixes over leg-side.

Gaikwad and Ali shared a stand of 57 runs off 39 balls before left-arm spinner Kishore took out the latter, who played one shot too many and mistimed a slog-sweep to deep mid-wicket.

Though Gaikwad continued to motor along, he wasn't getting the required big hits from N Jagadeesan. After Gaikwad reached his fifty off 44 balls, Jagadeesan smacked a four and six off Kishore to boost the scoring rate going into the last five overs. But Gujarat triggered a slowdown from which Chennai could never come out.

Gaikwad danced down the pitch to heave across the line but was caught at deep mid-wicket off Rashid. Joseph bounced out Shivam Dube for a two-ball duck while Shami returned in the final over to take out MS Dhoni with a short ball pulled straight to mid-wicket. Such was Gujarat's strong control over Chennai in the last five overs that they didn't leak a single boundary while giving away 24 runs.

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)

IANS

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