Shami, Saha power Titans to Qualifier 1


Gujarat Titans ensured themselves a top-two finish as they hammered Chennai Super Kings by seven wickets in Mumbai. Mohammed Shami set the tone for the win with figures of 4-0-19-2 before Wriddhiman Saha (67* off 57) helped his side finish the game with five balls to spare in the chase of 133. CSK, who have one more game in the season, suffered their ninth defeat and occupy ninth position – above Mumbai Indians.

CSK chose to bat first and were dented early when Shami removed Devon Conway in the third over with just eight on the board. In the opening four overs, CSK made just 15 with Shami and Hardik Pandya giving nothing away. It was only in the fifth over that CSK put some pressure on GT. Ruturaj Gaikwad struck 14 runs to pick up the pace, while Moeen Ali took down Rashid Khan with two sixes to help CSK end the powerplay at a respectable 47 for 1.

Between overs 7 and 14, CSK scored another 49, but largely struggled to up the pace on a two-paced surface. R. Sai Kishore removed Moeen in the ninth – for 21 – and that meant Gaikwad and N. Jagadeesan struggled to take off. Between overs 10 and 14, there were just two boundaries struck as CSK started to fall behind. Gaikwad, who made 53 off 49, got his half-century in the 15th before Jagadeesan struck a four and a six to help the side reach 109 for 2 in 15 overs.

Rashid dismissed Gaikwad in the 16th and Alzarri Joseph bounced out Shivam Dube in the 17th to put the brakes on the CSK innings. Between overs 16 and 20, CSK couldn’t even manage a single boundary and were forced to settle for a below-par total.

In reply, Shubman Gill and Saha made 59 for the opening wicket in the first seven overs to lay the platform for the chase. Matheesha Pathirana dismissed Gill for 18 off 17, but Saha’s assault from the other end meant GT didn’t quite feel the pinch. Matthew Wade made 20 off 15 but fell to Moeen in the 12th, while Pandya managed just seven as GT slipped to 100 for 3 in 13.1 overs. However, there was no panic with the asking rate below six and GT got over the line eventually.

Pathirana impresses on debut

Sri Lankan fast bowler Matheesha Pathirana impressed in his debut game for Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League on Sunday. Pathirana dismissed Shubman Gill and Hardik Pandya to finish with figures of 2 for 24 off 3.1 overs.

The inclusion of Pathirana, who came into the Super Kings squad as a replacement for Adam Milne last month, was one of four changes made in the playing eleven by the team management. The 19-year-old, with an unusual, jerky bowling action, dismissed Shubman Gill off the first delivery of his spell, trapping him lbw with a delivery that skidded through after pitching on a length.

Later, Hardik turned the face of the bat too early as he tried to negotiate a full-length delivery on off-stump and was dismissed for 7, the ball ballooning off the ridge of the bat to the fielder at mid-off.

Pathirana played the U-19 World Cup earlier this year for Sri Lanka, picking up seven wickets in four matches. Besides his effectiveness with the ball, the resemblance to Lasith Malinga in terms of his bowling action is also a striking feature of his bowling.

Brief scores: 

CSK: 133/5 (20) (Ruturaj Gaikwad 53; Mohammed Shami 2-19)

GT: 137/3 (19.1) (Wriddhiman Saha 67*, Matheesha Pathirana 2-24)