Gujarat Titans 170 for 7 (Miller 94*, Rashid 40, Bravo 3-23) beat Chennai Super Kings 169 for 5 (Gaikwad 73, Joseph 2-34) by three wickets
However, Dwayne Bravo was to CSK’s second half what Miller was to Titans’ first half: he threw four overs at a trot, starting with the 13th for 23 runs and three wickets, but the other end leaked 60 of 23 balls without a single wicket to be taken. Bravo ended his spell with two strikes in two balls. One of them was Rashid, which left Titans with 13 for the last one left. Miller now only had the bowlers for company, but it didn’t matter as Jordan continued to miss his Yorker and even bowled a high full toss to bring Titans home with one ball left.
Gaikwad and Rayudu commit to a big finish
Titans managed to get the most explosive powerplay batter of the season, Robin Uthappa, early in the innings after his highest IPL score, and Moeen Ali’s mediocre IPL kept the score at 32 for 2 in the sixth. However, Gaikwad, just 35 in five games before that, and Rayudu rebuilt the innings looking for classic CSK gear in the back 10.
Gaikwad and Rayudu take down the best of them
Aware of the CSK threat in the last 10 overs, Titans immediately brought back the best of their bowlers to try and take a wicket. A total attack awaited them. Gaikwad welcomed Joseph back with a drawn six before Rayudu charged and lifted him up for a long time. Lockie Ferguson went for a six and a four. Rayudu hit Rashid himself for a six. With 124 for 2 in 14, CSK looked good.
Joseph starts comeback, others follow
Rashid, who may have withdrawn from MS Dhoni, didn’t concede a line in the 19th. It was only Ravindra Jadeja who used the short leg sideline against Ferguson in the last over, taking 18 off, that gave CSK a competitive total.
Theekshana strikes early
Miller looked like he was playing on a different field from where nearly everyone else had struggled with timing in the last 12 overs. While Moeen Ali got a grip and turned away from the bat, Miller still managed to hit a straight four and a six in the ninth and eleventh overs. In the 12th, he opened well, beating Jadeja, who turned the ball into him and hit him with two sixes and a four. Of 87 for 4 in 12 overs, Miller had scored 52 from just 29 balls.
At a time when Miller might be looking for some support on the other side, Bravo started his evening with a wicket maiden. The slower ball dived and grabbed it and was responsible for Rahul Tewatia.
However, Miller kept pushing to make up for Rashid’s slow start. These next three overs were crucial as points could only have come from Miller’s side because Rashid knew there wasn’t much batting behind him. There were runs, and in style. Even Bravo and Theekshana went for sixes, making it 52 from the last four overs. However, Bravo hit back again with a limitless 17th, giving Titans a one in 25 chance of winning.
Rashid .’s Whiplash
With a short leg-side border in play, Rashid unfolded those wrists against Jordan, the most riotous death-overs bowler in IPL chases, in the 18th over. The helicopter sent the first half volley over midwicket. Jordan went wide for second ball, but Rashid made a sensational slice over point for a six over the longer line. Jordan missed the Yorker twice more and went for four and six. By the end of the over, Titans were 56% favorites to win.
Bravo brought back CSK with another slower one to get rid of Rashid. At 13 out of seven, Joseph had a free hit to try and get a boundary, but he found a long distance. He still left Miller on strike before the start of the latter.
Jordan continued to miss his Yorker again, and when he bowled the high full toss with seven required out of three, it was virtually game over. The 38 he allowed from 11 legal balls was only behind Thisara Perera’s 41 in nine balls for runs he conceded at death in an IPL pursuit.
Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo