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IPL 2023, GT vs CSK: Shubman Gill's confident knock, first-ever Impact Player and other top moments

2 months ago 30

The Indian Premier League (IPL) returned on Friday, and it began in style in Ahmedabad as hosts and defending champions Gujarat Titans romped towards a five-wicket win over Chennai Super Kings. The match began in electric fashion, with Ruturaj Gaikwad stealing the limelight to take CSK to 178 after being put to bat first.

However, Shubman Gill led an inspired fightback with 63 off 36 balls, while Player of the Match Rashid Khan picked two wickets.

Rahul Tewatia and Rashid eventually helped GT cross the finish line with four balls to spare.

Here are some top moments from the game:

First-ever Impact Player substitute

In a historic first for the Indian Premier League, pacer Tushar Deshpande became the first-ever ‘Impact Player’ when he came on for Ambati Rayudu ahead of GT’s run-chase. Similarly, the Titans followed suit, replacing an injured Kane Williamson with Sai Sudarshan before the chase.


A historic first 👏

Here were the impact players utilised by both #CSK & #GT during Match 1️⃣ of #TATAIPL 👌#GTvCSK | @ChennaiIPL | @gujarat_titans pic.twitter.com/OAq7NIGYa1

— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) March 31, 2023

Williamson had sustained a nasty injury while looking to save a six while fielding, eventually hurting his knee. Impact Player was first used in India during the 2022 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. Only an Indian player can be substituted under the Impact Player rule, unless the team has less than four overseas players.

Ruturaj Gaikwad arrives (yet again) in style

Ruturaj Gaikwad picked up from where he left off last season, scoring a fine half-century to begin his campaign in style.

Two outstanding, stylish batters are putting on a show today. Both Gaikwad and Gill are so easy on the eye, so graceful, they make watching cricket so much fun.

— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) March 31, 2023

Gaikwad had ended IPL 2022 as CSK’s top-scorer with 368 runs, and on Friday, Gaikwad amassed 92 off just 50 balls, before being dismissed by Alzarri Joseph.

Gaikwad showcased loads of athleticism in his knock, and he got to his fifty in just 23 balls, slamming a six by pulling it over square leg boundary. Gaikwad, however, could not complete his century, after he was caught by Gill at long-on in the 18th over.

Joshua Little makes his presence felt

Josh Little had become the first player from Ireland to be selected by an IPL franchise during the player auction last December, after he was picked up by Gujarat Titans for Rs 4.40 crore.

And on Friday, the 23-year-old earned his maiden IPL wicket on tournament debut after he dismissed CSK’s Ambati Rayudu.

Rayudu was batting on 12 when Little got his first wicket. Delivering a full-length ball, Little cleaned up Rayudu, after the latter went to charge down the ground, but missed it, as the ball beat the edge and crashed onto the stumps.

Eventually, Little’s wicket came at a crucial time for GT, as he broke the 51-run stand of Rayudu and Gayakwad.

Little finished with figures of 1/41 from four overs.

Rahul Tewatia finishes off in style!

He’s been there, done that in the IPL previously, and Tewatia did the job yet again for GT, sealing the win with four balls to spare.

Tewatia had come into bat for GT at number six, with GT at 138/4 from 15 overs. He was involved in two small partnerships with Vijay Shankar and Rashid Khan, but both of Tewatia’s boundaries came off the last over.

Impact Player Deshpande was given with the responsibility to bowl the final over, with GT needing eight from six, but it was rather less impactful from Deshpande.

After conceding a wide off the first ball, Tewatia made full use of Deshpande’s full and wide ball, to slot it precisely, and clear mid-off fence for a six. Just one run was needed now, and Tewatia finished off in style, beating the bowler straight down the ground for a four.

Not only Gaikwad, Shubman breathes fire

Young Shubman Gill has been the talk of the town over the past few months, as far as Indian cricket is concerned.

Since the last IPL, Gill had made his T20I debut earlier in 2023, scored an unbeaten 126 against New Zealand in Ahmedabad, and amassed another century against Australia at the same venue.

Friday was a different tournament altogether, but the same Shubman Gill at the same venue. Gill opened the batting with Wriddhiman Saha, and dealt with CSK spinners in Ravindra Jadeja and Mitchell Santner in quite a way, finding boundaries at regular intervals to keep GT’s scoring rhythm on the uptick.

Off the mark 💙⚡️ pic.twitter.com/NX7iiryjrD

— Shubman Gill (@ShubmanGill) March 31, 2023

He looked to bat deep into the innings, even forging a 53-run partnership with Sai Sudarshan, but was eventually dismissed in the 15th over by Deshpande.

However, had it not been for Gill’s efforts, GT would have found themselves in a spot of bother.

And if Friday was of any indication, Gill is certainly here to stay in the IPL.

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