It was an all-round performance from defending champions Chennai Super Kings, who beat Gujarat Titans by 63 runs in the 2024 Indian Premier League in Chennai on Tuesday.

After Shubman Gill asked the home side to bat first, it was a stellar batting performance from the Super Kings who set a big target of 205/6. New Zealand batter Rachin Ravindra and new captain Ruturaj Gaikwad put on a 62-run opening partnership before Shivam Dube lit up Chepauk with a fine half-century. Daryl Mitchell and Sameer Rizvi chipped in with cameos to push the total past the 200-run mark.

In response, Gujarat Titans had no answers for the Chennai pacers with no real aggressor who could anchor the chase. The hero from the win against Mumbai Indians, Sai Sudarshan, was brought in as the Impact Player, but managed only 37 off 31 balls before falling to Chennai’s Impact Player, Matheesha Pathirana. Sudarshan unfortunately didn’t have any partner to help him, aside from a 41-run partnership for the fourth wicket with David Miller (21 off 16 balls).

The Chennai bowling attack, despite spinners not picking up a single wicket in the innings, were so on point with their line and length that Ravindra, who had dropped Sudarshan early in the innings, ended up taking three catches as Gujarat Titans ended with 143/8.

Turning point of the match

In his comments to the host broadcaster, Gujarat Titans captain Shubman Gill summed it up perfectly: “They outplayed us when they [Chennai Super Kings] were batting and when they bowled, their execution was spot on.”

Despite this near-perfect dominance of the home side, there was one moment in the first over of the Chennai innings that Gill and Co may rue as they reflect upon their performance in the match.

Afghanistan’s Azmatullah Omarzai began things off well with a couple of length balls outside off. Gaikwad got off the mark and then so did Ravindra. Then, in the last ball of his over, Omarzai got Gaikwad to come forward and edge one to first slip. But to the disappointment of the Titans and the happiness of the Super Kings fans, Sai Kishore fumbled the catch.

Gaikwad would go on to make 46 off 36 balls and help build partnerships with Ravindra, Ajinkya Rahane and later on, Dube.

Had Kishore held on to that catch, who knows how things may have turned out in the end.

The Field’s player of the match

There are several contenders for this particular honour – Deepak Chahar with his impeccable bowling performance of 2/28, Dube with his blistering knock and the manner through which he batted in his innings, Gaikwad himself with his knock up front.

But for his batting and his fielding, The Field’s Player of the Match goes to Kiwi batter Rachin Ravindra.

In his comments to the broadcaster, the 24-year-old said that his innings was all about intent aided by a good batting wicket at the start.

At a strike rate of 230, Ravindra struck six boundaries and three sixes in his 20-ball knock. But what was more important was how he took the attack to the new-ball bowlers in Omarzai and Umesh Yadav. It was also because the Kiwi batter was batting with such aplomb that Gaikwad could take on the role of the anchor in the innings.

‘Today’s game was perfect’

For a new captain to have had such a perfect win in only his second game is something of a dream. Gaikwad experienced that on Tuesday against Gujarat Titans where everything worked for him. The batting was on top of it, the bowling was solid and the fielding was the cherry on the cake.

“Definitely today's game was perfect - batting, bowling and fielding, and against a team like Gujarat we needed to come up with a performance like this. In Chennai, when you are not sure how the wicket will be, you must bat well irrespective of when you're batting. Having wickets in the last ten really helps here. Personally I felt, Rachin batted brilliantly in the powerplay and took the game away. From then on, we were always ahead. I’m impressed with the fielding as well – maybe we have one or two extra youngsters this year. Great efforts from Jinks (Ajinkya Rahane), even in the last game he was running from one end to the other.”

— – Chennai Super Kings captain Ruturaj Gaikwad in the post-match presentation

Points table after the match on March 26

Position Team Played Won Lost NRR Points
1 CSK 2 2 0 1.979 4
2 RR 1 1 0 0.779 2
3 KKR 1 1 0 0.200 2
4 PBKS 2 1 1 0.025 2
5 RCB 2 1 1 -0.180 2
6 GT 2 1 1 -1.425 2
7 SRH 1 0 1 -0.200 0
8 MI 1 0 1 -0.300 0
9 DC 1 0 1 -0.455 0
10 LSG 1 0 1 -1.000 0