Chennai SK beat holders Gujarat to reach IPL final
Chennai Super Kings have powered their way to a 10th Indian Premier League final, a competition record, defeating holders and regular season league winners Gujarat Titans in the first play-off qualifier.
Gujarat will have another chance to reach the final - and gain revenge on Chennai - in Friday's second qualifier against the winner of Wednesday's eliminator between Mumbai Indians and Lucknow Super Giants.
That will pit Marcus Stoinis of LSG against Mumbai Indians' quartet of Australians: Cam Green, Tim David, Jason Behrendorff and Riley Meredith.
There were no Australians in Tuesday's qualifier with Matthew Wade not playing for Titans at all in the campaign.
Without him the defending champions were bowled out for 157 off the final ball as they chased Chennai's 7-172.
Playing at their home ground Super Kings produced a solid batting display with openers Ruturaj Gaikwad (60 off 44 balls) and Conway (40 off 34) putting on 87 before being parted in the 11th over. The middle-order batters then swung merrily with only Mohammed Shami (2-28) able to exert much control.
Chennai then followed their practice of squeezing the teams through spinners in the middle overs, notably Ravindra Jadeja (2-18) and Maheesh Theekshana (2-28), and Gujarat steadily dropped behind the rate.
Shubman Gill, who came into the play-off with two successive centuries, made 42 but off 38 balls and Rashid Khan (30 off 16) was the only other batter to offer much resistance.
It was a remarkable turnaround for four-time champion Chennai this season after finishing ninth last year.
"I think IPL is too big to say it is just another final," Chennai captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said. "Ten teams makes it all the more tougher. Everyone has contributed. Yes, middle order hasn't got ample opportunity but they have chipped in."
"We made some basic errors," said Gujarat captain Hardik Pandya. "We must've conceded 16 runs or so due to our soft balls, (but) we have one more chance of going to the final. Two days later we will give it a crack again."