GT vs CSK (Pic Courtesy: AFP File Photo)
The stage is set for the 16th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), which returns to India again, a year after Gujarat Titans took everyone by surprise and outclassed Sanju Samson's Rajasthan Royals in what was a fairytale debut season. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will resume the home and away games this season. All the ten teams have been divided into two groups comprising five teams each. Every team will play 14 league-stage matches, including seven home and away matches. The 16th edition of the IPL will be played across 12 venues over a span of 52 days.
The opening ceremony of the IPL 2023 is scheduled to take place ahead of the opening match between Chennai Super Kings and Titans. The cricketing quotient aside, fans will be treated to an eye-catching array of Bollywood celebrities at the grand opening ceremony. The opening ceremony promises to be a breathtaking visual extravaganza which will showcase actors, including Rashmika Mandana and Tamannaah Bhatia.
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11:22 PM: GT 182/5 in 19.2 overs
Deshpande begins the last over with a wide. In the slot outside the off-stump and Tewatia pumps it over long-off for six, then drills it down the ground for a four. Gujarat beats CSK by five wickets.
11:20 PM: 160/5 in 18.2 overs
Youngster Hangargekar bags a 3-fer on debut as Santner takes a superb catch to dismiss the set batsman Vijay Shankar. Falls prey to Hangargekar's attempted yorker. Although Shankar manages to get enough elevation, he fails to get the desired distance. This wicket could prove to be a turning point in the game. CSK crawls back into the match now, pressure piling on GT.
11:10 PM: 150/4 after 18 overs
The Gill storm comes to an end as he is caught by Gaikwad off the bowling of Tushar Deshpande. Next up is the explosive batter Rahul Tewatia.
11:00 PM: 145/4 after 16 overs
Tushar Deshpande replaces Jadeja. Meahwhile, new batsman Vijay Shankar and Gill nudge the gaps for quick singles. Short ball and Gill pulls to the deep mid-wicket for a six. Slower ball on length by Deshpande and Gill sends it to Gaikwad again who doesn't let go of a simple catch.
10:50 PM: 123/3 after 14 overs
Hardik Pandya bowled by Jadeja! It was a flat delivery outside off that quickly went through. Pandya tried to play a cross-batted sweep shot, but the ball zipped through and hit the off stump. It was an unnecessary shot from Pandya, and it cost him his wicket today. He departs for 8 runs off 11 deliveries.
10:35 PM: 93/2 after 10 overs
The chase by Titans see no major hiccups, slow and steady. Gill, who has had a solid start to the calendar year, appears as confident as ever. Out! Hangargekar is handed the ball for an attack and strikes straight away! He gets Sai out caught behind. Skipper Hardik Pandya walks in next.
10:20 PM: 65/1 after 6 overs
Mitchell Santner into the attack. Sudharsan and Gill look to not take their foot off the pedal. Sudharsan pulls Santner for a four and Gill goes inside out over cover to collect four more. 11 from the over. End of powerplay!
10:10 PM: 37/1 after 4 overs
Debutant Rajvardhan Hangargekar pressed into the attack. Beautifully yorks Saha with a sharp delivery. That was a loud appeal but Dhoni calms him down. He bowls a short ball and Saha is quick to race it through mid-wicket for a four. He strikes in the next ball, and Dube takes a fine catch at third.
9:50 PM: 29/0 after 3 overs
Wriddhiman Saha and Shubman Gill start proceedings for Gujarat. Taking it slow and steady, Gujarat is off to a fine start.
9:25 PM: Gujarat Titans need 179 runs to win
Little to bowl the final over as Dhoni creams it to deep point for a single. Dhoni smokes length over deep mid-wicket for a massive six! Little slides towards the pads and Dhoni slices it behind point for four. Slower ball and Dhoni heaves but misses! Dhoni finishes the innings with a single.
9:10 PM: 156/6 after 18 overs
Gaikwad gets caught by Shubman Gill off Alzarri Joseph's delivery. Although it was a high full toss, the ball was just below the waist, as confirmed by the third umpire. Gaikwad attempted to hit it towards the fence, but he failed to middle it properly. The next batter Jadeja doesn't last long. He departs for just one run off 2 balls.
8:50 PM: 151/4 after 17 overs
Joseph attempts to trap Dube with a series of lethal bouncers. Another rising delivery and Dube misjudges a shot for a quick single. Gaikwad chips the ball to mid-off for another single in the next ball. Pandya-led Titans' bowling unit have pulled back things at the fag end.
8:37 PM: 125/4 after 14 overs
Ruturaj brilliantly taps the slower-ball to point for a single. Oh no, Williamson is wincing in pain. The physios are treating him as the umpire signals a four. Little to Rayudu, wicket! Rayudu swings big and misjudges and Little rattles the stumps. Next up is Shivam Dube.
8:20 PM: 101/3 after 11 overs
Gaikwad is fighting a lone battle, trying his best to steady the ship as wickets keep falling like a pack of cards on the other side. He hits a six off Alzarri Joseph's delivery, bringing up a stellar fifty off just 23 balls. Joseph bowled a back-of-a-length delivery around waist height, but Gaikwad stood tall and pulled the ball with immense power right off the middle of the bat.
8:10 PM: 72/3 after 8 overs
Ben Stokes walks in donning CSK colours. Oh no, and he returns to the pavilion after 7 runs off 6 balls. Short innings by the debutant. Rashid & Shami have decimated the Chennai top-order tonight under 10 overs.
8:00 PM: 45/2 after 6 overs
Moeen Ali gets caught by Saha off Rashid Khan's delivery after his failed attempt to hit the ball over extra cover traps him from behind. Saha managed to hold onto the ball, although it was a close call. Rashid successfully retaliated after Moeen's boundary on the previous delivery. Moeen's score was 23 runs off 17 balls, including 4 fours and 1 six.
7:40 PM: 29/1 after 4 overs
Shami finds a thick outside-edge from Gaikwad and it races to third for one run. Cleans up Conway in a remarkable fashion. That's it! 100th wicket comes up for him. Shami slides one in sharply and Conway plays all around the line. Moeen Ali walks in next.
7:30 PM: Match begins!
Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway start proceedings for Chennai as Mohammed Shami is handed the ball for the first over.
7:15 PM: Confirmed Playing XIs
Chennai Super Kings: Devon Conway, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ben Stokes, Ambati Rayudu, Moeen Ali, Shivam Dube, MS Dhoni(w/c), Ravindra Jadeja, Mitchell Santner, Deepak Chahar, Rajvardhan Hangargekar
Gujarat Titans: Shubman Gill, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Kane Williamson, Hardik Pandya (c), Vijay Shankar, Rahul Tewatia, Rashid Khan, Mohammed Shami, Joshua Little, Yash Dayal, Alzarri Joseph.
7:10 PM: Toss update
Gujarat Titans captain Hardik Pandya wins toss, opts to bowl against Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2023 opener in Ahmedabad.
7:02 PM: Pandya, Dhoni called upon the stage
Both Gujarat and Chennai captains Hardik Pandya and MS Dhoni are called upon the stage following a series of sizzling performances by Bollywood celebrities. BCCI president Roger Binny, Secretary Jay Shah are also seen gracing the stage with their presence.
6:50 PM: Rashmika Mandanna dazzles the stage
Rashmika showcases a stellar performance while dancing her heart out on the stage. She pulled off the iconic dance steps of 'Srivalli', much to the delight of the crowd.
6:40 PM: Tamannaah shakes a leg on 'Oo Antava Oo Oo Antava'
Arijit Singh ends his performance for the evening after taking a round of the stadium on a buggy. Tamannaah arrives, and sets the stage ablaze while shaking a leg on 'Oo Antava Oo Oo Antava' from the classic Pushpa: The Rise.
6:30 PM: Oh Arijit, you beauty!
The event saw Arijit in his element, belting out chartbusters, classics, covers, medleys, as the cricket loyalists danced to the tune of 'Jhoome Jo Pathaan' from the SRK-starrer flick. Next up is Tamannaah Bhatia, followed by Rashmika Mandanna.
6:20 PM: Soak in the melodious delight from Arijit Singh
The IPL 2023 opening ceremony begins with Bollywood's favourite Arijit Singh in the house. He keeps the crowd enthralled with some of his popular melodious tracks. Arijit then seeks apology from over 1 lakh spectators in the stands, saying he has never performed in front of such a big crowd. The fans, however, continue to enjoy the performances.
6:00 PM: Mandira Bedi returns to spotlight
Both the GT and CSK buses are on their way to the stadium at the moment. The sizzling Mandira Bedi will kick off the proceedings as the host for the opening ceremony.
5:45 PM: The wait is almost over!
In a few hours from now, the IPL fervour will kick off to last about two months, yes it is the Indian Premier League time, folks! The opening ceremony will start in less than an hour, so stay tuned for all the latest live updates of the mega blockbuster.