Credit: Twitter

Credit: Twitter

The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 playoffs began on May 23, with a highly anticipated clash between Gujarat Titans and Chennai Super Kings in the Qualifier 1 at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. CSK defeated the defending champions, GT by 15 runs on Tuesday to reach the IPL final for the record 10th time. Meanwhile, the Titans will await the winner of the Eliminator between Lucknow Super Giants and Mumbai Indians, in the Qualifier 2 to determine the second finalist of the tournament.

Earlier on May 24, Jay Shah, the secretary for the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), took to Twitter to confirm the new initiative from the governing body in relation to the tournament. He announced that the BCCI will plant 500 saplings for each dot ball bowled in the IPL playoffs in partnership with the Tata Group while revealing that the Qualifier 1 has accounted for 42,000 saplings as 84 dot balls were bowled during the match.

The BCCI secretary wrote, “We are proud to partner @TataCompanies in planting 500 saplings for each dot ball in the @IPL playoffs. Qualifier 1 #GTvsCSK got 42,000 saplings, thanks to 84 dot balls.” The 34-year-old also had a witty remark in his tweet, which read, “Who says T20 is a batter’s game? Bowlers’ it’s all in your hands.”

For the unversed, the captain of Gujarat Titans won the toss and put CSK in to bat first at the Chepauk. His decision wasn’t the correct one as Chennai openers Devon Conway and Ruturaj Gaikwad stitched together a stand of 87 runs inside 11 overs on a pitch that wasn’t easy to bat. Gaikwad top-scored for the Super Kings with 60 runs off 44 deliveries, including seven fours and one six. The Titans did, however, make a decent comeback in the second half of the innings to restrict CSK to 172/7 total.

In their run-chase, GT were behind the eight ball from the get-go. They lost the early wicket of Wriddhiman Saha in the powerplay. As the Chennai captain MS Dhoni brought spinners into the attack in the sixth over, the match started to go firmly in favour of CSK. Ravindra Jadeja bowled an outstanding spell of spin bowling on a relatively friendly pitch to put the Titans firmly on the back foot. He ended up with figures of 2-18 in his four overs to help bowl out Gujarat for the first time in the IPL and end up on the winning side.