Tushar Deshpande becomes first Impact Player, replaces Ambati Rayudu in opening game against GT


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The 16th edition of the Indian Premier League finally got underway on Friday, March 31 with the razzmatazz of a spectacular opening ceremony. Defending champions Gujarat Titans were up against Chennai Super Kings in the curtain raiser of the season at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. After being put in to bat first, Chennai posted 178/7 in their allotted 20 overs.

The excitement for the second innings was just beginning among the fans and the CSK management made it even greater by introducing the first-ever ‘Impact Player’ of the season. They replaced Ambati Rayudu with the seamer Tushar Deshpande.

The move, however, didn’t go as per plan for CSK as Deshpande was smacked for a six on the very first delivery of the second over by Wriddhiman Saha. Gujarat’s opening duo Saha and Gill further took him on and got 15 runs off his first over.

It didn’t take long for Gujarat too to bring their ‘Impact Player’ into the game as after Saha was dismissed in the fourth over, they sent Sai Sudharsan to bat in place of Kane Williamson who injured himself while fielding in the first innings.

On the third ball of the 13th over of the first innings, Williamson put up a sensational effort at the mid-wicket boundary to save a certain six off Ruturaj Gaikwad’s bat. He grabbed the ball by jumping to his full height and threw the ball back inside the boundary before falling over. However, in the process, he landed awkwardly on his knee and was immediately taken off the field. Sudharsan also couldn’t leave a huge impact on the game and was dismissed after scoring 22 off 17 balls.

Ruturaj Gaikwad’s 92 help Chennai post 178 in the first innings

Coming back to the first innings, CSK lost an early wicket in the form of Devon Conway, who lost his stumps in the third over against Mohammed Shami. CSK’s innings were held together by Gaikwad who played a sensational knock of 92 off just 50 balls, smashing 4 fours and nine sixes in his innings. Contributions from Moeen Ali (23 off 17) and MS Dhoni (14* off 7) helped Chennai post 178/7 in the first innings.


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