Chennai Super Kings are through to their 10th Indian Premier League final after beating defending champions Gujarat Titans in Qualifier 1.
Opener Ruturaj Gaikwad top-scored with 60 from 44 balls as Chennai posted 172-7 after being put in to bat.
On a pitch growing increasingly difficult to bat on, Gujarat were all out for 157 with only Shubman Gill – 42 from 38 – making a score of note.
Gujarat go into Qualifier 2, while CSK advance to Sunday’s final in Ahmedabad.
The M.A. Chidambaram Stadium was a sea of yellow as the Chennai crowd roared on MS Dhoni’s side but they were silenced in the second over when Gaikwad chipped tamely to mid-wicket off Darshan Nalkande.
However, the opener was reprieved as replays showed Nalkande had overstepped and it proved a costly error.
Gaikwad hit the next ball for six and proceeded to play the match’s defining innings, reaching his half-century from 36 balls as he put on 87 with Devon Conway for the first wicket.
Once Gaikwad departed, batting looked much tougher but useful cameos throughout the order, including an unbeaten nine from four balls from England all-rounder Moeen Ali, took the Super Kings to a competitive total.
Gujarat failed to build any real momentum with the turn and bounce of Ravindra Jadeja and Mahesh Theekshana causing the batting side problems.
Gill went past 700 runs in a magnificent IPL season but even he struggled for fluency before falling to Deepak Chahar, two balls after Jadeja had bowled David Miller.
Rashid Khan hit three fours and two sixes late on to give the Titans a glimmer of hope but Chennai held on comfortably and took the final wicket with the last ball of the match.
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Chennai are now safely through to the final on Sunday, 28 May and Gujarat could yet join them there.
Third-placed Lucknow Super Giants take on five-time champions Mumbai Indians later today in the Eliminator, with the loser going out.
The winner of the Eliminator will then face Gujarat on Friday in Qualifier 2.
Whoever wins that will advance to play Chennai for the trophy.