Shubman Gill raises his bat to celebrates scoring a century during the second qualifier match against Mumbai Indians at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Friday night. AFP
The final is on Sunday, when Gujarat will aim to retain the title at its Narendra Modi Stadium fortress and Chennai will try to equal Mumbai's record five titles.
Shubman Gill smashed a third masterful IPL century and fast bowler Mohit Sharma took 5-10 for Gujarat to win by 62 runs with 10 balls to spare.
Skipper Hardik Pandya praised his opener, saying: "Today's innings was one of the finest, he never looked rushed. It felt like someone was throwing balls and he was hitting. He will be a superstar in international and franchise cricket."
Shubman Gill hits a boundary during the qualifier match in Ahmedabad. AP
Gill hit 10 sixes and put on a second-wicket stand of 138 with Sai Sudharsan, who made 43, to tear into the opposition attack at the world's biggest cricket stadium.
He became the leading batsman this season with 851 runs, surpassing Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Faf du Plessis (730), before he reached his IPL best and the top score of this season.
Gujarat made 233-3 after opener Gill clobbered 10 sixes and seven fours in a breathtaking 129 off 60 balls. Mumbai was all out for 171 after Mohit Sharma took four wickets in nine balls, and finished the game with his fifth.
Rashid Khan celebrates after taking a wicket against Mumbai Indians. AP
Gill enthralled more than 75,000 spectators with powerful drives, sweep shots, pull shots and flicks. He was on 30 when Tim David missed a difficult catching chance at mid-on. Cameroon Green missed another chance when he couldn’t hold onto a difficult return catch.
Gill completed his half century off 32 balls. He hit three sixes in an over off fast bowler Akash Madhwal, who returned 5-5 in his last game to knock out Lucknow Super Giants but finished with 1-56 here.
Named man of the match, Gill said: "I think this was probably my best innings so far in the IPL." "The over (in which) I hit three sixes is where I felt it was my day,” Gill said. "I wanted to maximize scoring. Belief is more important. (It) helps when you’re coming off a good international season. This is my best innings so far in the IPL.”
The hundred was reached off 49 balls as Gill dominated a second-wicket stand of 138 runs with Sai Sudharsan (43). Gill took his run tally to an IPL-leading 851 runs before he holed out at deep midwicket to David in the 17th over.
Mumbai's chase was hindered quickly when Mohammed Shami (2-41) dimissed impact player Nehal Wadhera and captain Rohit Sharma in his first two overs.
Cameroon Green smacked three sixes and five boundaries in 43 and kept Mumbai ahead on run rate by the halfway stage. But after Suryakumar Yadav was bowled by Mohit Sharma for 61 off 38, Mumbai's collapse was swift. They last seven wickets went for 47 runs.
"We lost our way,” Rohit Sharma said. "We have to credit Shubman (and) I hope he continues that form.”
Madhwal then returned figures of 5-5 to dismiss Lucknow for 101 as Mumbai booked a meeting with holders and regular season table-toppers Gujarat in the next play-off encounter on Friday. The winners of that clash will meet Chennai in the final on Sunday.
Barring a surprise, Chennai Super Kings skipper M.S. Dhoni will step out as a player for the last time when his side take on holders Gujarat Titans in the IPL final on Sunday.
"Cricket is my passion and not a burden," 29-year-old engineer-turned-cricketer said. "So I am enjoying cricket after leaving engineering and a job to follow my passion without having much at home."
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