MUMBAI: Gujarat Titans on Thursday defeated Rajasthan Royals by 37 runs in match 24 of the Indian Premier League 2022 to reach the top of the table. This is Gujarat’s fourth victory in 5 matches.
Batting first after losing the toss, Gujarat didn’t get off to a good start as the opener and wicketkeeper Matthew Wade was run out in the second over. Vijay Shankar was removed by Kuldeep Sen in the next over and Gujarat were stuttering at 15-2. Shubman Gill played a couple of attractive shots but perished for 13.
Gujarat captain Hardik Pandya once again rose to the occasion and reeled off a scorching innings. He picked the right balls to attack and remained unbeaten for 87 off just 52 balls. His innings was awash with eight boundaries and four monstrous sixes. Abhinav Manohar also chipped in with breezy 43 and put together a 86-run partnership with Pandya for the fourth wicket.
In the death overs, David Miller went berserk and bludgeoned 31 runs in just 14 balls. His electrifying cameo propelled Gujarat to 192-4 in 20 overs.
Rajasthan never looked in the hunt as they kept losing wickets at a regular interval. Devdutt Paddikal’s poor form continued as he was dismissed for a duck on the first ball he played. The move to promote R Ashwin to no.3 failed badly. Captain Sanju Samson also fell cheaply for 11 as he was run out by Hardik.
Jos Buttler was the lone warrior for Rajasthan as he flayed 54 runs off just 24 balls but did not get any assistance from other batters. Lockie Ferguson and left-arm seamer Yash Dayal chalked up three wickets each to shake Rajasthan’s innings.
In the end, Rajasthan could only manage 155-9 in 20 overs and lost the match by 37 runs.
“I would like to give credit to their batters. Hardik played a very good innings. They played really well to get that score. If we had wickets in hand, this was chasable. We were almost there in terms of run rate, in the powerplay we had a better run rate actually, but we kept losing wickets,” said Samson after the match.
“Today I got the rhythm and planned my knock. It allows the others to play freely. I have done the other role where I have scored 12 balls 30. Captaincy is always fun. The team is gelling well. I wanted all of us to be happy for each other’s happiness. That is working well for the team,” Hardik, who was also declared Man of the Match, said.
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