MUMBAI: The ‘Miracle Man’ Rahul Tewatia once again pulled off a Houdini act on Friday as he smashed two sixes on the last two balls of the match to win the match for Gujarat Titans.
Chasing 190, Gujarat needed 19 runs off 6 balls and the equation later boiled down to 12 off 2 balls. Tewatia, unruffled under pressure, clattered Odean Smith for two sixes over deep mid-wicket to clinch a six-wicket win.
Earlier, Gujarat’s captain Hardik Pandya won the toss and opted to bat. He dismissed Punjab’s captain’s Mayank Agarwal early as the batsman tried to pull but was caught at mid-wicket. Lockie Ferguson also winkled out Jonny Bairstow soon to leave Punjab in a spot of bother.
Liam Livingstone took the charge after a couple of quick wickets and unleashed an array of ingenious shots. He especially played ‘scoop’ with aplomb and mustered heaps of runs. Livingstone and Dhawan added 52 runs for the third wicket to rebuild the innings.
Livingstone fell to leg-spinner Rashid Khan after scoring 64 off just 27 balls. He tried to smash him for a six over deep square-leg but was held out. Khan bowled with appreciable control and zip to snaffle three wickets for 22 runs in four overs.
Rahul Chahar thumped a couple of boundaries and a six in death overs to take Punjab to 189 in 20 overs.
Gujarat lost Matthew Wade in the fourth over but Shubman Gill batted tremendously well and held the innings together. He cracked 96 off 59 balls and stitched up a 101-run partnership with Sai Sudharsan for the second wicket. Gill’s innings was marked with 11 boundaries and one six, but Sudharshan scored at a slightly tepid pace.
When Gill was dismissed in the 19th over, Gujarat were staring at a defeat. However, Tewatia’s miraculous innings sealed the victory for them.
Hardik praised Tewatia’s innings and said he felt sympathy for them. “With the kind of ups and downs that happen, I have become neutral. Hats off to Tewatia. It is difficult to go out there and hit, and to do it under this pressure is great. It was Punjab Kings’ game. I have sympathy for them,” he said.
“It feels good when the game is won. There wasn’t a lot to think about in the final over, we just had to hit sixes and that’s what me and David (Miller) were talking about. I knew (on the last-ball six) that it had gone off the middle of the bat, so it would clear the fence. I did premeditate, felt he (Odean) bowl wide outside off to me, premeditated and it executed well for me,” Tewatia said after the match.
Gill was declared Man of the Match for his breezy innings.