MUMBAI: Rashid Khan and Rahul Tewatia unleashed explosive cameos on Wednesday to steer Gujarat Titans to five-wicket win in a last-ball humdinger against Sunrisers Hyderabad. With this victory, Gujarat have reached the top of the Points Table with seven wins in eight matches.
Chasing 196, Gujarat needed 22 runs off the last over and Tewatia smashed the left-arm seamer Marco Jansen for a six over deep mid-wicket off the first ball. He took a single on the next ball and Rashid took over. He clouted three sixes off the next four balls and pulled off a stunning win for Hyderabad. Hyderabad needed 3 runs off the last ball and Rashid pulled Jansen over fine-leg for a six to seal the match.
Gujarat got off to a rapturous start as the openers Wriddhiman Saha and Shubman Gill added 69 runs for the first wicket. Gill played a few exquisite shots, including a sumptuous flick off T Natarajan, but it was Saha who took centre stage and whipped out a sterling innings. After Gill was cleaned up by Umran Malik for 22, captain Hardik Pandya also departed soon.
Saha continued to bat with authority and made a splendid 68 off just 38 balls before he was bowled neck and crop by a thunderbolt from Malik in the 14th over. In his next over, Malik cleaned up David Miller and Abhinav Manohor to grab a five-wicket haul and left Gujarat tottering at 140-6 in 16 overs. Tewatia and Rashid whipped up a bedlam in the last four overs to see Gujarat home.
Earlier, Gujarat opted to bowl after winning the toss and Mohammad Shami turned in a fabulius opening spell. He made good use of the pitch and extracted seam movement to dismiss Kane Williamson and Rahul Tripathi in the Powerplay. Left-hander Abhishek Sharma batted with exuberance and unfurled a string of splendid shots including a delight off-drive off Alzarri Joseph in the 6th over. Aiden Markmar exuded confidence as well and opened his account by punching Lockie Ferguson for a four through covers.
Abhishek smashed leg-spinner Rashid Khan for a six in the 12th over to bring up his half-century in just 33 balls. He and Markram produced a 96-run partnership for the third wicket which was scuttled by Joseph as he bowled Abhishek for 65.
Nicholas Pooran and Washington Sundar also perished soon but the youngster Shashank Singh flayed Ferfuson for three sixes in the 20th over to propel Hyderabad to 195-6 in 20 overs. Ferguson conceded 25 runs in the last over which, in the end, proved decisively fatal for Hyderabad.
Malik, despite being on the losing side, was chosen as Man of the Match for the five-wicket haul. “I always bowl fast but I’ve been trying to bowl better lines and lengths. The plan was to rotate between my plans. Idea was to attack the stumps and it worked well for me. 155 (kph), hopefully it happens, but the main goal is to bowl well and pick wickets for my team,” he stated after the match.
The Gujarat captain Hardik said, “We keep a very chilled atmosphere and everyone is stepping up. It’s a long tournament and I don’t want to get too excited early. We’re quite practical, we’ve spoken about winning these situations and there is a lot of self-belief in the camp. It’s important to keep calm in the dugout. A lot of credit goes to the support staff for how they’ve been handling the players.”
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