Shubman Gill maiden IPL ton seals GT’s playoff spot

Indian Premier League 2023

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Shubman Gill, Mohd. Shami, Mohit Sharma sparkled in Ahmedabad to power Gujarat Titans into the Play-offs with a comprehensive win over Sunrisers Hyderabad in Match 62 of TATA IPL at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.

Gill sizzled with his maiden IPL ton (101 off 58), hitting 13 fours and a six and was ably supported by Sai Sudharsan 47(36) to help GT put on a competitive 188/9 after a lion-hearted Bhuvneshwar had picked up his second IPL fifer (5/31). Shami (4/21) then ripped through the SRH top order and Mohit (4/24) scythed through the middle-order as the away team overcame a fighting effort from Heinrich Klaasen (64 off 44) to restrict SRH to 154/9 and become the first team to qualify for the Play-offs.

Chasing 189, SRH were jolted early as they lost three wickets inside the Powerplay. The away side got lucky early as Impact Player Anmolpreet Singh was dropped at slip by Rahul Tewatia off just the second ball of the innings from Mohd. Shami. Anmolpreet’s luck didn’t last long though as he was caught at third man off Shami three balls later.

Impact Player Yash Dayal struck in his first over as he had Abhishek Sharma caught behind to open his wickets account this season. Shami then sent back Rahul Tripathi in the next over as he had him caught at slip by Tewatia who made up for the dropped catch.

Shami was unstoppable as he got his third, having Markram caught at point off a leading edge. Sanvir Singh hit a thumping six off Shami to get off the mark in the IPL and Klassen cracked a six over extra cover off Rashid to provide some relief as SRH hobbled to 45/4 at the end of the Powerplay.

The in-form Mohit Sharma arrived into the attack and struck straight away as he sent back Sanvir Singh, caught at third man. Abdul Samad got off the mark clobbering one through covers for a four but Mohit bounced back to remove him next ball off a slower one as Samad hit it straight to short mid-wicket as SRH were reduced to 49/6.

The collapse continued as Jansen miscued his loft to mid off where Hardik Pandya pouched it calmly to give Mohit Sharma his third wicket.

In between all the chaos, the in-form Heinrich Klaasen kept battling hard as he brought up his half-century off 35 balls. He was a bit lucky as he was dropped by Miller earlier but he rode his luck and brought up the fifty-run stand with Bhuvneshwar Kumar as the duo steadied the ship post the massive collapse.

Shami then provided another crucial moment as he came back to dismiss the dangerous Klaasen (64 off 44), caught at long off. Klaasen displayed his range in a valiant effort as Shami finished with excellent figures of 4-0-21-4. With 62 needed off 18 balls, it was always going to be a bridge too far with the last recognised batter in the hut. Markande hit a six and a four off Mohit but the wily pacer bounced back to remove Bhuvneshwar (27 off 26) two balls later to scalp his fourth wicket as GT restricted SRH to 154/9.

Earlier, Sunrisers Hyderabad captain Aiden Markram won the toss and elected to bowl. They made two changes to the starting XI as Sanvir Singh and Marco Jansen replaced Anmolpreet Singh and Glenn Phillips. Akeal Hosein, Mayank Dagar, Anmolpreet Singh, Glenn Phillips and Nitish Reddy made it to their substitutes list.

Gujarat Titans made three changes to their starting eleven as Sai Sudharsan, Shubman Gill and Dasun Shanaka (debutant) replaced Abhinav Manohar, Vijay Shankar and Alzarri Joseph. They named Yash Dayal, KS Bharat, Darshan Nalkande, Sai Kishore and Shivam Mavi as their substitutes.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar did Bhuvneshwar Kumar things as he struck in the first over, having Wriddhiman Saha caught at second slip off just the third ball of the innings as GT got off to a chaotic start. GT would have been two down in the next ball as Sai Sudharsan scampered through for a risky single and the fielder missed his direct hit at the non-striker’s end. Had he hit, Sudharsan was a goner. He again survived another run out chance in the next over as he guided one to cover-point and set off but Gill sent him back, the fielder made a diving save but missed the direct hit. Again, a bulls-eye throw would have had Sudharsan walking back.

Sudharsan and Gill then pressed the accelerator as they cracked three fours off Bhuvneshwar to make it 15 off the over. Gill then went after Fazalhaq Farooqi, cracking four fours in a row to make it 18 off the over. The duo hit some fantastic well-placed cuts, pulls and drives on the up to take GT to 65/1 at the end of the Powerplay.

Gill kept the momentum going as he brought up his fifth half-century of the season, off just 22 balls, with a powerful cut through point. SRH pulled back things a bit as Farooqi came back well after conceding 18 off his first over to give away just 6 while Markande conceded 8 runs in the next over as GT reached 103/1 at the halfway mark.

Sudharsan then upped the ante again as he lapped one over fine leg for a six off a no ball from Jansen and then heaved one to deep mid-wicket off a free-hit where Bhuvneshwar dropped the catch and let it roll over to the fence as the pair accumulated 15 off the over. Gill smacked a six and a four in the next over from Abhishek Sharma to take 13 runs off it. Sudharsan then got another reprieve as Natarajan couldn’t hold on to a touch caught and bowled chance.

Sudharsan’s luck finally ran out as he miscued his heave to short third man where Natarajan pouched a good tricky catch off Jasen to break the 147-run stand. GT lost two in quick succession as Bhuvneshwar came back and had Hardik Pandya caught at point. David Miller departed in the next over, caught at long on. Tewatia too didn’t last long as he miscued his loft to mid off where Jansen pouched a brilliant catch off Farooqi. Gill then brought up his maiden IPL ton, off just 56 balls as he got a standing ovation from the Ahmedabad crowd. The GT opener’s innings finally ended as Bhuvneshwar had him caught at extra cover for 101(58). Bhuvneshwar had his fourth off the next ball as he had Rashid Khan caught behind. He didn’t get the hat-trick but SRH managed to get a team hat-trick as Bhuvneshwar produced a direct hit to run out Noor Ahmad as they set off for a risky bye. Bhuvneshwar completed his five-for as he had Shami caught at long on off a slower one.

It was a fantastic comeback from SRH as they conceded just 34 runs and picked up seven wickets in the last five overs as the away team restricted GT to 188/9.

SRH introduced Anmolpreet Singh as their Impact Player, replacing T Natarajan, in the 20th over while GT introduced Yash Dayal as their Impact Player, replacing centurion Shubman Gill, at the start of the second innings.