Bowlers, Gill bring Gujarat Titans to winning ways

Indian Premier League 2023


The Gujarat Titans (GT) were back to winning ways in the TATA Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 with a 6-wicket victory over the Punjab Kings (PBKS) on Thursday at the Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali.

An impressive Mohit Sharma debut, an elegant Shubman Gill half-century and a Trademark Tewatia finish powered GT to a final-over win.

Chasing a target of 154 on an excellent batting track, Gujarat Titans were off to a rollicking start. The pure elegance of Shubman Gill and fearless intent of Wriddhiman Saha put GT ahead in the chase that started with a flurry of fours.

Just when the GT openers were nearing the fifty-run partnership, Kagiso Rabada came to PBKS’ rescue by claiming his 100th IPL wicket and dismissing the dangerous Saha.

Young Sai Sudharsan joined forces with Shubman Gill as the duo maintained the momentum of the chase with nonchalant strokes. GT reached 80/1 at the halfway mark.

PBKS bounced back with two quick wickets after Arshdeep Singh and Harpreet Brar dismissed Sai Sudharsan and GT skipper Hardik Pandya respectively.

Gill continued his splendid batting display and reached his half-century with a four as he was joined by David Miller at the crease.

With 7 needed off the final over, Sam Curran cleaned up set batter Shubman Gill to snatch back momentum. However, ice-cool Rahul Tewatia scooped Curran to hit the winning runs and seal the deal for GT.

Earlier, Gujarat Titans’ captain Hardik Pandya, who was back to lead the side, won the toss and opted to field first.

Mohd. Shami jumped into the action straightaway and found early success after Prabhsimran Singh was caught inside the circle on the second ball.

Matthew Short joined skipper Shikhar Dhawan in the middle as the duo counter-attacked with solid drives to negate GT’s early-wicket advantage.

However, the PBKS skipper was caught off left-arm Irish pacer Josh Little’s bowling.

Short continued maximizing the powerplay with his big hits and PBKS moved to 52/2 after 6 overs.

Rashid Khan bamboozled Matthew Short with a brilliant googly to put an end to the PBKS batter’s 36-run knock.

PBKS were 75/3 at the halfway mark as Jitesh Sharma kept the scoreboard ticking along with Bhanuka Rajapaksa. The duo’s 37-run partnership was put to an end courtesy of a last-second DRS call by Hardik Pandya. GT debutant Mohit Sharma dismissed Jitesh Sharma for 25 after the batter was caught behind.

With five overs to go, PBKS were placed at 99/4 as GT kept blocking the run-scoring opportunities. The pressure got the better of Bhanuka Rajapaksa, who holded out to the deep off Alzarri Joseph’s bowling.

Shahrukh Khan got going in style and clubbed a six off the very first ball he faced. However, Mohit Sharma scalped his second wicket of the innings to dismiss Sam Curran in the penultimate over.

11 runs were scored in the final over but PBKS were restricted to 153-8 in the first innings courtesy of two fine run-outs of Wriddhiman Saha.

Brief Scores:

Punjab Kings 153/8 (20) Matthew Short 36, Jitesh Sharma 25; Mohit Sharma 2-18

Gujarat Titans 154/4 (19.5) Shubman Gill 67, Wriddhiman Saha 30; Sam Curran 1-25

Result: Gujarat Titans won by 6 wickets.