Shubman Gill (63 not out) struck a fighting half-century but clinical bowling, especially by pacers Mohsin Khan, Avesh Khan, and Krunal Pandya, helped Lucknow Super Giants restrict Gujarat Titans to a below-par 144/4 in 20 overs in Match 57 of IPL 2022 at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium here on Tuesday.
In the crucial top-of-the-table clash, Gill waged a lone battle as other Gujarat batters found the going tough after skipper Hardik Pandya won the toss and chose to bat first. Pandya wanted to test his batters’ ability to set up a good total. While Gill passed that test with flying colours, others failed to rise to the occasion.
Gill, who completed his half-century in 42 deliveries, paced his innings well to remain unbeaten with 63 off 49 delivery, hitting seven fours. He had two vital partnerships — 52 with David Miller (26) for the fourth wicket and an unbeaten 41 runs for the fifth with Rahul Tewatia (22 not out) as Gujarat could not break the shackles against disciplined bowling by Lucknow Super Giants.
For Lucknow Super Giants Avesh Khan finished with 2/26 while Mohsin Khan 1/18 off four overs and Krunal Pandya 0/24 off his quota applied the breaks on the Gujarat innings.
How good was the bowling could be guaged by the fact that Gujarat could manage only one six and just 15 boundaries in 20 overs.
Gill kept the Gujarat Titans innings together as he held one end up after the Lucknow Super Giants struck early blows.
Gujarat scored 35/2 in the Powerplay, their lowest total in the first six overs in IPL 2022 so far. They found the going tough as the Lucknow bowlers, especially their medium pacers, bowled a super line and length — short of length and on the stumps.
With batting on the pitch a bit difficult as the ball was gripping and coming slow off the surface, Gujarat landed in trouble as they lost Wriddhiman Saha and Matthew Wade with 24 runs on the scorebaord. Young left-arm pacer Mohsin Khan bowled a brilliant spell of three overs as he troubled the batters with his line, length and the angles he created.
Saha was out trying to boost the scoring rate, after hitting a four off Dushmantha Chameera, he was out for five, caught by Avesh Khan off Mohsin Khan, top-edging a leg cutter to mid-on.
Matthew Wade struck two successive boundaries off Chameera but was out in the next over to Avesh Khan for 10 and when skipper Hardik Pandya (11) slashed at a short, wide loosener on the first delivery by Avesh Khan after the first strategic break, only to edge it back to Quinton de Kock, Gujarat were in trouble, down to 51/3 in the 10th over.
Gill struck Chamera for boundaries off succesive balls and in the 17th over.He also reverse swept Krunal Pandya for a four and tonked Avesh Khan to the fence in the 10th over.
David Miller and Gill helped Gujarat recover with a 52-run partnership for the fourth wicket. They played cautiously, did not take many risks and dealt mostly in ones and twos. Miller’s two boundries, a four and a six came off Jason Holder — the four off a short, wide one which was cut with soft hands to beat the sweeper and the six over extra-cover off a full and wide one that was driven flat over extra-cover.
But Holder had the last laugh as he got Miller with a short, wide, slower one that the batter slashed down the throat of deep third man. Rahul Tewatia landed a few lusty blows towards the end of the innings, hitting four boundaries in his 16-ball 22 not out as Gujarat reached a below-par score that they may find difficult to defend.