Captain Hardik Pandya’s clinical all-round performance and pacer Lockie Ferguson’s superb bowling effort led Gujarat Titans to a convincing 37-run win over Rajasthan Royals in an IPL 2022 match at DY Patil Stadium, here on Thursday.
It was Rajasthan’s fourth win of the IPL 2022 season and they climbed to the top of the points table with 8 points.
A sensational unbeaten half-century by Hardik (87 not out off 52) powered Gujarat Titans to 192/4 in 20 overs. Apart from Hardik, Abhinav Manohar (43 off 28) and David Miller (31 not out off 14) also made valuable contributions with the bat for Gujarat.
Chasing a big total, Jos Buttler, who played an attacking knock (54 off 24), gave Rajasthan a flying start. He first smashed Mohammed Shami for three back-to-back boundaries in the very first over and then hit debutant Yash Dayal for two boundaries and a six in the second over.
However, his opening partner Devdutt Padikkal was dismissed for a first ball-duck in the last delivery of the same over. The promotion of R Ashwin didn’t prove effective as he was dismissed for a run-a-ball 8.
While the rest of the batters struggled, Buttler raced to his fifty by hitting a few more boundaries. The carnage eventually ended in the last ball of the powerplay when he was undone by a slower delivery from Lockie Ferguson, which crashed on to the stumps. Soon enough, Hardik Pandya ran Sanju Samson out for a run-a-ball 11 with an outstanding pick up and throw from mid off.
Once Buttler and Samson got out, it was a mountain to climb for Rajasthan. Lower down the order, Shimron Hetmyer (29), Riyan Parag (18) and James Neesham (17) tried hard but Rajasthan kept losing wickets at regular intervals and were eventually restricted to 155-9 in 20 overs, losing by 37 runs.
Lockie Ferguson (3/23) and Yash Dayal (3/40) picked up three wickets each for Gujarat while Mohammed Shami (1/39) and Hardik Pandya (1/18) also chipped in with one wicket each.
Earlier, invited to bat first, opener Matthew Wade took advantage of some friendly bowling from James Neesham and cracked three fours in the first over. However, in the second over, Wade (12) was run out on the back of a fine throw from Van der Dussen.
Gujarat then slipped to 15/2 as Vijay Shakar (2) also got out cheaply to Kuldeep Sen. It got worse for them when Riyan Parag got rid of inform Shubman Gill (13).
At 54/3 after 6.4 overs, it didn’t look good for Gujarat, but Abhinav and Hardik stitched a vital 86 runs for the fourth wicket and rescued their team.The duo took their time before taking Rajasthan bowlers to cleaners. Manohar launched into inform Yuzvendra Chahal, hammering him for a four and maximum, a lofted inside-out drive over cover as Gujarat crossed the 100-mark in the 13th over.
Thereafter, they took on Kuldeep, hammering him for three boundaries in the 14th over, where Hardik also notched up his fifty. In the next over, Pandya hit two successive sixes off seasoned spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who leaked 16 runs in that over.
With Titans reaching 130/3 in 15 overs, the stage was set for a big total but the partnership was broken as Manohar was caught by Ashwin on Yuzvendra Chahal’s delivery in the 16th over. However, the wicket didn’t affect the Gujarat innings much as new batter Miller and a well set Pandya stiched a quirefire stand of 53 runs off 25 balls and took their team to 192/4 in 20 overs.
Kuldeep Sen (1/51), Yuzvendra Chahal (1/32) and Riyan Parag (1/12) picked one wicket each for Rajasthan.
Brief scores: Gujarat Titans 192/4 in 20 overs (Hardik Pandya 87 not out, Abhinav Manohar 43; Riyan Parag 1/12) beat Rajasthan Royals 155-9 in 20 overs ( Jos Buttler 54, Shimron Hetmyer 29; Lockie Ferguson 3/23, Yash Dayal 3/40) by 37 runs