Hardik Pandya notched up his fourth fifty of IPL 2022, an unbeaten 62 off 47 balls laced with four boundaries and three sixes, to carry Gujarat Titans to 168/5 against Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Wankhede Stadium here on Thursday. Apart from Pandya, David Miller hit 34 off 35 balls while Rashid Khan starred with a cameo of 19 off just six balls.
For Bangalore, Josh Hazlewo”od was the standout bowler with 2/39 while Glenn Maxwell and Wanindu Hasaranga took a wicket each. But with no Harshal Patel in the death overs due to an injury to his right hand, Bangalore were weakened in the last five overs, conceding 50 runs, with 34 of those coming in the final two overs.
Electing to bat first, Wriddhiman Saha continued his purple patch in power-play by smacking three boundaries and a six in the first two overs, including taking 14 runs in the opening over off Siddarth Kaul. But Bangalore made inroads as Maxwell took a one-handed screamer, diving full-length to his right to send Shubman Gill back to the pavilion off Hazlewood.
Matthew Wade got going with two boundaries and a six against Hazlewood. But he was trapped lbw for 16 while shuffling for a sweep against Maxwell. The left-hander was quick to review but UltraEdge showed no spike when the ball passed the bat despite the side angle showing a clear deviation in the trajectory of the ball.
Bangalore pushed Gujarat into trouble when Saha, who slowed down considerably after power-play, was run out by a direct hit from Faf du Plessis at mid-off. But as it has been the case with Gujarat in the tournament, they have found ways out of tough situations. Leading the charge for them now was Pandya and Miller.
Pandya had luck on his side when a mishit straight down the ground was palmed over the long-on rope by Suyash Prabhudessai for six. In the next over, he came forward to defend against Hasaranga, only to edge just wide of the keeper for a boundary. With Patel going off the field after bleeding from his bowling hand in the 13th over, Gujarat found a chance to increase their scoring rate.
Miller, quite till then, dispatched Maxwell for back-to-back sixes in the 14th over. When Maxwell went full and outside off, Miller stretched out his hands to slam over the bowler’s head into the top-tier down the ground. Maxwell tried redemption with a rank long hop but Miller cleared his front leg and swatted it flat over the mid-wicket fence.
With Miller smacking an overpitched delivery from Shahbaz Ahmed over long-on for his third six of the night, Gujarat’s revival looked on course. But Hasaranga broke the 61-run, off 47 balls, stand by grabbing a sharp return catch on Miller’s drive down the ground.
After Rahul Tewatia fell cheaply to Hazlewood, Pandya and Rashid Khan cut loose with two boundaries and a six — the second of which took Pandya to his fifty in 42 balls – to take 17 runs off Kaul’s final over. Pandya and Khan hit a six each over cow corner in the last over off Hazlewood to carry Gujarat to a respectable total.
Brief scores: Gujarat Titans 168/5 in 20 overs (Hardik Pandya 62 not out, David Miller 34; Josh Hazlewood 2/39, Wanindu Hasaranga 1/25) against Royal Challengers Bangalore