Rahul Tewatia struck two sixes on the last two balls of the match off Odean Smith as Gujarat Titans defeated Punjab Kings by six wickets in a thrilling encounter in the IPL 2022 at the Brabourne Stadium here on Friday.
From 21 of nine deliveries to 18 off the last five deliveries to be bowled by Smith, Tewatia and David Miller brought it to 13 off three balls when Miller scrambled for a single, leaving Tewatia the unenviable task of hitting two sixes off the last two deliveries of the match and win it for Gujarat Titans, who successfully chased a target of 190.
The 28-year-old seasoned campaigner who has played for Kings XI Punjab, the previous avatar of Punjab Kings, and Delhi Capitals in the IPL obliged brilliantly, carting Smith just over the deep midwicket, with the fielder nearly catching him before falling over the rope, and then slog sweeps the final delivery over the long-on boundary to seal a memorable victory for Gujarat Titans.
Chasing a target of 190, Gujarat looked cruising to victory with opener Shubman Gill and skipper Hardik Pandya leading the charge. But both got off at the most inappropriate time — Gill just four short of his century and Pandya run out off the first ball of the final over. It looked like the match had slipped out of their hands before Tewatia intervened so brilliantly.
Gujarat will have to thank opener Shubman Gill (96 – 59b, 11×4, 1×6) for putting them in a position where they could chase Punjab Kings’ 189/9 reached thanks to a 27-ball 64 by Liam Livingstone, who struck his second successive half-century.
Brief scores: Punjab Kings 189/9 in 20 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 35, Liam Livingstone 64, Rahul Chahar 22 not out; Rashid Khan 3/22, Darshan Nalkande 2/37) lost to Gujarat Titans 190/4 in 20 overs (Shubman Gill 96, Sai Sudarshan 35, Rahul Tewatia 13 not out; Kagiso Rabada 2/35).