Gill’s ton & Mohit’s fifer puts an end to Mumbai Indians’ run in IPL 2023
Shubman Gill’s phenomenal century and Mohit Sharma’s fifer helped Gujarat Titans eclipse Mumbai Indians by a margin of 62 runs in Qualifier 2 of IPL 2023, to punch a spot for the main event against Chennai Super Kings in Ahmedabad.
After winning the toss, Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma chose to bat first. They only made one change, with left-arm spinner Kumar Kartikeya replacing off-spinner Hrithik Shokeen. Gujarat Titans, on the other hand, made two changes: Dasun Shanaka and Darshan Nalkande were dropped, while Josh Little and Sai Sudharsan were added.
Following a rain-delayed start, a full-over contest began at 8:00 PM IST. The usual opening pair for the home side was Wriddhiman Saha and Shubman Gill. For the Mumbai Indians, Jason Behrendorff starred with the new ball and extracted one of the very rare decent overs off the innings. After a couple of watchful overs, the duo started to play their shots.
Although Saha was struck at the helmet off a bumper from Akash Madhwal, the Bengal keeper went on to play some elegant strokes. The duo tailored 54 runs for the first wicket and played throughout the powerplay. It was Piyush Chawla with the breakthrough for the Mumbai Indians as he stumped Saha with a googly outside the leg stump.
Just when the Mumbai-based franchise would have thought of capitalizing on the moment, the pair of Sai Sudharsan and Shubman counter-punched them. Gill took on the bowlers from the opposite end and completely flipped the script in their favour. Two of Mumbai Indians’ in-form bowlers, Madhwal and Chawla, were ripped apart in the middle stages of the innings. The latter was smacked for 20 runs in an over by the Indian prodigy.
The 23-year-old went on to script history. He became the youngest player to notch up a century in the IPL playoffs. Furthermore, he also scored the join-fastest ton in IPL playoffs with Wriddhiman Saha (against KKR in 2014) and Rajat Patidar (against LSG in 2022). This was his third century in the ongoing edition of IPL and surpassed Faf du Plessis as the tournament’s leading run-scorer.
Gill scored 129 runs off 60 balls, including seven fours and ten sixes. Tim David, who dropped Gill earlier, redeemed himself with a catch at the deep mid-wicket region on the cusp of the 17th over, dismissing the youngster.
The GT management retired Sudharsan as he was eating up some balls in the slog overs of the first innings. Rashid Khan was promoted to bat at no.5. Although Gill had already done the damage, Hardik Pandya’s (28 runs off 13 balls) lusty blows at the cue end of the innings helped the Titans reach 233-3 after 20 overs.
Madhwal and Chawla were the only bowlers to take wickets for the Mumbai Indians. Meanwhile, Kumar Kartikeya and Cameron Green were the only two bowlers who were economically under 8.
Arriving for the hefty chase, Mumbai Indians were already on the back foot when Ishan Kishan was hit by Chris Jordan’s elbow. He was unable to bat after being hit on the left eye during the first innings and was later replaced with Vishnu Vinod as a part of concussion protocols.
Mumbai Indians introduced their impact player, Nehal Wadhera at the top of the order with the skipper Rohit Sharma. Mohammad Shami was the one to operate with the new ball for the Titans and was accompanied by Pandya from the other end.
This was the nth number of time, that the former struck with the new ball in this edition of the Indian Premier League. He was the man behind dismissing both MI openers in three overs and leaving MI curtailed at 21/2.
In the meantime, number three batter for MI, Cameron Green was injured after being hit on the left elbow. He left the field and Tilak Varma joined Suryakumar Yadav in the middle. The left and right-handed duo added a quick 51-run third-wicket partnership to give MI some sort of hope. Tilak was smashing the bowlers, particularly Shami, who was taken to the cleaners in his third over.
It was Rashid who broke this partnership in the final ball of the powerplay by rattling the stumps of the southpaw who looked brilliant for his 43 runs in just 14 balls. Green returned to bat and added 52 runs for the fourth wicket with the ever-flamboyant Suryakumar.
When the two were batting the game looked in good control of the visitors. They were also going almost with the required run rate. It was the returnee- Josh Little who came in and struck in his first over itself. The impact player definitely made an impact with the ball, castling the Aussie all-rounder in the 12th over.
Right after this, Surya failed to get assistance from the other end as the other batters fell like nine pins. Vishnu Vinod came in as a concussion substitute for Ishan Kishan ahead of Tim David and failed to do anything needful.
Mohit Sharma eventually got rid of Surya and all the hopes for a MI triumph were dissolved then and there. Mohit ended up with a fifer while Shami and Rashid ended up with two wickets each helping the Titans secure another final berth in only their second season in the IPL.