Shubhman Gill’s ton helps Gujarat Titans punch a ticket for the IPL 2023 Qualifier spot
One of the memorable moments of the game was spotted just before the coin flip when Hardik Pandya attached a badge to the chest of Aiden Markram as a token of awareness for cancer.
Unaware of the conditions, the Sunrisers Hyderabad skipper won the toss and elected to bowl first. To his delight, the experienced Bhuvneshwar Kumar drew the first blood right in the first over of the contest. Wriddhiman Saha edged one to Abhishek Sharma, stationed at second slip off an outswinger from Bhuvi.
Sai Sudharsan made an entry into the playing XI today, replacing the injured Vijay Shankar, and made an impact with the bat straightaway. He negated the lateral movement off Bhuvneshwar and Marco Jansen along with Shubman Gill. Gill latched on four consecutive fours against Fazalhaq Farooqi and extracted 18 runs off the fourth over, which eventually racked up the team fifty in just four overs.
This set the tone for a big partnership and the momentum was with the Titans. Sudharsan, who escaped two run-out chances previously, went on to succour Gill very well. Both batters orchestrated 147 runs for the second wicket before the southpaw was outsmarted by Jansen in the first ball of the 15th over. He failed to touch the half-century mark by three runs. Gujarat was 103-1 after the tenth over, which is the highest-ever total in IPL after 10 overs without hitting a six.
The GT middle and lower-order failed to get along on Monday and it was Gill who was caressing runs from one end for the Titans. Hardik Pandya, David Miller, and Rahul Tewatia failed with the willow but Gill went on to notch his maiden IPL ton. The flurry of wickets helped SRH apply some brakes and the home side could manage to score just 17 runs off the last three overs.
Farooqi, T Natarajan, and Bhuvneshwar were extraordinary with their execution in the slog overs. Bhuvneshwar was the pick of the bowlers with a fifer. Jansen, Farooqi, and Natarajan bagged a solitary piece each.
Arriving for the chase, Anmolpreet Singh and Abhishek Sharma opened the innings for the Kavya Maran-owned franchise. Right in the second ball off the first over from Mohammed Shami, Rahul Tewatia offered a chance to Anmolpreet by dropping a sitter at first slip.
Despite the survival, it didn’t take long for the Indian pacer to outwit the former Mumbai Indians batter. While Shami removed Anmolpreet, Yash Dayal supported him from the other end and fished the man in form, Abhishek Sharma.
The tourists lost both the openers within the first two overs and it wasn’t the end of the rampage. Rahul Tripathi and Markram added to the misery as Mohammed Shami run riot in the top order batting. They were curtailed down 29-4 after 4.2 overs and could register only 45 runs by the end of the powerplay.
Right after that, Sanvir Sharma who shimmied down the strip against Mohit Sharma, sliced one straight to third man. In the very same Abdul Samad was trapped off the Indian veteran and after a couple of overs, even Jansen found himself troding towards the dugout in despair.
Despite all odds, Heinrich Klaasen stuck around at one end and ensured that the scoreboard gets ticking. He played according to the situation and was well assisted by Bhuvneshwar who relied a lot on the rotation of strike. The pair chalked up 68 runs off 50 balls for the eighth wicket, with Klaasen touching the 50-run mark.
When 66 runs were required from the last four overs, Shami returned for one last over and ended up foxing the set South African batter. The pressure was building and the Protea holed out to David Miller at the deep, departing for 64 off 44 deliveries.
Mayank Markande stepped in with some lusty blows but it was too late for SRH then. Ultimately, the Titans defended the score with a margin of 34 runs and cemented their berth for the top-two spot. Mohammed Shami and Mohit Sharma were the pick of the bowlers with a four-for each. Yash Dayal bagged a solitary wicket.
The Gujarat-based franchise still has one more match to go against the Royal Challengers Bangalore on Sunday at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. Meanwhile, SRH follows the exit queue with the Delhi Capitals and will be playing their last two games of the tournament against RCB and Mumbai Indians.