The Royals are stuck in mid-table confusion after losing their fourth of five games

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Gujrat Titans defeated Rajasthan Royals by 9 wickets

Clinical. On Friday night in Jaipur, the Gujarat Titans and Rajasthan Royals were playing in that manner. They bowled out the Royals for just 118 runs, and with nine wickets still in hand, they quickly reached their goal.

With the victory, the Titans were able to increase their margin of victory and go to the playoffs. The Royals, on the other hand, have now dropped four of their previous five matches and keep holding on to a ten-point position in the middle.

The Royals, however, got off to a good start after winning the toss. In six overs, they had reached 50 for two, but Yashasvi Jaiswal’s run-out set off a collapse they were never able to recover from. As the innings only lasted 17.5 overs, Rashid Khan and Noor Ahmad each claimed three wickets.

In response, the target was reduced even further after Wriddhiman Saha and Shubman Gill scored 71 runs in 9.4 overs. In order to offer everyone a quick finish, Hardik Pandya then smashed an unbeaten 39 off 15 balls, hitting at 260.

The Titans had the best powerplay economy rate in the IPL 2023 going into this match. Meanwhile, the Royals had the highest rate of goals scored during that era. 

And Jaipur was able to see a little bit of both. Jaiswal and Jos Buttler only managed one run off the bat after Mohammed Shami caused the new ball to move in the first over. Despite utilizing their feet to stop the movement.

After being struck for two consecutive fours, Hardik caught Buttler at short third from the other end. But the Royals persisted in using their offensive strategy. In the third over, Jaiswal struck Shami for six and four, while in the fourth over, Samson struck Hardik for six and four.

Before Jaiswal and Samson got into a disagreement that led to the former being run out, the Royals appeared to be winning the powerball battle. Samson clipped Rashid at the point where he was moving backward, and Manohar dove to his left to partially stop. 

When Jaiswal realized Samson had hardly moved, he was already more than three-fourths of the way down. Unfortunately for him, Manohar’s deflection was intercepted by Mohit Sharma, who was standing at short third, and his throw to Rashid fell well short of Jaiswal.

To stop the collapse, R Ashwin arrived at position number five. Although Rashid pinged his off stump with a leg break, he only lasted six balls, forcing the Royals to insert Riyan Parag as their Impact Player. 

Since Kuldip Yadav, a left-arm seamer, was perhaps going to be added, the Royals would only have five specialized bowlers available for the second innings. It was unsuccessful. Rashid’s googly caught him lbw for 4 after a trap.

After his third over, Rashid was substituted out. The Royals, however, did not receive any relief. Devdutt Padikkal’s off stump was knocked down by Noor’s third ball, giving him a run-a-ball 12. Dhruv Jurel was left by him in his subsequent over. 

Rashid came back from the other side to send Shimron Hetmyer back, leaving Royals 96 for 8. Royals’ total of 118 after the final two wickets was never going to be sufficient.

Rarely will a side go all out without the wicketkeeper of the opposition being directly responsible for any of the dismissals. Saha nonetheless shown brilliance behind the stumps by making a superb one-handed stop when Noor blasted one down the leg side.

However, Saha wasn’t finished. Gill took his time during the chase and hit five fours off of the first 13 balls he faced. Trent Boult, a key piece of the Royals’ power play, was responsible for four of them.

Hardik had accepted “full ownership” for not finishing the chase after Titans’ loss to Delhi Capitals because he couldn’t get into a groove after scoring an undefeated half-century. That was now fixed by him.

Yuzvendra Chahal’s stumping of Gill for 36 off 35 balls ended the opening partnership, and Hardik immediately teed off. After only two balls, he slammed Adam Zampa for 6, 4, 6, and 6 in quick succession. After the powerplay, Saha slowed down, but Hardik’s onslaught allowed Titans to reach the finish line with 37 balls remaining.