Gujarat Titans 154 for 4 (Gill 67, Saha 30, Brar 1-20) beat Punjab Kings 153 for 8 (Short 36, Jitesh 25, Mohit 2-18) by six wickets
Another day, another last-over thriller. This one, though, wasn’t as topsy-turvy as a few of the earlier games in IPL 2023. But, it still required the ice man Rahul Tewatia
‘s services. With four needed off the last two balls, Tewatia calmly scooped Sam Curran, who was bowling really well, over fine leg and ensured Gujarat Titans beat Punjab Kings by six wickets.
For the longest time, the chase seemed a straightforward one. Having restricted Kings to 153 for 8 with an all-round show from the bowlers on a decent Mohali surface, Titans were cruising, led by a classy 49-ball 67 from Shubman Gill
But with 13 needed off 12, Arshdeep Singh bowled a nerveless penultimate over going for just six. Curran then cleaned up Gill second ball of the final one before bowling an inch-perfect yorker which almost resulted in David Miller’s run-out. Through it all though, Tewatia just held his cool, like he normally does, and came out a winner.
Kings’ batting plans go awry
After Kings were sent in to bat, Prabhsimran Singh bagged his second successive duck, meekly clipping an innocuous Mohamad Shami back-of-a-length ball to short midwicket. Shikhar Dhawan, the star of Kings’ batting unit, then skied Josh Little to mid-on, falling for 8. Matthew Short
, however, looked impressive from the start. He got going with two crisp fours. Kings raced to 52 for 2 in the powerplay, but once Short fell to a Rashid Khan
googly, the innings unravelled.
Bhanuka Rajapaksa managed 20 off 26 balls, Jitesh Sharma 25 off 23, while Curran scored a run-a-ball 22. The dot balls hurt Kings the most. Even in the powerplay where they went big, there were 20 balls which the batters failed to score off, while in the middle overs – 7 to 16 – there were 28 dot balls. In contrast, Titans faced only 12 dot balls in the first six overs and 18 dots in the middle phase.
Shahrukh Khan, coming in at No. 7, smashed a 9-ball 22 to get Kings over the 150-mark, but it was never going to be enough.
Mohit turns back the clock
It hasn’t been the smoothest of sails for Mohit Sharma
. He started quite well in the IPL and was the purple cap winner in 2014, even making it to the national side. But his fortunes dipped soon after. Before this game, Mohit last played in the IPL in 2020 – a solitary game for Delhi Capitals. He was a net bowler for Titans last year, his work prompting the franchise to bid for him in 2023. And he repaid the faith with a sterling debut. Mohit bowled overs 11, 13, 15 and 19, conceded 18 runs and picked up two key wickets. The variations were back, and most importantly his control over them, something that had been missing over the last few years.
News Source: https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/indian-premier-league-2023-1345038/punjab-kings-vs-gujarat-titans-18th-match-1359492/match-report