The Gujarat Titans are back to winning. In yet another dramatic game of the 2023 Indian Premier League on Thursday in Mohali, the defending champions upset Shikhar Dhawan’s Punjab Kings. Punjab Kings were given the opportunity to bat first after Titans captain Hardik Pandya won the toss. Even though the pitch was favourable for batting, GT’s bowlers did a fantastic job and held PBKS to just 153 runs.
The PBKS batters were unable to read the ball and produce a strong inning. Aside from Matthew Short and a brief appearance by Shahrukh Khan, the hitters for Punjab Kings didn’t contribute much. Shikhar Dhawan, the captain, only scored 8 runs after making an undefeated 99 in the last game in Hyderabad. PBKS was able to post a respectable score thanks to some solid shots over the last overs.
When asked to bat after the toss, PBKS lost Prabhsimran Singh on the second ball of the over as his attempted flick off a length ball from Mohammed Shami went straight to Rashid Khan at short midwicket.
Short entered the game at position three and immediately made an impact by hitting the ball through point for a boundary. Short hit the skilled India seamer through the square leg region of the next short ball for another four.
Joshua Little, who shared the new ball with Shami, was greeted by the effective Shikhar Dhawan with two boundaries. In contrast to the first ball, which was lofted over cover, Dhawan produced a lovely shot with the next one, gliding the ball past mid-off in a superb cover drive.
Short, a player from Australia who has excelled for Adelaide Strikers in the Big Bash League at home, took on Shami and smashed him for back-to-back fours, including a powerful boundary through mid-off.
The dangerous Dhawan (8), who came down the track to play the lofted shot but ended up gifting a catch to Alzarri Joseph, was dismissed by Little just as PBKS appeared to be putting GT under pressure.
When the dependable Rashid (1/26 in 4 overs) foxed a well-established Short with a googly with PBKS’s score at 55 for three in the seventh over, GT secured another crucial advantage.
Short had settled in well after hitting Joseph for a string of fours and a big six, but he appeared lost when Rashid chose to bowl the wrong ball.
Short’s removal caused PBKS to struggle a little, and things became rougher when Mohit sent back Jitesh Sharma (25 off 23 balls), due to some astute work by Wriddhiman behind the wickets.
After star leg-spinner Rashid misread his length, Sam Curran (22) hit a much-needed six, a huge maximum over deep midwicket.
Bhanuka Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka struggled in his 26-ball 20 before Joseph cut short his presence in the middle.
The first ball Shahrukh Khan faced was hit for a six over deep midwicket, and he then hit another maximum from Shami.
The Titans made a great start in their 154-chase. Shubhman Gill blasted his second half-century of the IPL season with a score of 67 from 49. For Punjab Kings, the pivotal wicket was Wriddhiman Saha. It appeared that Gill and David Miller would end the contest swiftly at one point. But the Mohali match ended up being a last-over drama, just like every other game we had witnessed since Sunday.
Sam Curran was handed the position, and when he acquired Gill, he successfully brought back Kings into the game. The Titans needed two balls to score four runs. Rahul Tewatia was on strike. Tewatia repeated the feat as he brilliantly concluded the game with a boundary while maintaining the composure of a monk.
The game was won by Gujarat Titans by six wickets. The team has played four games so far, and the Titans have won three of them.
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