Gujarat Titans have a very short history in the Indian Premier League (IPL), having made their debut last season and then going on to win the title as well. However, the Titans have made it a habit of taking the game into the final over especially while chasing a target. Hardik Pandya’s side defeated Punjab Kings with one ball to spare to move to third place on the IPL 2023 with a six-wicket win in Mohali on Thursday.
The Titans have now won 11 out of their 12 matches while chasing and nine of those wins have come in the final over. In fact, GT lost their last match against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the last over as well, although they were bowling in Ahmedabad.
GT all-rounder Hardik wasn’t pleased that his team’s batter took the game to the final over. The defending champions were on course for a comfortable chase, thanks to Gill’s serene 67 off 49 balls. With seven runs needed off the final over, after Arshdeep Singh conceded only six runs in the 19th, Gill survived a run-out chance, before Sam Curran uprooted his off-stump on the very next ball, bringing sudden tension into the match.
With four runs needed off the last two balls, GT all-rounder Rahul Tewatia calmly finished off the chase by moving across and scooping a full ball from Curran over short fine-leg for four to seal victory for Gujarat with a ball to spare. “To be very honest, I would not appreciate the game going this close from the situation we were in. There was definitely a lot for us to learn from this game. That’s the beauty of sports, it’s never over till it’s over. So we’ll go back to the drawing board. I think we can take a couple more risks in the middle overs,” Hardik Pandya said during the post-match presentation ceremony on Thursday night.
— hardik pandya (@hardikpandya7) April 13, 2023
“It will be a tough pill to swallow, taking it this close. Not a big fan of taking the game to the last over,” said Hardik Pandya.
Thursday’s victory was Gujarat’s third win of the ongoing season and takes them to third place on the points table, while Punjab were handed their second loss of the tournament. Mohit, a previous Purple Cap winner in the IPL, was a net bowler for Gujarat in clinching their maiden title last year.
“The wicket was good but because of the hardness of the soil and wicket, the ball was getting dried up. It was a belter when the new ball was playing. I was not surprised when Mohit and Alzarri came. They bowled terrific,” said Pandya.
The India T20 captain, who has led Gujarat Titans to the title in their maiden attempt in IPL 2022, praised young pacer Mohit Sharma for his performance in the match. Mohit Sharma had joined Gujarat Titans as a net bowler before getting an IPL contract.
“All credits to Mohit. To come to join us as a net bowler and then wait for his chance, knowing his time will come and today it came,” said the Gujarat Titans captain.
(With IANS inputs)