Match 18, Indian Premier League, 2023 Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali
Toss won by Gujarat Titans (Match Ended)
- Batsman R B 4s 6s SR
- David Miller 17 18 1 0 94.44
- Rahul Tewatia 5 2 1 0 250
Mohit Sharma is the Player of the Match for taking two wickets for 18 runs in his four overs in his first game for Gujarat. He says that he did not think too much and since he has played in Mohali before, he knew that the pitch could play slow. Mentions that he wanted to use the conditions and try bowling variations which he would discuss with Hardik Pandya before executing the plans. Claims that there is no keyword he uses but tries to give his 100 per cent in training and studying the various matchups which allows them to bowl according to the plans for different batters. Explain that there were preparations done beforehand and he was already informed when he would bowl along with circumstances under which he could get the new ball. Ends by saying that the credit goes to the coaches and the roles have been assigned in advance.
Hardik Pandya, the skipper of Gujarat says that he wouldn't like to take the game this close and it is the beauty of this game that it is never over until it is over and they will go back to the drawing board. Adds that the kind of batting they have, they can take a few more risks in the middle overs. Mentions that the wicket was good but due to the hardness of the deck, the ball got a bit dried up and didn't come on as well as one would think. Goes on to applaud Mohit Sharma who made a stellar comeback and the way he bowled was brilliant. Reckons that they have had two close shaves and if this one had also gone against them then it would have stung and they will try to make amends and finish games off earlier.
The Presentation ceremony...
Shubman Gill, one of the stars with the bat for Gujarat is down for a chat. He shares that it is harder to hit sixes with the old ball. Explains that it was important for them to play the balls in the gap and run hard while putting loose deliveries to the boundary. He feels that he should have finished the match but Punjab and Rahul Tewatia is a good love story and it was apt that his boundary got them the win. Claims that in these kinds of games, there is pressure on both teams and they wanted to minimize the dot balls. Mentions that after the first inning got over they knew it was easier to score with the hard ball so they decided to go early. Informs that they lost momentum when Hardik Pandya got out and at that time they needed to rotate the strike. On Mohit Sharma, he says that when he was bowling in the nets he was looking really good, and with his slower deliveries and yorkers, he was a handful on this pitch.
Shikhar Dhawan, the captain of Punjab says that there were not enough runs on the board and the opposition got off to a good start so they need to rectify this going forward. Explains that whenever any team plays 56 dot balls, they will lose the game so they need to come up with plans and execute them. Claims that he is proud of the bowlers for taking the game right to the wire and the onus falls on the batters to give them something to bowl at. Mentions that Liam Livingstone came for training and pulled his muscle but feels he will be back in 3-4 days.
Earlier in the game, Hardik Pandya won the toss and had no hesitation in putting the opposition into batting first. This decision proved to be the correct one as the Gujarat bowlers were able to pick up early wickets in the Powerplay and that set the tone for the rest of the innings. As for Punjab, the openers failed but the middle order fought back decently. Matthew Short was going great guns but the rest of the pack was just a bit too slow till Shahrukh Khan struck a few lusty and important blows toward the fag end of the inning. Mohit Sharma who was playing in the league after not being a part of the tournament last season bowled a brilliant spell in which he picked up a couple of wickets and gave away very few runs as well. This meant that Gujarat restricted Punjab to a total of just 153 runs which on this ground is well below par. Coming to the chase, the Gujarat openers provided them with the perfect start but somehow Punjab managed to take the game into the final over only to end up on the losing side on the penultimate delivery.
Punjab will be gutted with the loss in the end but will be a tad disappointed with the overall performance as they didn't perform well with the bat yet again and the bowling in the Powerplay let them down as well. Kagiso Rabada and Arshdeep Singh were struck for early boundaries which put Punjab on the back foot but Arshdeep did get rid of a high-flying Wriddhiman Saha. After this, Harpreet Brar bowled a fine spell and slowly Punjab started to crawl back into the game. However, the opposition was always a few hits away from the win and they failed to pick up wickets at the death as well. But, all of a sudden, Arshdeep Singh bowled a fantastic 19th over which meant Sam Curran had an opportunity to defend 6 runs and he bowled a fabulous final over until the penultimate delivery and Punjab ended up on the losing side.
The target at hand wasn't a big one and Gujarat got off to a perfect start as well. Wriddhiman Saha took on the bowlers and Shubman Gill played a few delightful shots as they put on 48 quick runs before Saha was dismissed. Gill put on another steady stand with Sai Sudharsan but the scoring rate declined a bit. The skipper, Hardik Pandya couldn't get going but after he got out, Gill took matters into his own hands and found the fence at crucial times before notching up another half-century. David Miller supported him well and it looked like they were in control of things but it got really nervy in the final over with Gill back in the shed and Miller unable to find the fence. Rahul Tewatia though came out with nerves of steel and took his side to a memorable win.
What a cracker-jack of a game we have witnessed just now! Pure ecstasy on one side and heartbreak on the other. Take a bow Sam Curran but it is the 'Ice-man', Rahul Tewatia who has done it again for Gujarat and in some fine fashion as well. Punjab were down and out but all of a sudden they could feel the tide turning and the crowd got into it as well but Tewatia shattered those hopes in a single delivery.
FOUR! It is that man once again! Rahul Tewatia is as cool as a cucumber and finishes the game with very little fuss! Sam Curran goes full and outside the off stump. Rahul Tewatia steps across towards the off side and gets down on one knee. He paddles this over the short fine leg fielder and finds the boundary for four runs. We have yet another last-over finish and there is no end to this excitement! Gujarat win by 6 wickets!
Nails the yorker once again and in line with the stumps. David Miller looks to go hard into the leg side but gets an inside edge onto his pads. The ball rolls back towards the keeper and Rahul Tewatia is already almost at the striker's end. David Miller takes off and manages to reach the other end as Sam Curran opts to not throw the ball.
That is it from this game and it seems that the teams are so evenly matched that we are now seeing a trend of last-ball or last-over finishes regularly in the Indian T20 League, 2023 and it is riveting to watch. The action will continue on Friday, the 14th of April with high-on-confidence Kolkata taking on a resurgent Hyderabad team at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. That game will begin at 7.30 pm IST (2 pm GMT) but as usual, our build-up will begin much sooner. Till then, take care and goodbye!