Pune: Spinners Rashid Khan (4/24) and Sai Kishore (2/7) came to the party as Gujarat Titans (GT) defeated Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) by 62 runs in their IPL encounter at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium here Tuesday. In the process, the Hardik Pandya-led side became the first team to ensure their place in the play-offs by reaching 18 points in 12 games. LSG need not worry at this point as they are on 16 points and it should be enough for them to qualify for the knockouts.
What will worry the LSG support staff is the pathetic display put up by their batters. Gujarat had posted 144 for the loss of four wickets in their 20 overs. Chasing a victory target of 145, LSG were bowled out for 82 in just 13.5 overs to lose the match by 62 runs. Except for Deepak Hooda (27, 26b, 3×4), none of the other LSG batters showed the gumption to fight it out in the middle, even though batting conditions were not ideal. Khan and Kishore were well supported by pacers Yash Dayal (2/24) and Mohammed Shami (1/5 in 3 overs).
Earlier opening batter Shubman Gill (63 n o, 49b, 7×4) held the Gujarat innings together to take them to a fighting total. He however, lacked support from the other end and was left stranded as GT’s next highest scorer was David Miller (26). Avesh Khan (2/26) picked up two wickets for LSG, while Mohsin Khan (1/18) and Jason Holder (1/44) scalped one apiece.
GT’s decision to bat first after winning the toss back-fired as they lost Wriddhiman Saha (5) and Matthew Wade (10) cheaply with the scoreboard reading just 24 inside five overs. Pandya also fell cheaply and GT were in a spot of bother at 51 for 3 when Gill and Miller put on an invaluable 52 runs for the fourth wicket.
Gill took the onus on himself and upped the ante, first chopping Avesh to the square boundary and then reverse-swept Krunal Pandya to the third-man fence in the next over. Miller finally broke the shackles in the third delivery of the 16th over with a huge six off Jason Holder over extra cover, in what was the first maximum of the innings.
Miller, however, perished in the final ball of the over, caught by Ayush Badoni as he slashed one straight to deep third man.
Gill, on the other hand, went about his innings in a smooth fashion and brought up his 50 in 42 balls with a single off Dushmantha Chameera.
Once he reached his half century, Gill opened up and struck Chameera for back-to-back boundaries to pick up 14 runs from the 17th over.
Rahul Tewatia (22 n o, 16b, 4×4) used the long handle to good effect in the final over, smashing Holder for three boundaries to take the score close to the 150-run mark.
Gujarat Titans 144 for 4 (Shubman Gill 63 n o, Avesh Khan 2/26) beat LSG 82 all out in 13.5 overs (Deepak Hooda 27, Rashid Khan 4/24, Sai Kishore 2/7, Yash Dayal 2/24) by 62 runs.