Lucknow:22/4/23; The Gujarat Titans (GT) were back to winning ways in the TATA Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 after clinching a memorable 7-run victory over the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) on Saturday at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium, Lucknow.
Mohit Sharma successfully defended 12 runs in the final over in a comeback for the ages as Lucknow Super Giants fell 8 runs short of the target in the end.
Chasing 136, Lucknow Super Giants openers – KL Rahul and Kyle Mayers provided a positive start to the side. After playing out the first over of Mohd. Shami, KL Rahul attacked the pacer in the second over of his spell to smash a hat-trick of boundaries.
The duo then welcomed Rashid Khan to the crease by smashing 16 runs in the fifth over as LSG moved to 53/0 at the end of powerplay. However, Rashid Khan bounced back brilliantly and knocked the stumps of Kyle Mayers as the opener was dismissed for 24. Krunal Pandya joined KL Rahul in the middle. The fall of wicket didn’t obstruct the flow of runs for LSG, who were moving smoothly in the chase as they reached 80/1 at the half-way mark.
The hundred was up for LSG in the 14th over as KL Rahul crossed his half-century. However, Krunal Pandya was out stumped at the other end off Noor Ahmad’s bowling. The panic levels increased for the home side as they lost the wicket of Nicholas Pooran.
With 17 required off the final two overs, GT took advantage of the pressure mounted on the LSG batters. Mohit Sharma dismissed KL Rahul and Marcus Stoinis in a dramatic turnaround for GT, who clinched the game by 7 runs. Earlier, Gujarat Titans won the toss and opted to bat first.
Debutant Noor Ahmad replaced Alzarri Joseph in the Playing eleven. Lucknow Super Giants found early success in the form of Shubman Gill who was caught by Ravi Bishnoi in the second over off Krunal Pandya’s bowling. LSG continued to keep things tight with the ball as GT reached 40/1 at the end of 6 overs.
GT skipper Hardik Pandya joined forces with wicket-keeper batter Wriddhiman Saha, who was playing his 150th match in IPL. Hardik Pandya injected momentum into the innings with his attacking strokes while Wriddhiman Saha kept the scoreboard ticking. Krunal Pandya claimed his second wicket of the innings to put an end to Saha’s 47-run knock.
In the very next over, Amit Mishra entered the wicket-taking party as Abhinav Manohar was caught in the deep. Naveen-ul-Haq then cleaned up Vijay Shankar to claim his maiden wicket in the IPL.
LSG controlled the flow of runs with their efficient bowling as GT reached 102/4 at the end of 17 overs. Captain Hardik Pandya reached his half-century and provided a perfect finishing act by attacking Bishnoi in the 18th over.
The GT skipper was finally dismissed in the last over of the innings, bowled by Marcus Stoinis, who picked two wickets as GT eventually ended up setting a target of 136 for LSG.
Brief Scores: Gujarat Titans 135/6 (Hardik Pandya 66, Wriddhiman Saha 47; Krunal Pandya 2/16) beat Lucknow Super Giants 128/7 (KL Rahul 68, Kyle Mayers 24; Mohit Sharma 2/17).