Gujarat Titans became the first team to seal a place in the playoff with a scintillating 62-run win over Lucknow Super Giants at Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune. Gujarat Titans’ bowlers produced a collective show to outclass KL Rahul and Co who had the task of chasing 145 runs. The spin duo of Rashid Khan and R Sai Kishore spun the web around Lucknow’s middle and lower order to secure two points for Gujarat as they reclaimed the top spot on the points table. Rashid brought his A-game to table in the battle of supremacy as he claimed four wickets for 24 runs as Gujarat were bundled out for just 82.
It was a forgettable night for LSG as apart from Deepak Hooda (27), Avesh Khan (12) and Quinton de Kock (11) none of their batters managed to hit the double-digit score.
Lucknow started the chase on a poor note as they lost De Kock early after a slow start as the southpaw tried to break the shackles against Yash Dayal but got caught by R Sai Kishore. Skipper KL Rahul also failed to score big and he became the victim of Mohammed Shami for the second time this season. He edged the ball to Wriddhiman Saha on 8 and after that Lucknow kept losing wickets at regular intervals.
Hooda tried to put up a fight but he didn’t get the needed support from the other end. In the end, Avesh smashed a couple of sixes against Rashid to entertain the crowd but the spin maestro got the last laugh which sealed the game for Gujarat.
Apart from Rashid, Sai Kishore and Yash Dayal shared two-wicket each to dismantle the Lucknow line-up.
Earlier, Gujarat Titans skipper Hardik Pandya won the toss and elected to bat first. However, the decision didn’t work well for them as starting as they lost Wriddhiman Saha (5) and Matthew Wade (10) cheaply with the scoreboard reading just 24 inside five overs.
However, Shubman Gill stood tall against Lucknow Super Giants bowlers and smashed a fined half-century. He didn’t find much support from the other end which didn’t allow him to switch gears.
With wickets tumbling from the other end, Gill went about his business cautiously and in the company of skipper Hardik Pandya shared 27 runs for the third wicket before the latter departed, edging one to Quinton de Kock behind the stumps to give Avesh his second wicket of the day.
David Miller also failed to score fluently at the tricky surface as he was dismissed on 26. Gill held his ground strong and hit his half-century in 42 balls and he remained not out on 63. Rahul Tewatia (22 not out off 16 balls) used the long handle to good effect in the final over, smashing Holder for three boundaries to take Gujarat to a fighting total. Avesh Khan was the pick of the bowlers for LSG as he claimed two wickets for 26 runs.