TITAN CUP: GT prevails over RR to win its maiden IPL trophy

Earlier, Gujarat’s highly-rated bowling attack, led by Pandya himself, limited a formidable Rajasthan batting unit to 130 for nine. Rajasthan did not have the best of starts after skipper Sanju Samson decided to put runs on the board in a big final.
TITAN CUP: GT prevails over RR to win its maiden IPL trophy
Hardik Pandya and his teammates celebrate the fall of a wicket.

AHMEDABAD: Gujarat Titans lifted the Indian Premier League trophy in its inaugural season defeating Rajasthan Royals by seven wickets in the final here on Sunday. Set to chase 131, Gujarat reached there with 11 balls to spare. Gujarat opener Shubman Gill who remained unbeaten on 45 was dropped by Yuzvendra Chahal on zero off Trent Boult in the first over.

He made the most of the reprieve by playing a responsible innings under intense pressure to steer his team to a deserving win hitting a six off Obed McCoy. Gujarat also had its captain Hardik Pandya to thank for who rose to the occasion with a brilliant all-round performance. Hardik (3/17) struck thrice in his four overs to put his team on course for a title. And then with the bat, he struck a useful 34 (30b, 3x4, 1x6).

Earlier, Gujarat’s highly-rated bowling attack, led by Pandya himself, limited a formidable Rajasthan batting unit to 130 for nine. Rajasthan did not have the best of starts after skipper Sanju Samson decided to put runs on the board in a big final. With more than a lakh supporting the home team, Gujarat bowlers were able to maintain the pressure on the opposition though Jos Buttler (39 of 35) and Yashasvi Jaiswal (22 off 16) tried their best to break free.

Jaiswal, who looked tentative against the pace and swing of Mohammad Shami, took more chances compared to Buttler at the start of the innings.

Among the shots Jaiswal attempted, his most assuring stroke was a beautifully timed six over cover off Shami. After pulling Yash Dayal for a massive six over long leg, the southpaw tried one too many and was caught in the deep. The extra bounce induced the mishit.

Buttler, who began his innings with a crisp square cut, was joined by Samson (14 off 11) in the middle.

The in-form Buttler decided to force the issue as he drove Lockie Ferguson over the cover fielder before cutting him for successive boundaries.

The New Zealander was generating serious pace and went on to clock 157.3 kmph, the fastest ball of the tournament.

Samson did not last long as his opposite number Hardik removed him on his second ball of the game.

Rajasthan’s struggles worsened when Devdutt Padikkal (2), who took eight balls to get off the mark, and Buttler departed in a space of three balls. Rashid ended the painful stay of Padikkal before Hardik got the massive wicket of Buttler.

At the other end, new batter Shimron Hetmyer had to answer to the guile of Rashid, who was getting his googlies to rip. With Rajasthan going at run a ball after 14 overs, big hits were the need of the hour. However, Hardik made it 94 for five by having the dangerous Hetmyer caught and bowled. R Ashwin perished in the following over, ending all hopes of a Rajasthan fightback. Shami ended the innings in style by castling Riyan Parag’s stumps with a perfectly placed yorker.

BRIEF SCORES: Rajasthan Royals 130/9 in 20 overs (J Buttler 39, H Pandya 3/17) lost to Gujarat Titans 133/3 in 18.1 overs (S Gill 45*)

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