Maiden win for Gujarat Titans would have been like a dream come true for the team players. With skipper Hardik Pandya leading from the front and taking technical decisions at the right time, the team was able to win the Indian Premier League title after a seven-wicket victory over Rajasthan Royals in the final at the Narendra Modi stadium. A record 1 lakh spectators watched the match in the biggest cricket stadium of the world.
Led by skipper Hardik Pandya (3/17) himself, Gujarat’s highly-rated bowling attack, limited a formidable Rajasthan Royals batting unit to 130 for nine after losing the toss.
Shubman Gill and David Miller remained unbeaten on 45 and 32, respectively, to complete an emphatic win for their team.
It should have been a comfortable chase but Rajasthan tried to make it diificult for the Titans and made an interesting final. The pace duo of Trent Boult and Prasidh Krishna were brilliant in the powerplay, reducing Gujarat to 31 for two with Wriddhiman Saha (5) and Matthew Wade (8) back in the dugout.
Krishna got one to seam back in from good length to breach Saha’s defence and crash into the stumps.
Boult, who also bowled a maiden over in his tidy spell, removed Wade. Gujarat would have been three down in the powerplay if Yuzvendra Chahal held on to a simple catch of Gill off Boult in the first over of the innings.
Hardik and Gill struggled to get the boundaries but never felt extreme pressure as the asking rate remained very much in control.
R Ashwin was introduced in the 12th over and Hardik (34 off 30) decided to go after him, collecting a four and six off successive balls to bring up the 50-run stand with Gill and take Gujarat to 77 for two in 12 overs.
The skipper fell to a brilliant leg break from Chahal but Gill and Miller got the job done in the end. The entire stadium, housing more than a lakh people, erupted when Gill hit the winning six.
Earlier, Hardik (3/17) struck thrice in his four overs while Rashid Khan (1/18) delivered yet again on the big stage to put their team on course for a title in its debut season.