Virat Kohli returned to form with a brilliant half-century for RCB, but it was not enough as the duo of Rahul Tewatia and David Miller topped that and helped Gujarat Titans register a 6-wicket win, further consolidating their position at the top of the IPL Points table. Gujarat have 16 points while RCB are fifth with 10 points.
It was a clinical display from the Gujarat bowlers too, who were able to restrict RCB’s big hitters in the slog overs after Kohli and Rajat Patidar’s 99-run stand had laid the foundation for a big finish. The Titans won with 3 balls to spare.
Batting first, RCB had a bad start as they lost their skipper Faf du Plessis for a duck when Pradeep Sangwan had him caught behind. However, what was good news for RCB fans, was that Virat Kohli was hitting the ball well, and started off his innings with a couple of crisply struck boundaries.
Kohli had Rajat Patidar for company at the other end, and both were looking to fire away against Gujarat’s bowling on a hot afternoon in Mumbai. The aggressive approach helped rebuild after Faf’s wicket and had RCB at 43/1 at the end of the powerplay.
The next couple of overs were quiet courtesy some tight bowling by Lockie Ferguson and Rashid Khan, but soon after, Patidar attacked the spinner and Kohli took on the pacer, adding 24 from two overs, which saw RCB move to 75/1 at the midway stage. Kohli was nearing a half-century, his first this season, and at the other end, Patidar wasn’t holding back, as Alzarri Joseph saw his deliveries disappear over the fence and into the crowd.
Kohli brought up his half-century in the 13th over of Mohammed Shami with a single, while a boundary from Patidar in the next over off Ferguson gave him his first fifty too. Patidar punched it off the back foot to get to the milestone. An aggressive Patidar had helped Kohli as well, and the duo put on 99 runs before Sangwan sent the number 3 batter back to the hut for 52 off 32.
In walked Glenn Maxwell and was of course looking to attack from the get go, however, Kohli could not really kick on at the other end after completing his fifty. However, he had set it up for a big finish and was bowled by Indian team colleague Shami for 58 off 53 deliveries. After Kohli’s departure, RCB’s big hitters Maxwell and Dinesh Karthik were in the middle with a little over 3 overs to go.
DK though could not impact the situation much and was dismissed for 2 by Rashid Khan. Maxwell though was starting to move along, as Rashid finished his spell with figures of 1/29. The Australian welcomed Ferguson to the attack with a boundary, but the Kiwi had Maxwell’s number as Rashid helped out with a great catch. Maxwell was gone for a quickfire 33.
Shahbaz Ahmed and Mahipal Lomror had a little over an over to bat out and finish well, they added 20. Shahbaz remained unbeaten on 2 while Lomror scored 16 before Joseph had him caught off the last ball, after a dismissal earlier in the over was ruled out as the ball hit a rope while in the air. RCB posted 170/6.
In response, Gujarat Titans got off to a solid start with Wriddhiman Saha and Shubman Gill holding forte in the powerplay. While Gill was a little watchful to start with, the veteran Saha though was going at good clip.
Saha, drove and cut with force, found the fence 4 times in the powerplay while Gill pierced the field twice, as they ended the first six overs with the score at 46/0. The openers were slowed down a bit after that by Harshal Patel, before Wanindu Hasaranga got the breakthrough. Saha looked to scoop him over long off but was caught by Patidar for 29 off 22 deliveries in the 8th over, which brought the Titans 5 runs in all.
An over or so after, Gill too was walking back to the hut having scored 31, trapped LBW by Shahbaz. With Hardik and Sai Sudharsan in the middle, the Titans made their way to 77/2 at the halfway stage.
Right after, the skipper departed though, dismissed by Shahbaz for 3, and less than 20 runs later, Sudharsan became Hasaranga’s second wicket. The wickets had slowed down GT, who needed 71 from the final six overs.
Miller attacked Hasaranga in the 15th, making it a big over, after starting with a boundary and six. The Sri Lankan finished the over well though, and conceded just 13 runs in all. Off the next over, the Titans made it even better, with Rahul Tewatia hitting Mohammed Siraj for a couple of boundaries and then adding another off his pads, to make it a 15-run over, putting the pressure right back on RCB, who were also guilty of a bit of poor fielding.
Harshal rolled in a quick 7-run over after that as Miller and Tewatia failed to pick his variations, keeping the contest on a knife edge with 36 needed off the final 3 overs. Nonetheless, Gujarat were very much in the chase and up next was Josh Hazlewood, who was taken to the cleaners by both Tewatia and Miller, in a 17-run over that included a six and a couple of fours.
Tewatia and Miller, who eventually put on an unbeaten 79-run stand, were intent on taking their team home, and Harshal’s final over produced 12 more. Tewatia and Miller then finished things off in Hazlewood’s over.
Tewatia was unbeaten on 43 while Miller was not out on 39, as Gujarat registered a comprehensive 6-wicket win.