Gujarat Titans enter IPL 2022 final after being Rajasthan Royals by 7 wickets in Qualifier 1 on Tuesday at Eden Gardens.
Rajasthan Royals: 188/6 in 20 Overs (Jos Buttler 89, Sanju Samson 47; Hardik Pandya 1/14)
Gujarat Titans: 191/3 in 19.3 Overs (David Miller 68 not out, Hardik Pandya 40 not out; Trent Boult 1/38)
Gujarat Titans have become the first team to enter the IPL 2022 after defeating Rajasthan Royals by 7 wickets in the first Qualifier of the season, at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
David Miller proved the match-winner for Gujarat as he smashed the winning runs during his 68-run stand at the crease. 16 runs were needed off the last over and he smashed Prasidh Krishna for three back-to-back sixes and got the team past the finish line.
Rajasthan had been put into bat first and scored 188/6 with a fighting fifty by Jos Buttler (89 off 56) and Sanju Samson's attacking knock (47 off 26) anchoring the innings. Apart from Buttler and Samson, Devdutt Padikkal (28 off 20) also made a valuable contribution with the bat. On the other hand, Hardik Pandya (1/14), Ravisrinivasan Sai Kishore (1/43), Mohammed Shami (1/43) and Yash Dayal (1/46) were the wicket-takers for Gujarat Titans.
In reply, Shubman Gill (35 off 21) Matthew Wade (35 off 30) played solid knocks and kept Gujarat alive in the run chase. However, once they got out, Gujarat were in some sort of trouble. But David Miller (68 not out off 38) and skipper Hardik Pandya (40 not out off 27) batted sensibly and stitched an unbeaten partnership of 106 runs and led Gujarat to an impressive 7-wicket win with three balls to spare.
While Gujarat have progressed straight into the final, Rajasthan get another shot at qualifying for the title game when they play the winner of Wednesday's Lucknow vs Bangalore match, in Friday's Qualifier 2.
Rajasthan Were Put Into Bat First
Earlier, Rajasthan Royals posted a commanding 188/6 after being put into bat first by Hardik Pandya.
Opener Jos Buttler carried his bat through the innings but he wasn’t at his big-hitting best throughout and accelerated only after the 16th over, during which he smashed Yash Dayal for 18 runs. Before that, he was batting on 39 off 38 balls as Rajasthan finished 16 overs at 127/3.
61 runs were scored off the last four.
Jos Buttler and young Yashasvi Jaiswal walked out to open once against for RR and the innings started with Mohammad Shami being hit for two sixes in the first over by Buttler.
At the other end, Jaiswal faced only eighth deliveries as he nicked a wide Yash Dayal delivery through to the keeper and then walked despite the umpire not hearing anything. Out on 3.
Skipper Sanju Samson came into bat next and got off the mark in style, hitting six off the very first ball he faced. The stylish batter was in fine touch and kept hitting boundaries at regular intervals. RR finished the powerplay at 55/1, however, Gujarat spinners’ Rashid Khan and Sai Kishore pulled things back for their team as they bowled the next three overs with discipline. Sanju and Buttler’s second wicket partnership added 68 runs off 47 deliveries, of which 47 were made by by the RR skipper.
Just when the partnership looked to be looking to switch gears, Sai Kishore struck in the 10th over, sending Samson back on 47.
Devdutt Padikkal scored a 20-ball 28 before being castled by Hardik Pandya and Rajasthan were in trouble at 116/3 in 14.1 overs. At this point, Jos Buttler had scored just 30 off 31 deliveries but two overs later, he switched gears after hitting Yash Dayal for 18 in the 17th over.
The 18th over of Alzarri Joseph’s went for 14 runs, and while Shimron Hetmyer fell on 4 in the 19th, Jos added another 13 runs in the over.
The 20th saw some drama with two runs outs on the final delivery of the innings - Jos was first run out while taking a second run, off what was eventually declared a no ball. Ashwin walked into face the final delivery but it was bowled wide by Yash Dayal, but Riyan Parag managed to get run out off it and in walked Trent Boult for the last delivery, for the third time.
Two runs were eventually made off the last delivery as RR posted a strong 188/6.
Hardik Pandya (1/14), Ravisrinivasan Sai Kishore (1/43), Mohammed Shami (1/43) and Yash Dayal (1/46) were the wicket-takers for Gujarat Titans.
Gujarat's Successful Chase
Chasing a challenging total, Gujarat were off to a bad start as Trent Boult produced an absolute peach of a delivery to dismiss Wriddhiman Saha (0) in the second ball of the very first over of the chase. However, the wicket didn't affect the chase much as Shubman Gill and Matthew Wade smashed the ball all around the park to take Gujarat to 64/1 in the powerplay.
During the process, they smashed R Ashwin for 17 runs in his first over.
Gill in particular was very aggressive and he continued that approach even after the first six overs and was racing towards his fifty but a horrible mix-up with Wade cost him his wicket.
Thereafter, Yuzvendra Chahal, the standout bowler for Rajasthan, dried up the boundaries for Wade who eventually perished hitting a short one from Obed McCoy straight to deep midwicket.
At 85/3 just before the halfway mark, Gujarat had plenty of work left to do still. Despite Wade's wicket, McCoy ended up conceding 18 in the 10th over of the innings with Hardik Pandya picking three boundaries off the erratic bowling.
While the West Indian came back with a boundary-free second over, the pressure was once again released when Ashwin conceded a boundary apiece to Hardik and Miller in his final over as the veteran spinner completed his bowling spell for 40 runs.
Miller also hit Chahal for a six in the next over as Gujarat kept the asking rate in control, leading into the end overs. With another monstrous six against Chahal and powerfully drilled boundary against McCoy, Miller got to a half-century off 35 balls and brought down the equation to 16 off the final over.
Prasidh Krishna came to bowl the last over for Rajasthan Royals and Miller hit three consecutive sixes smashed over the legside and along with Hardik, he led Gujarat to an impressive 7-wicket win with three balls to spare. Trent Boult (1/38) and Obed McCoy (1/40) were the only wicket-takers for Gujarat.