IPL 2024: Rahul Tewatia Saves Gujarat the Blushes in 3-Wicket Win Over Punjab

IPL 2024: Gujarat Titans stuttered in what should have been an easy chase, but Rahul Tewatia took them home.

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A spirited bowling display could not prevent a fourth consecutive loss at the 2024 Indian Premier League (IPL) for Punjab Kings, as they suffered a three-wicket defeat against Gujarat Titans on Sunday (21 April). Defending a meagre total of only 142 runs, Punjab were in the game till about the 18th over, before Gujarat sealed a win with five deliveries to spare.

Considering the low score they were defending, Punjab needed to strike early and strike in clusters, but they could only pick one wicket in the powerplay – Arshdeep Singh dismissing Wriddhiman Saha in the fourth over.

What worked in their favour, however, was the sedate batting approach from Gujarat, who have struck the lowest number of sixes in this year’s IPL. Skipper Shubman Gill and impact substitute Sai Sudharsan were involved in a 41-run second-wicket stand, but those runs were not accumulated at a pace that the Gujarat management would have ideally preferred.

Panic alarms started ringing at their camp when the 2022 champions lost Gill and David Miller in three overs, and soon Sai Sudharsan and Azmatullah Omarzai perished as well. At that stage, Gujarat’s score read 103/4 after 15.2 overs – still needing 40 runs off the last 28 deliveries, with two new batters at the crease.

However, Rahul Tewatia took the game completely away from Punjab’s reach in the 18th over, where he struck three boundaries off Kagiso Rabada. The death overs expert remained unbeaten on an 18-ball 36, and though Harshal Patel did take a couple of wickets in the penultimate over, a Titans’ triumph was a foregone conclusion by that point.


Sai Kishore Justifies His Selection

Earlier, Shashank Singh and Ashutosh Sharma, the talismanic batters that have saved Punjab Kings many times this season, failed to fire for once as spinner Sai Kishore's four-fer helped Gujarat Titans bowl out the hosts for a paltry 142.

Punjab Kings (PBKS) made a fine start, racing to fifty within the Power-play but skipper Sam Curran's decision to bat first, on a pitch that has been used more than once this season and has turned slower, backfired as his batters failed to counter Gujarat Titans' spin attack and ended up with a below-par score.

Sai Kishore claimed 4-33 while Afghan left-arm wrist spinner Noor Ahmed claimed 2-20 while his senior colleague Rashid Khan bagged 1-15 as Punjab Kings landed in a spin web and never recovered.

Shashank Singh and Ashutosh Sharma, who have waged many battles for Punjab Kings so far in IPL 2024, were out for eight and three runs respectively as Punjab suffered a dramatic collapse.

Punjab Kings' good start in the Power-play turned into a nightmarish middle-order collapse as they slumped from 52 to no loss to 99/7 in around 10 overs as the Gujarat Titans spun a web around their batters.

Spinners Sai Kishore, Noor Ahmed and Rashid Khan starred for Gujarat Titans, sharing six wickets between them, as they returned strongly after their pacers faced rough treatment from opener Prabhsimran Singh.

After Azmatullah Omarzai, who came in for Spencer Johnson, bowled a t2o-run opening over, Prabhsimran hammered 21 runs off Sandeep Warrier's first over, hitting him for three fours and a six off a waist-high no-ball.

With stand-in skipper Sam Curran also hitting a couple of boundaries, PBKS raced to fifty in the sixth over. However, Prabhsimran's promising knock was cut short as he jumped out to fullish ball outside off and edged back to the keeper. PBKS ended the Power-play at 56/1.

Rilee Rossouw (9), Sam Curran, Jitesh Sharma (13), Liam Livingstone (6), Shashank Singh (8) and Ashutosh Sharma (3) fell in quick succession as PBKS slumped to 99/7 in the 16th overs as the Gujarat Titans spun a web around the batters, leaving them tottering.

Sai Kishore was struck for a six by Jitesh Sharma off his first ball, jumping out to club him over long-off. The 27-year-old left-arm spinner cut down on pace and dragged his length back and got success a couple of balls later when he deceived Jitesh Sharma with a delivery that turned across and went under the bat to disturb the furniture.

Though a vociferous appeal for LBW against Ashutosh Sharma was rejected by the on-field umpire as well as on review as the ball was sliding down the leg side, Sai Kishore got his man in the same 14th over when Ashutosh Sharma holed out to deep extra cover for three runs.

In his next over, Sai Kishore had his third wicket when he accounted for the dangerous Shashank Singh, catching him off his own bowling, sending down a flat length ball and beating an on-rushing batter with a slower pace. Shashank, the best batter for PBKS so far, was out for eight off 12 balls and PBKS was tottering at 99/7 in the 16th over.

Harpreet Brar hit him for a couple of fours and a six into the sightscreen, Sai Kishore had the last laugh as Brar was caught by Shahrukh Khan inches inside the boundary rope off an overpitched delivery.

Noor Ahmed, who claimed the wickets of Rossouw and Livingstone, finished 2-20 while Mohit Sharma bagged 2-32 as Gujarat Titans skipper Shubman Gill used seven bowlers including all his spin resources. Harpreet Brar hammered 12-ball 29 as Punjab Kings managed to reach a below-par score.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Topics:  IPL   Indian Premier League   Punjab Kings 

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