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Gujarat Titans Enter Qualifier 1 of 2023 IPL

Gujarat Titans Enter Qualifier 1 of 2023 IPL

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In a high-stakes clash at Eden Gardens, the debutant Gujarat Titans emerged victorious in Qualifier 1 of the Indian Premier League (IPL), defeating the Rajasthan Royals by seven wickets. The Titans’ clinical finishing job, led by David Miller and captain Hardik Pandya, secured their spot in the final.

Chasing a challenging target of 189 runs, the Titans displayed remarkable resilience and composure, achieving the required runs with just three balls to spare. Miller and Hardik’s unbeaten 106-run partnership proved to be the turning point in the match.

The Rajasthan Royals will have another opportunity to reach the final as they face the winner of the Eliminator in Qualifier 2, scheduled to take place in Ahmedabad on Friday.

How the Match Started

From the outset, the Titans demonstrated their determination, amassing 64 runs in the PowerPlay. Despite losing Wriddhiman Saha early in the first over, Matthew Wade and Shubman Gill steadied the innings with a 72-run partnership off 44 deliveries.

The left-right combination of Wade and Gill exerted pressure on the Royals’ bowlers, and Gill’s impressive knock of 35 off 21 balls, including three consecutive boundaries off Ravichandran Ashwin, added to the Titans’ momentum. However, Gill’s innings were cut short by an unexpected run-out in the eighth over.

Two overs later, Wade departed after contributing a vital 35 runs off 30 balls, hitting six boundaries. Hardik Pandya, with his unbeaten 40 off 27 balls, showcased his calm and composed approach, finding boundaries both in front and behind the wicket.

He was well supported by the hard-hitting David Miller, who smashed 68 runs off just 38 balls, including three fours and five towering sixes, notably hitting three consecutive sixes off Prasidh Krishna in the final over.


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Star Performances from the Royals

Earlier in the match, Jos Buttler displayed his prowess with a scintillating knock of 89 runs off 56 balls, guiding the Rajasthan Royals to a formidable total. Buttler’s innings, adorned with 12 fours and two sixes, provided the spectators with an entertaining spectacle after a three-year hiatus.

The Royals got off to an excellent start as captain Sanju Samson, joining the action after the early dismissal of opener Yashasvi Jaiswal, showcased his power-hitting skills from the outset.

Buttler, too, began impressively, dispatching Mohammed Shami for two boundaries in the first over, and then settled into a more controlled approach to enjoy Samson’s effortless strokeplay. The duo put together a solid 68-run partnership in just 47 balls.

Star Players

Samson’s knock of 47 off 26 balls, which included five fours and three sixes, was a treat for the fans. However, he ultimately fell victim to an inside-out shot off Sai Kishore, caught at long-on in the 10th over.

Devdutt Padikkal’s contribution of 28 runs, combined with Buttler’s explosive batting, yielded a crucial 37 runs before the latter shifted gears to unleash a flurry of boundaries against the Titans’ bowlers, except for the formidable Rashid Khan.

Buttler, fortunate to survive a dropped catch on 69, was eventually run out in the final over but not before propelling the Royals to a total of 64 runs in the last five overs.

Conclusion

With their impressive victory, the Gujarat Titans have not only secured their place in the IPL final but have also established themselves as strong contenders for the championship title.

Cricket enthusiasts can look forward to witnessing another thrilling encounter as the Rajasthan Royals battle it out in Qualifier 2 for a chance to join the Titans in the final showdown.


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