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The Times of India
The Times of India
Mandakini Shalya | TNN

IPL 2022, GT vs RR: Pandya power lights up Gujarat Titans against Rajasthan Royals

Skipper's all-round show helps Gujarat to 37-run win, top table

A scintillating show with the bat from captain Hardik Pandya, who was electrifying in the field as well, guided Gujarat Titans to a 37-run win over Rajasthan Royals at the DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai on Thursday. The team also went top of the IPL table, having successfully managed to rein in a rampaging Jos Buttler as Rajasthan chased 193.


Eliminating the Buttler threat was the key to win and Gujarat Titans knew it well. At the peak of his powers, the opener gave a scintillating start to Rajasthan Royals' chase as he raced to 54 off 24 balls within the Powerplay. But Lockie Ferguson set him up brilliantly- feeding him with pace above 145 kph before cunningly withdrawing it to 126.4 to bowl a slow yorker. Buttler was castled on the last ball of the sixth over and the match swung Titans' way.

Ferguson finished with 4-0-23-3. All the gains made in the Powerplay where Royals scored 65, were squandered by the batters who followed after Buttler.

While Sanju Samson (11 off 11 balls) failed to leave any impact, his counterpart Pandya made his presence felt with an all-round performance. Pandya truly came alive with a responsible as well as ferocious knock of unbeaten 87 off 52 balls that took Titans to 192/4. The captain's knock was studded with eight fours and four sixes. Later he bowled clinically (1-18) and also affected a run-out that ended Samson's stay at the crease.

1/10:Gujarat beat Rajasthan

<p>Skipper Hardik Pandya hit a blazing 87 to set up a comfortable 37-run victory for Gujarat Titans against Rajasthan Royals on Thursday, as his side replaced their opponents at the top of the Indian Premier League. (BCCI/IPL Photo)</p>

2/10:Titans score 192/4

<p>Pandya smashed 8 fours and 4 sixes in his unbeaten 52-ball knock to help the Titans score 192/4 after being put in to bat. (BCCI/IPL Photo)</p>

3/10:Gujarat's 4th win in 5 games

<p>Rajasthan made only 155/9 in reply off 20 overs to hand Gujarat their fourth win in five games. (BCCI/IPL Photo)</p>

4/10:​Gujarat's shaky start

<p>Gujarat made a shaky start, losing Matthew Wade, Vijay Shankar and Shubman Gill inside seven overs. (BCCI/IPL Photo)</p>

5/10:Pandya power

<p>Pandya went after the bowling attack, hitting Sen for three successive fours before smashing a six off Parag. (BCCI/IPL Photo)</p>

6/10:Pandya fifty

<p>Pandya raced to his half-century in just 33 deliveries before hammering Ashwin for successive sixes. (BCCI/IPL Photo)</p>

7/10:​Abhinav Manohar

<p>Abhinav Manohar also played an attacking innings, hitting four fours and two sixes in his 43. (BCCI/IPL Photo)</p>

8/10:Pandya's partnerships

<p>Pandya shared 86 for the fourth wicket with Manohar, and Miller scored a fine 31 not out off 14 balls to ensure a big total on the board. (BCCI/IPL Photo)</p>

9/10:Jos Buttler

<p>Rajasthan made a great start to their chase as opener Jos Buttler unleashed an array of shots during his 54-run blitz off just 24 balls, hitting 8 fours and 3 sixes. (BCCI/IPL Photo)</p>

10/10:Lockie Ferguson

<p>But Lockie Ferguson (3/23) ended Buttler's knock with a searing yorker, and David Miller took a stunning catch to dismiss Ravichandran Ashwin (8). (BCCI/IPL Photo)</p>
In Pics, IPL 2022 Match 24: Pandya stars as Gujarat replace Rajasthan at summit

Earlier, vacuum created in the absence of their bowling spearhead Trent Boult, who missed out because of a niggle, left a big hole in the Royals playing XI. How things pan out automatically depended on the success of the team's experienced spinners, Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravichandran Ashwin, but Pandya stood in their way.

The Titans' captain first joined hands with Abhinav Manohar (43 off 28 balls) to stitch a crucial partnership of 86 runs when Titans were reeling at 53/3 in 6.4 overs, and later it was David Miller (31 off 14 balls) who joined him in causing further destruction with a 53-run partnership.

While Samson won the toss for the first time this season and as expected opted to bowl first, plans did not exactly fall in place. Opening over itself had sent the alarm bells ringing for Royals as Matthew Wade creamed three boundaries off medium-pacer James Neesham. Quite often, Samson and Jos Buttler were also seen putting the arm around the young pacers - Kuldeep Sen and Prasidh Krishna - giving them an advice or two.

Lauded for defending 15 runs in the last over to take Royals to a three-run victory against Lucknow Super Giants, Sen recorded underwhelming 4-0-51-1. Chahal was their best bowler who recorded figures of 4-0-32-1.

Titans too had their share of hardships. Courtesy lack of judgment on the part of batters, wickets kept tumbling at regular intervals till the seventh over. A poor call for a run and a direct hit by Rassie van der Dussen saw Wade's exit in the second over. Soon after, a wide outside off delivery that should ideally have been left untouched was edged by Vijay Shankar (2 off 7 balls) in the third over.

The moment Titans' skipper Pandya and opener Shubman Gill (13 off 14 balls) opened their arms and looked like getting the team back on track, the latter failed to pick the carrom ball by part-time bowler Riyan Parag. Gill holed out to Shimron Hetymer at long on.

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