Despite not going all the way, there were plenty of positives to take for the Gujarat Titans.
It’s a long history between Gujarat Titans and last over finishes. Plenty of times since last season, we ended up on the winning side, but it was not one of those days on Sunday. Both sides were in terrific form heading into this match, playing out an absolute thriller at the Narendra Modi Stadium.
We were asked to bat first by the Rajasthan Royals earlier in the evening. The start was not ideal, with Wriddhiman Saha and Sai Sudharsan walking back early, but skipper Hardik Pandya and Shubman Gill provided the much-needed impetus.
Gill went into a counter-attack mode immediately, smashing two boundaries in the seventh over and followed it up with a four and six in the eighth. Pandya batted aggressively as well, ticking our score forward. The duo added 59 runs for the third wicket.
Shortly after Pandya’s dismissal, Gill reached an iconic landmark in T20 cricket. He became the youngest in this format to reach 3,000 runs, surpassing Rishabh Pant.
Abhinav Manohar and David Miller took over the responsibility of giving the Titans a strong finish. Manohar smashed three big sixes, while Miller paced his innings brilliantly to remain until the final over. Manohar and Miller added 44 runs in just 22 balls, taking us to a competitive total of 177/7 in 20 overs.
Skipper Hardik Pandya accompanied Mohammad Shami to bowl in the powerplay and he struck instantly. He got the better of Yashasvi Jaiswal and shortly after that, Shami joined the party to send Jos Buttler’s stumps cartwheeling. Pandya went on to complete his four overs successively, finishing with terrific figures of 1/24.
Rashid Khan entered the attack after the Hardik-Shami spell and took two wickets in quick succession to put the pressure right back on the Royals. But Sanju Samson took over the mantle and brought the Royals right back in the mix.
Samson and Shimron Hetmyer added a 59-run partnership in just 27 balls. There a moment to cherish for #TitansFAM, when youngster Noor Ahmad made his debut coming in as an Impact Player and picked up a wicket straight away.
However, Shimron Hetmyer’s explosive fifty denied what could’ve been our fourth win of the tournament. Once again, the Titans dragged it down to the final over but alas, fortune was not on our side on Sunday.