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Homechevron_rightSportschevron_rightCricketchevron_rightIPL: Punjab defeats...

IPL: Punjab defeats Gujarat in a worthy chase of 200

IPL: Punjab defeats Gujarat in a worthy chase of 200

Ahmedabad: Punjab Kings, led by Shikhar Dhawan, made a superb victory against Shubhman Gill's Gujarat Titans (GT) and the latter's home on Thursday in a thrilling match at the Narendra Modi Stadium. The visitors defeated the formidable GT by three wickets in the Indian Premier League (IPL) match 17, driven by batter Shashank Singh's scintillating performance, IANS reported.

With Shashank Singh hammering a breathtaking unbeaten 61 and adding valuable runs with Ashutosh Sharma, Punjab Kings beat Gujarat Titans by three wickets with a ball to spare and earned their second win in four matches.

Facing a formidable target of 200 runs, Punjab Kings commenced their chase with a fiery start, courtesy of Bairstow's explosive batting display in the very first over. Amidst the roars of the Ahmedabad crowd, the early dismissal of skipper Shikhar Dhawan stirred up the excitement, but Prabhsimran Singh's resilience steadied the ship momentarily.

Prabhsimran Singh came in at No.3 and got off the mark with a single through covers. The very eventful second over of the inning ended with a four as Prabhsimran stamped his authority through to sweeper cover for a boundary off seasoned pacer Umesh Yadav.

Yadav, bowling the fourth and his second over of the innings, got hammered for 12 runs as Prabhsimran collected a boundary and a maximum in the over.

Rashid Khan, who usually bowls in the middle overs, was introduced in the fifth over and conceded nine runs, including a boundary. Bairstow looked attacking against the pacers. Hence, Gujarat Titans' skipper Shubman Gill introduced spinners from both ends. Left-arm Chinaman Noor Ahmad got the big wicket for Gujarat as he knocked out Bairstow's middle-leg stump for 22, the English batter walked to the pavilion scoring 22 off 13 deliveries.

Noor tossed the ball up and landed it on a length outside leg. Bairstow completely missed the line of the ball and left a gap between the bat and the pad. That gap was enough for the ball to sneak through and deflect off the back pad to rattle the stumps.

The innings, which was looking solid, from Prabhsimran ended with a poor shot selection. Noor tossed the googly up and around middle-off, Prabhsimran was early on the shot and made up his mind to go across the line. All he managed was a top edge, and Mohit Sharma, fielding at short third, hardly had to move his feet to complete the catch. Prabhsimran got out, scoring 35 in 24 deliveries.

With two new batters (Sikandar Raza and Curran) on the crease, it was never easy for Punjab to chase down the daunting target of 200. Noor, with two wickets in two overs, mounted the pressure on visitors. The Required Run Rate (RRR) has already increased to 11 runs per over. The onus was now on Curran, who had played a match-winning knock of 63 runs against Delhi Capitals in Punjab's first match of IPL 2024.

At the end of 10 overs, Punjab was 83/4, with Shashank Singh batting 7 off four deliveries and Raza 7 off four deliveries. Shashank Singh thumped Noor for a maximum after collecting a single of his first delivery of the 10th over. The game was still wide open for both the teams as Punjab required 117 off the last 10 overs, and the host needed six wickets.

Umesh Yadav was brought back into the attack and was taken to task as Shashank hammered him for 17 runs in the over. After singles off the first three balls, the next three were sent off for 4, 6, 4.

The struggling Raza got out to Mohit Sharma, trying to chip the full-length delivery over covers, but only managed to get the thin edge to the wicketkeeper, scoring 15 runs.

The star performer for Punjab was the debutant Shashank Singh, who continued scoring boundaries and kept the visitors in the game. Jitesh Sharma came at number seven and got off the mark with a single. However, the turning point of the game came in the last over of Rashid's spell when Jitesh smashed back-to-back sixes before getting out on the very next delivery, scoring 16 off 8 deliveries. But still, Punjab had the edge with Shashank Singh timing the ball very well.

Punjab introduced their Impact Player Ashutosh Sharma, a debutant, in place of Arshdeep Singh. With 41 required off 18 deliveries, Sharma struck back-to-back boundaries to Omarzai and then collected a boundary on the last delivery. It was a big over that fetched 18 runs for Punjab, leaving them needing 25 off the last 12 deliveries. Shashank Singh scored his maiden IPL half-century in just 25 deliveries, and it came when it mattered the most.

Mohit Sharma, bowling his last over of the spell, was smoked for a maximum on the second delivery by Sharma. A double off the bat and off leg by took Punjab very close to the target. Sharma scored a single, and then Shashank hammered a maximum on the last delivery of Mohit's spell -- Punjab now needed 7 runs in six balls to win the match.

The drama continued as Darshan Nalkande, bowling his first over of the match, claimed the prized wicket of Ashutosh Sharma, with the batter chipping it straight to long-off. However, Shaskank maintained his calm and, after a wide and a single from Harpreet Brar, won the match for Punjab Kings with a boundary.

Earlier, batting first Gujarat Titans put up 199/4 in their 20 overs with skipper Shubman Gill top scoring with 89 off 48 deliveries batting through the 20 overs. Rahul Tewatia finished the job with 23 in 8 balls at the fag end, with Sai Sudharsan and the comeback man Kane Williamson putting in handy contributions.

Asked to bat first on a flat central pitch with small square boundaries, Gujarat openers Wriddhiman Saha and skipper Shubman Gill started, with the latter hitting a six on the last delivery of the first over by left-arm spinner Harpreet Brar.

Brar, with the new ball for the first time in the season, bowled a good first five deliveries before getting hammered for a six down the ground by Gill. Arshdeep Singh, from the other end, nearly got Saha, trapping him plumb in front, but the batter challenged the on-field decision, and the third umpire gave it not out as the ball was going over the leg stump.

Kagiso Rabada replaced Brar and gave PBKS the first breakthrough by dismissing Saha for 11 runs with a quick delivery angling back on the stumps.

Brar, known for his economical and tight spells in the middle overs, got rid of Williamson in his second over after getting smoked for a boundary. Williamson tried to cut a delivery that landed outside off to the backward point and handed an easy catch to Jonny Bairstow. Playing the first match of the season, Williamson departed after scoring 26 off 22 deliveries.

Gill, playing the captain's knock, continued his flawless batting and reached his half-century in 31 deliveries. Harshal Patel, with 10.75 economy in death overs (16 to 20), came into the attack bowling the 19th over and got hit for a maximum in the very second delivery by Tewatia. Tewatia hammered 20 runs of Harshal's over, including three wides, a maximum, and a boundary.

Arshdeep, bowling the last over, gave away 13 runs as Tewatia collected boundaries on the last two deliveries, Gujarat Giants thus finishing with 199 for 4 in 20 overs.

However, that did not prove enough as the Punjab Kings chased it with ease.

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