Rahul Tewatia cracked two sixes on the last two balls of the IPL 2022 match against Punjab Kings to steal a thrilling win for Gujarat Titans at Brabourne Stadium on April 8. Odean Smith was the bowler to suffer at the hands of Tewatia. Titans, thus, has posted three straight wins out of three games in IPL 2022 so far.
Asked to bat first, Punjab’s innings played out as a roller-coaster ride, starting slow, picking up pace in the middle, losing wickets in a heap, only for the last-wicket pair to add some useful runs. The opening pair of Mayank Agarwal and Shikhar Dhawan again failed to fire in unison, with captain Agarwal falling for 5, giving a catch to Rashid Khan off Hardik Pandya’s bowling.
No 3 Jonny Bairstow, playing his first match in IPL 2022, cracked 2 fours for 8 runs in 8 balls before Lockie Ferguson dismissed him, with Tewatia completing the catch. Like in the previous match, Dhawan and Liam Livingstone then combined to put a stand of 52 runs in 5.2 overs. Dhawan then edged it behind to keeper Mathew Wade for 30-ball 35 with 4 fours off Rashid Khan.
Livingstone continued his form from the previous game and struck another quick fifty. His partner Jitesh Sharma matched him strokes for strokes. The two took the score to 124/3 in 13 overs, and Punjab looked good to score above 200.
But then Punjab batsmen committed hara-kiri and holed out in the deep one by one. Jitesh was first to fall for 11-ball 23 with 1 four and 2 sixes. Jitesh holed out to log on off the bowling of debutant Darshan Nalkande. Odean Smith fell on the next ball in the same fashion, giving the catch to the same fielder Shubman Gill in the deep.
Livingstone was the next to fall as he was brilliantly caught in the deep by David Miller off Rashid Khan. Livingstone made 27-ball 64 with 7 fours and 4 sixes. Punjab then suffered a collapse, falling from 153/5 to 162/9.
Shahrukh Khan fell LBW to Rashid Khan for 8-ball 15. K Rabada was run-out. It was left to the last-wicket pair of Rahul Chahar and Arshdeep Singh to add 27 runs in 13 balls to take the total to 189/9. Chahar made 14-ball 22 not out, while Singh made 10 not out. Rashid took 3/22.
Gujarat looked well in control, right from the start as Shubman Gill anchored the chase brilliantly. Although he lost his opening partner Mathew Wade early for 6, Gill did most of the scoring in the powerplay overs. He got great support from debutant Sai Sudarshan. The two put a 101-run stand in 11.1 overs for the second wicket, and it looked like Gujarat will win the match with ease.
But Punjab broke the stand, with Chahar dismissing Sudarshan for 30-ball 35 with 4 fours and 1 six. Left-handed batsman Sudarshan showed great promise and cracked some classic copy-book fours.
Gill, however, started getting tired and struggled to get big shots going. But captain Pandya did the hard job from the other end and played the big shots. Punjab’s Arshdeep turned the match around, giving just 4 runs in the 18th over to leave Titans to score 32 from 12. Pandya cracked two fours in the 18th over bowled by Rabada, but Titans lost Gill who fell while playing a tired-looking shot to Agarwal at the cover region. Gill fell for 96 off 59 balls with 11 fours and 1 six.
Miller then took a single on the last ball to retain strike for the 20th over bowled by Smith. It came down to 19 runs off 6 balls. Pandya was run-out on the first legitimate ball, looking to regain strike on a bye. Pandya was left frustrated. It brought Tewatia to the middle who took a single to give the strike back to Miller. With 17 runs needed off 4 balls, Miller cracked a four on the fine-leg. Tewatia regained strike on an overthrow on the next ball. With 12 runs needed off 2 balls, Tewati moved towards the off-stump to clobber two sixes on the long-on and seal a thriller for Titans.
Brief scores: Punjab Kings 189/9 (Liam Livingstone 64, Rashid Khan 3/22) loses to Gujarat Titans 190/4 (Shubman Gill 96, K Rabada 2/35)