Gujarat Titans returned to winning ways after consecutive losses, becoming the first team to seal their place in the playoffs by beating Lucknow Super Giants by 62 runs in an Indian Premier League game in Pune on Tuesday. While LSG did a good job with the ball limiting GT to 144 for 4 after being asked to bowl, the KL Rahul led side flopped with the bat when they were knocked out 82 in 13.5 overs. Rashid Khan (4/4) played with the ball for GT, while Yash Dayal (2/24) and R Sai Kishore (2/7) took two wickets each.
Earlier, lead-off hitter Shubman Gill hit a fine half-century, but LSG produced a disciplined bowling attempt to narrow GT to the modest score. Gill didn’t hold out on 63 off 49 balls with the help of seven fours, but missed support from the other side. He was left behind, as GT’s second-highest scorer was David Miller (26).
Avesh Khan (2/26) took two wickets for LSG, while Mohsin Khan (1/18) and Jason Holder (1/44) each scalped one.
GT sealed their playoff berth, reaching 18 points from 12 games. The defeat ended LSG’s five-game winning streak, but they are still comfortably in second place with 16 points and need only one win to book their last four berth.
LSG got off to a slow start in their pursuit and their problems worsened after losing Quinton de Kock (11) and Skipper KL Rahul (8) in consecutive overs, dropping to 24 for 2 after four overs.
While Yash Dayal took care of De Kock, Rahul fetched a short delivery from Mohammed Shami to Wriddhiman Saha behind the tree stumps.
Debutant Karan Sharma didn’t help his cause either, handing a catch to David Miller in the circle to give Dayal his second scalp of the day.
Introduced on offense in the eighth over, Rashid Khan struck with his third delivery, googly foxing Krunal Pandya and Saha was quick to bail out.
With wickets falling in quick succession from the start, LSG never gained any momentum in their pursuit, reaching 58 for 4 halfway through the leg.
The ever increasing demand rate led to the downfall of Ayush Badoni (8), who was stunned by Saha for the R Sai Kishore.
LSG’s scorecard was a shame, because Marcus Stoinis (2) and Jason Holder (1) didn’t show up either.
Deepak Hooda scored the highest score for LSG with a struggling 26-ball 27.
Previously, GT’s decision to bat first after winning the toss was a huge success as they lost to Wriddhiman Saha (5) and Matthew Wade (10) cheaply with just 24 on the scoreboard within five overs.
As the wickets tumbled down the other side, Gill proceeded cautiously and in the company of skipper Hardik Pandya shared 27 runs for the third wicket before the last took off, taking one to Quinton de Kock behind the stumps to Avesh his second wicket of the day.
Once Hardik left, Gill took responsibility and upped the ante, slashing first Avesh to the square boundary and then taking Krunal Pandya in the next across in reverse to the third man’s fence.
But after that, both Gill and Miller failed to open their arms as Mohsin and Krunal bowled tight line and length to stop the run flow.
Miller finally broke the shackles in the third episode of the 16th with a huge six from Jason Holder over extra cover, in what was the first maximum of the innings.
However, Miller perished in the last ball of the over, caught by Ayush Badoni as he cut a straight to deep third man.
Gill, on the other hand, played his innings smoothly, bringing in his fifty in 42 balls with a single off Dushmantha Chameera.
Reaching fifty, Gill opened up and hit Chameera for back-to-back boundaries to pick up 14 runs from 17th over.
Rahul Tewatia (22 not out on 16 balls) used the long lever to good effect in the last over, with Holder crossing the line three times to bring the score close to the 150 run.