Mohammed Shami and Rashid Khan picked three wickets each while B Sai Sudharsan slammed an impressive 62 not out with David Miller and Vijay Shankar playing crucial roles in Gujarat Titas’ defeating Delhi Capitals by six wickets in match seven of IPL 2023 at the Arun Jaitley Stadium on Tuesday.
On a pitch that had plenty of pace and bounce, Shami and Rashid picked 3-41 and 3-31 respectively while Alzarri Joseph dazzled with 2/29. In chasing 163, Sudharsan and Shankar played some good solid cricket in their 53-run partnership for the fourth wicket after losing three wickets in power-play.
The duo looked for boundaries while also rotating the strike at the same time. It meant that they were able to keep up with the run rate through risk-free cricket before Shankar fell in the 14th over.
With 46 needed off the last five overs, it was anyone’s game till Gujarat tilted in their favour. David Miller pulled Mukesh Kumar for six, and then lofted over wide long-on for the same result. He then ended the 16th over with a powerful drive through cover for four, as 20 runs came off it.
Sudharsan got his fifty in 44 balls with a delightful ramp off Anrich Nortje in the 17th over, followed by a massive swivelled six over fine leg. Miller then uppishly drove off Khaleel Ahmed for four in the 18th over, before finishing off the chase with 11 balls to spare.
Wriddhiman Saha got the chase off to a flier, punching and lofting impact player Ahmed for back-to-back boundaries, before ending the over with a superb pick-up shot for six. Shubman Gill welcomed Mukesh in the next over with two exquisitely-timed fours through the off-side.
Nortje struck on his first ball of the tournament, disturbing Saha’s with a scorching nip-backer in the third over, before uprooting Gill’s off-stump with another feisty delivery in his next over.
Sudharsan wowed everyone with his scoop off Nortje for six, before flicking Ahmed through mid-wicket for four. But the left-arm pacer signed off from power-play by forcing Hardik Pandya to play at a length delivery which he nicked behind to Abishek Porel.
Post power-play, Sudharsan survived a caught behind appeal off Kuldeep as replays showed flat line when the ball went past the bat. He joined forces with Shankar, the impact player, to get Gujarat’s chase back on track.
While Sudarshan made full use of width from Mukesh to drive him through extra-cover, Shankar produced some eye-catchy boundary shots, like lofting over Kuldeep’s head, pulling stylishly off Mitchell Marsh and Ahmed.
The 53-run partnership ended when Marsh trapped Shankar lbw and got the decision in his favour via DRS, as the crowd found its voice back. Miller survived an lbw off Kuldeep with replays showing the ball missing leg-stump in the 15th over. From there, Miller and Sudharsan took Gujarat home without any hiccups.
Earlier, Shami got some help from the pitch in an eventful opening over. An away swinger against Warner disturbed the off-stump, but the bail was unmoved. Though he also cut him in size, Shami was unable to find control, giving away seven wides.
Prithvi Shaw then took on Shami in his next over by flaying a cut over the slip cordon for four. But Shami had the last laugh by having Shaw caught on a pull at mid-on.
The senior India pacer had more success with the new ball by castling Marsh.
A scratchy Warner got a move on when he slapped Shami through point for four, before pulling Pandya through the square leg for another boundary. He welcomed Joseph in the seventh over with a brace of boundaries – a smash over mid-off was followed by steering over backward point.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s white-ball captain Dasun Shanaka has been named as the replacement for New Zealand batsman Kane Williamson at defending IPL champions Gujarat Titans, according to a statement on Tuesday.