Gujarat Titans batter Rahul Tewatia struck two sixes on the last two deliveries of the match off Odean Smith to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat against Punjab Kings in a thrilling encounter of the IPL 2022 here on Friday.
With 12 needed off the last two balls, Tewatia blasted two sixes at the Brabourne Stadium here to seal a six-wicket win for the Titans.
From 21 of nine deliveries to 18 off the last five, Tewatia and David Miller brought it to 13 off three balls when Miller scrambled for a single, leaving Tewatia the unenviable task of hitting two sixes off the last two deliveries of the match and win it for Gujarat Titans, who successfully chased a target of 190.
The 28-year-old seasoned campaigner who has played for Kings XI Punjab, the previous avatar of Punjab Kings, and Delhi Capitals in the IPL, obliged brilliantly, carting Smith just over the deep mid-wicket, with the fielder nearly catching him before falling over the rope, and then slog sweeping the final delivery over the long-on boundary to seal a memorable victory for Gujarat Titans.
Chasing a target of 190, Gujarat looked cruising to victory with opener Shubman Gill and skipper Hardik Pandya leading the charge. But both got out at the most inappropriate time — Gill just four short of his century and Pandya run out of the first ball of the final over with Gujarat 4/172.
It looked like the match had slipped out of their hands but then Tewatia intervened so brilliantly.
Gujarat will have to thank opener Shubman Gill (96 – 59b, 11×4, 1×6), Sai Sudharshan (35 – 30b, 4×4, 1×6) and Pandya (27 – 18b, 5×4) for putting them in a position where they could chase Punjab Kings' 189/9 reached thanks to a 27-ball 64 by Liam Livingstone, who struck his second successive half-century.
Livingstone came in to bat with PBKS struggling at 34/2 and then raised 52 runs for the third wicket with opener Shikhar Dhawan (35, 30b, 4×4). Dhawan, who did not look his usual assured self, greeted Lockie Ferguson with two successive boundaries in his first two deliveries of the night — the first lofted over mid-wicket and the second bisecting the covers. He was out with the score at 86/3 and PBKS still not out of the woods.
Livingstone then found a good ally in Jitesh Sharma as they took PBKS to safety, at 124/4. He went on to complete his half-century off 21 balls, hammering debutant Darshan Nalkande for a six and four in one over and striking him for two successive fours in another over. It was his second successive half-century in IPL to help PBKS recover.
The Englishman had struck 60 against Chennai Super Kings in their previous match which helped them to their second win.
Punjab Kings lost their way a bit in the middle overs as Jitesh Sharma 23 of 11 balls) and Odean Smith (0) were out off successive deliveries off a Nalkande's third over. Though Shah Rukh Khan avoided the hat-trick, he too did not last long, trapped lbw by Rashid Khan. Rahul Chahar and Arshdeep Singh landed a few lusty blows to take them to 189/9.
But in the end that proved insufficient as Tewatia snatched victory from the jaws of defeat for Gujarat Titans.
Brief scores: Punjab Kings 189/9 in 20 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 35, Liam Livingstone 64, Rahul Chahar 22 not out; Rashid Khan 3/22, Darshan Nalkande 2/37) lost to Gujarat Titans 190/4 in 20 overs (Shubman Gill 96, Sai Sudarshan 35, Rahul Tewatia 13 not out; Kagiso Rabada 2/35).20220409-002142