Gujarat Titans and Rajasthan Royals have already played each other three times before their first IPL 2023 matchup, with the Hardik Pandya-led squad winning each match, including the semifinal and Qualifier 1 match. David Miller and the team's captain, Pandya, both played crucial roles in the three victories, and they did so once more on Sunday against Ahmedabad (April 16).
With to Miller's 46 and useful assistance from the other batsmen, the Titans scored a respectable 177/7. They specifically targeted the spinners for the Royals, as R Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Adam Zampa, and Trent Boult all went beyond 30 runs from their allotted overs. In the first half of the chase, the Titans then produced a brilliant display with the ball. The Royals went down to 55/4 in the 11th over thanks to crucial wickets from Mohammed Shami, Hardik Pandya, and Rashid Khan.
But the Royals pulled off a spectacular comeback. Shimron Hetmyer completed the chase with four deliveries remaining after captain Sanju Samson had reignited the pursuit with a 32-ball 60 that came off 26 deliveries. Samson and Hetmyer combined for 11 sixes, 10 of which came in the second half of the chase as the Royals turned the game around to defeat the Titans for the first time.
"It was an important victory. The Titans have a longer history with humanity and currently outnumber us in that regard. It feels great when we come back from a deficit, handle some pressure, push the game past its natural conclusion, and come out on top. It feels fantastic to have the desired outcome and there are some positive vibes in the changing area "said Boult at the news conference following the game.
Boult noted that the RR hitters struggled against the Titans pacers' accurate hitting and challenging delivery, but they were able to hold out and respond, resisting the pressure. It's challenging to single out a certain moment in the game, but that's the essence of T20 cricket — you may win at any stage. Given how frequently teams meet—and our team in particular—and discuss tactics, it was good to actually use some of the information.
"Obviously choosing 12 overs of spin, I thought they pulled it back very nicely, and every over counts, but Sandy [Sandeep Sharma] closed that innings out nicely," the author said. They bowled really effectively on the 175 , an excellent wicket, and demonstrated to us how to bowl with the lengths and decent swing available. Once more, we simply took it in and put ourselves in a situation where a few restrictions caused it to swing back to us.
"We have some extremely excellent batters on our team, and I believe the most encouraging thing is watching people get up at various moments. Being a huge player for us, Jos [Buttler] will undoubtedly be angry about missing out on some runs tonight. Nonetheless, the desire of the remaining batting lineup to contribute is evident from the variety of players who rise to the occasion "Boult tacked on.
Noor Ahmad, an impact player from Afghanistan, had a rough start but eventually paid off by getting rid of Samson in the 15th over, leaving the Royals at 114/5. Hetmyer broke loose with aid from Dhruv Jurel and R Ashwin to help the Royals cross the finish line with a six off Ahmad in the final over when they needed 64 runs to win off the final five overs.
Ahmad only gave up eight runs in the 17th over, but Alzarri Joseph, Shami, and Rashid collectively gave up 49 runs in their final three overs. Vikram Solanki, the director of cricket for the Titans, defended the selection of bowlers employed in the final overs and also sprang to Ahmad's defense when he finished with 1-29 from 2.2 overs on debut.
"Mohit Sharma was a possibility in the final four overs if you consider how Mohammed Shami bowled in his opening delivery. It was crucial to attempt to capture a wicket in the final over because there were seven runs to protect. Noor helped us end the alliance and actually got us back in the game (with the wicket of Samson). I considered him to be brilliant. At that point, I believe it becomes a line call to see if he can try to take a wicket.
"Simply put, I thought Noor made an amazing debut. To take that crucial wicket under pressure and to enter the game and perform as he did was exceptional. It conveys so much about his character. And the fact that Hardik believed in him enough to bowl him at those challenging moments illustrates how confident he is "Solanki added.
After their earlier defeat by the Kolkata Knight Riders, the Titans suffered their second setback at home this year. Although the team's defeat was disappointing, Solanki guaranteed that they would make their supporters happy.
"With sports, there is a chance for winning and losing, but we are always appreciative to the fans that come out to cheer us on. I believe we've provided them with motivation in the past, and we'll work hard to make sure they have a team they can be proud of. We put in a lot of work. Obviously, it's a loss, and sure, we're sorry that we weren't on the winning side of the outcome today. We will evaluate every aspect of this game, just as we have with our wins and losses "Solanki remarked.
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Notwithstanding rumors regarding Pakistan's World Cup locations, BCCI and ICC uphold the status quo