Match 18 of the 2023 season of TATA Indian Premier League saw Gujarat Titans take on Punjab Kings. Both the teams came into the game on the back of a loss each. Gujarat had lost to Kolkata Knight Riders in a heartbreaking encounter. Punjab Kings on the other hand had lost to Sunrisers Hyderabad by 8 wickets. Despite Shikhar Dhawan’s 99*, Punjab Kings had lost the game to give Hyderabad their 1st win of the season.
The story as it happened –
Gujarat Titans welcomed back Hardik Pandya as the 29 year old was back to full fitness. Hardik Pandya won the toss and chose to bowl first, on a Mohali pitch which looked good for batting. Yash Dayal was replaced by Mohit Sharma, the former CSK star was playing an IPL game after nearly 2 and half years. Punjab also made two changes as Rabada and Rajapaksa came in for Nathan Ellis and Sikander Raza.
Shubman Gill scores a sublime half century –
Chasing 154 to win, Shubman Gill carried his good form with the bat to score yet another IPL half century. The 23 year old was playing in his home ground and he put the Punjab bowlers to the sword. Gill scored 67 off 49 balls with 7 fours and a six, before he lost his off stump to Sam Curran in the final over.
Virender Sehwag unimpressed with the knock –
Former Indian opener Virender Sehwag who had a long association with Punjab Kings wasn’t pleased for some reason. The 44 year old former Indian star was once part of the Punjab Kings as a player and coach.
Sehwag hit out at Shubman Gill for his knock and during a interaction with Cricbuzz, Sehwag said “He scored 67 off 49 balls but when did he reach his fiifty? He reached his fifty off maybe 41-42 balls so in 7-8 balls he has scored 17 more runs. The accelration came there, after he had reached his fifty. If even that had not happened then GT would have been chasing maybe 17 instead of 7 in the last over,”
Punjab win last over thriller –
Rahul Tewatia was the hero when he swept scooped Sam Curran for a 4 when the game saw Gujarat needing 4 off 2 balls. Virender Sehwag further said to Cricbuzz “You can’t think let me score a fifty and we will anyway win the match. This is cricket. The moment you think about your own performance (instead of the team), you will get a tight slap from cricket. You can’t think like that. If he had showed the same intent and played at close to a strike rate of 200 when he was nearing fifty then he could have reached his milestone a lot earlier and save more deliveries for his team”