Injuries are a cruel part of any game, they destroy careers and they can hamper the momentum of any side. At times it can be just at the wrong time, as in Shaheen Shah Afridi getting injured late in the most crucial game of his cricketing journey. For others, it can be a long haul of patience and regret as they see their side underperforming while not being able to help.
IPL Qualifier 2: Shubman Gill’s 3rd century of the season knocks out Mumbai Indians
Shubman Gill’s exceptional form continued as he notched up his third century of the season, powering Gujarat Titans to a massive total of 233/3 in their allotted 20 overs. Gill’s blistering knock of 129 runs off just 60 balls set the stage for Gujarat’s commanding performance. Hardik Pandya and Rashid Khan provided the finishing touches, further bolstering the team’s total. Despite the imposing target, Mumbai Indians remained in the hunt during the first 10 overs, courtesy of aggressive batting displays from Tilak Varma and Suryakumar Yadav.
Suryakumar’s contribution kept Mumbai Indians’ hopes alive even after the 10th over, but their pursuit faltered after his dismissal in the 15th over. MI were bowled out for 171 runs. With this victory, the Gujarat Titans became the third team, alongside their opponents in this match and their final opponents, to reach the title clash in consecutive seasons.
Before his remarkable century, Shubman Gill had also registered his fifth half-century of the season in just 32 balls. His assault on the Mumbai Indians’ bowlers during the middle overs was a sight to behold, as he effortlessly dispatched the ball to all parts of the ground. Gill reached his third century of the season in just 49 balls and continued to accelerate with great momentum.
The opening batsmen had a challenging start as they struggled to find their rhythm. They could only muster 27 runs in the first four overs of the powerplay, and Wriddhiman Saha also endured a blow to his helmet. However, in the final two overs of the powerplay, the openers finally unleashed their shots and brought the team’s total to 50. Piyush Chawla was introduced into the attack and swiftly dismissed Saha with a delivery down the leg side.
Shubman Gill then shifted into high gear, launching a massive six straight over Chawla’s head to reach his half-century. Akash Madhwal, who had been in sensational form, faced the wrath of Gill as he was struck for three consecutive sixes in a single over, propelling Gill into the 80s.
The assault continued relentlessly as Gill took on Chawla, scoring 18 runs in just four deliveries to move to 98 and eventually bringing up a remarkable century off just 49 balls. Sai Sudharsan, making a comeback to the team, had the privilege of witnessing this incredible knock from the non-striker’s end. Despite being a spectator for the most part, Sudharsan showcased his skills with some exquisite shots. However, it was Hardik Pandya who inflicted significant damage, smashing an unbeaten 28 runs off a mere 13 balls, propelling the Gujarat Titans past the 230-run mark.
Mohammed Shami made a significant impact by claiming two wickets, putting Mumbai Indians on the defensive. Nehal Wadhera, who was brought in as the Impact Player, was caught behind in the first over of the chase, while Rohit Sharma fell victim to a top-edged pull. In the midst of these dismissals, Hardik Pandya struck Cameron Green on the left forearm with a short delivery, forcing Green to retire hurt.
Tilak Varma started his innings by hitting two sixes in his first four balls and then unleashed a flurry of boundaries against Shami, striking four fours and a six in a single over. In an attempt to slow down the scoring rate, Hardik Pandya turned to Rashid Khan. The spinner delivered as per his captain’s expectations, dismissing Varma when he attempted a sweep shot.
With Varma’s wicket falling, Cameron Green returned to the crease and posed a threat once again. He and Suryakumar Yadav formed a partnership, adding 52 runs in 32 balls before Little dislodged Green’s leg-stump. He reduced the required runs to 79 from 34 balls before Mohit Sharma dismissed him. From the other end, Mohit Sharma cleaned up the tail, securing his maiden five-wicket haul in T20 cricket.