We picked up our seventh win of the campaign and continued our 100% win record in away matches.
In a season dominated by batters, bowlers have found it difficult to stand out. But our bowlers managed to produce two stellar performances back-to-back and this time, they upped the ante further.
We restricted Rajasthan Royals to the lowest total while batting first in TATA IPL 2023 and chased the total in quick time to register our seventh win of the season.
Earlier, the Royals won the toss and decided to bat first. Skipper Hardik Pandya provided the first breakthrough, dismissing the dangerous Jos Buttler. Sanju Samson kept the scorecard ticking for the hosts, but once Rashid Khan came into action, the Titans took over.
Their damage began with a mix-up between Yashasvi Jaiswal and Samson, which led to the downfall of the former. Soon, Joshua Little came into the attack and picked a big fish straight away. His pace hurried Samson and he top-edged it straight to the cover fielder.
In his second over, Rashid Khan produced a magical googly to outfox Ravichandran Ashwin and Noor Ahmad mirrored his spin partner soon, dismissing Devdutt Padikkal with a wrong-one that left the batter stunned. The wickets kept tumbling at regular intervals, with the Afghan duo taking center-stage in the middle overs.
In his final over, Rashid got the better of Shimron Hetmyer and finished with terrific match figures of three for 14. He briefly had possession of the Purple Cap as well, but Mohammad Shami returned to the attack and sent Trent Boult’s stumps on a ride, reclaiming the position.
As it stands, Rashid and Shami have 18 wickets each and lead the wicket-takers tally in TATA IPL 2023. Their innings ended with a spectacular run-out induced by Abhinav Manohar, who hit the bullseye from long distance. They were bowled out for 118 runs in 17.5 overs, the second lowest score of the tournament overall.
Shubman Gill once again walked in as our Impact Player after the innings break and gave the side a solid start alongside Wriddhiman Saha. After negating the new ball threat, the duo started picking up boundaries and brought the required rate well within control.
They added 71 runs for the first wicket before Gill walked back. Skipper Pandya, who chipped in with a half-century last game, hit the sixth gear right from the get-go. He went after Adam Zampa and smashed him for three sixes and a four in the 11th over, with each of his shots magnifying the incredible power-hitting ability he possesses.
Pandya remained unbeaten on 39 off just 15 deliveries, while Saha (41 off 34 balls) too made a crucial contribution to take us over the line in a run chase, yet again.
Rajasthan Royals 118 all out in 17.5 overs (Rashid Khan 3/14, Noor Ahmad 2/25) lost to Gujarat Titans 119/1 in 13.5 overs (Wriddhiman Saha 41*, Hardik Pandya 39*)
Player of the Match: Rashid Khan