PBKS vs GT: Gill and bowlers help Gujarat get back on winning ways

The IPL action continued on April 13 as Punjab Kings were up against Gujarat Titans in Match 18 at Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali. The latter clinched the game by six wickets on the back of Shubman Gill’s assured half-century which was preceded by a brilliant bowling display from the bowlers, who restricted the explosive Kings at par 153/8, with Mohit Sharma picking 2/18 on his IPL comeback.

Gujarat captain Hardik Pandya, who returned to the team after missing the last game due to illness, won the toss and invited the home team to bat first. Punjab got off to the worst possible start as Mohammed Shami dismissed Prabhsimran Singh on just the second ball of the innings for a duck.

Punjab further got a big blow as the Orange Cap holder Shikhar Dhawan also departed after scoring just 8, by Joshua Little. Matthew Short, who was playing just his second IPL, looked in great touch as he scored 36 off 24, however, he could not go on to play a big innings as he was dismissed by Rashid Khan.

Punjab’s innings was full of batters who got starts but could not go on to play big innings. Jitesh Sharma (25 off 23), Sam Curran (22 off 22) and Shahrukh Khan(22 off 9) helped their side reach a total of 153/8 in the first innings. Mohit was the pick of the bowlers for Gujarat while Shami, Little, Alzarri Joseph and Khan picked up one wicket each.

In the second innings, Gujarat got off to a flying start as their openers Wriddhiman Saha and Shubman Gill added 48 in just 28 balls. Their partnership was broken by Kagiso Rabada, who dismissed Saha for 30 off 19 and became the fastest bowler to reach 100 wickets in IPL history.

Following Saha’s dismissal, Gill continued the attack on the opposition and kept finding boundaries frequently. He further added 51 runs for the second wicket with Sai Sudharsan (19 off 20) off 40 balls. Arshdeep Singh got the second strike for Gujarat dismissing Sudharsan in the 12th over.

Captain Hardik Pandya once again failed to get going and was dismissed by Harpreet Brar after scoring just 8 off 11 balls. Following his dismissal, Gill and David Miller made sure there were no more hiccups in the chase by adding 42 runs for the fourth wicket.

However, there was some drama in the final over as Gill was dismissed by Sam Curran with Gujarat needing six to win from four balls. The equation further came down to three needed from the last two balls but Rahul Tewatia once again took Gujarat home by scoring a boundary on the second last ball of the innings as GT won the match by six wickets.

Top performers:

Best batter of the match

Shubman Gill once again led the charge for Gujarat right from the start and played a magnificent knock of 67 off 48 balls to take his side to the brink of victory. He was involved in crucial partnerships with Saha, Sudharsan and Miller.

Best bowler of the match

Mohit Sharma made a remarkable comeback to IPL after three years as he picked up 2/18 in his four-over spell. He picked up the wickets of set batters Jitesh Sharma and Sam Curran to help his side restrict Punjab to 153/8 in the first innings.

What’s next for both teams?

After returning back to the winning ways, Gujarat will next face the table toppers Rajasthan Royals, on Sunday, April 16 at Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad. On the other hand, having lost back-to-back games, Punjab Kings will look to get back on the winning track against Lucknow Super Giants in their next encounter on Saturday, April 15 at Ekana Stadium in Lucknow.