IPL 2023: Gujarat Titans, Punjab Kings emerge victorious on double-header day

23 April, 2023 | Pragati Singh

IPL 2023 Sports

Mohit Sharma was named 'Man of the Match' for his calm performance in the final over.

Defending champions Gujarat Titans (GT) and Punjab Kings (PBKS) won their respective Indian Premier League (IPL) matches against Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) and Mumbai Indians (MI) on Saturday in a doubleheader day full of exciting finishes and records.

GT faced LSG in the first match of the day at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow. After electing to bat first, GT posted a modest total of 135/6 in 20 overs. Wriddhiman Saha (47 in 37 balls with six fours) and skipper Hardik Pandya (66 in 50 balls with two fours and four sixes) both contributed to their team’s modest total.

Krunal Pandya was LSG’s top bowler, with a spell of 2/16 in four overs. Marcus Stoinis recorded 2/20 in three overs. Naveen-ul and Amit each took a wicket.

Kyle Mayers (24) and KL were leading the team in the chase of 136 runs with a 55-run opening stand. However, LSG batters lost their way and wickets in the final five overs, failing to reach their target of 30 runs. With four wickets falling in the final over on four consecutive balls, including two run-outs, LSG finished their 20 overs at 128/7, seven runs short of the target. Mohammed Shami and Mohit Sharma both bowled brilliantly in the death overs.

Noor Ahmed was the standout bowler for GT in their seven-run victory, taking 2/18 off four overs. In three overs, Mohit Sharma took 2/17. Rashid Khan took one wicket as well. Mohit Sharma was named ‘Man of the Match’ for his calm performance in the final over.

Following his side’s win, skipper Hardik Pandya said, “Credit to the boys. We are a champion side, we won last year. You have to be satisfied with your results. The spirit and the atmosphere changed after getting wickets, that is a very great feeling. A win like this can boost your confidence. I think the way the wicket was playing, we could have got 10 runs more. There was uncertainty. They bowled well and made our life difficult. The batters could not get rhythm because of the wicket.”

“During the strategic timeout, we discussed the set batter going for it towards the end. We were always chasing them, and never in it. When they needed 30 runs in 30 balls, I thought they were ahead. But when they required 27 in 4 overs, I thought they were under pressure. That is where I thought we could be in the game. The way every bowler contributed, as a captain I could not have asked for (more). The amount of cricket he (Mohit Sharma) has played…He made my life easy, he backed his plans and executed them. Shami and Mohit were tremendous, special mention to Jayant who was playing after a long time. Noor Ahmed has some talent as well,” added the skipper.

KL Rahul, on the other hand, stated that he couldn’t believe what happened in the final few overs.

“I do not know how it happened, but it has happened. I cannot put a finger on where it went wrong, but we lost 2 points today, this is cricket. I thought we were brilliant with the ball, 135 was 10 runs under par, the bowling was exceptional, and we started well with the bat, but these things happen, we will have to take it on the chin. But still, a long way to go, With 8 points off 7 games, we were on the wrong side of the result today. We were well ahead in the game and I wasn’t really trying to bat deep, I still wanted to play my shots and take on the bowlers, but they bowled well in that 2-3 over period, by Noor and Jayant, we perhaps should have taken a few more chances with wickets in hand, they bowled decently, but I think we missed out on some boundary opportunities, the pressure got to us in the last 3-4 overs, we played well until then. They did bowl well though.”

Mohit Sharma, who clinched his second ‘Man of the Match’ of the season, said, “Nothing special, everything is normal, as usual. I think I have been consistent. You need to focus and prepare in the same manner each and every time that helps. You need to keep practising, just stick to the basics and try not to overthink. That belief factor was always there. Nehra advised us to stick to our plans honestly. I tried to focus on executing my plans. Also tried that the batters couldn’t read what I was trying to bowl.”

Some records were broken during the match.

KL Rahul scored 7,000 runs in T20 cricket. KL has scored 7,054 runs at an average of 42.49 in 210 matches and 197 innings. In the format, he has six centuries and 61 fifties, with a best score of 132*. In T20, he has a strike rate of 136.20. Rahul is the quickest Indian to reach the milestone, having done so in only 197 innings. He is followed by Virat Kohli (212 innings), Shikhar Dhawan (246 innings), Suresh Raina (251 innings), and Rohit Sharma (268 innings).

KL Rahul has scored 50 or more points as an opener 35 times in the IPL, the third most by any opener. David Warner of the Delhi Capitals currently leads the chart, having scored 57 times 50 or more runs as an opener. Shikhar Dhawan, one of the most decorated batters in IPL history, is in second place. As an opener, the left-handed batter has scored 48 times and driven in 50 runs.

However, he also registered an unwanted record under his name. He batted the third-slowest innings in IPL history by a batter who faced at least 60 balls. His innings is the third slowest in IPL history, trailing only JP Duminy’s inning of 59 (63) with a strike rate of 93.65 against the Punjab Kings in 2009 while playing for the Mumbai Indians (MI). Following him is Aaron Finch, who scored 68 (62) runs for Sunrisers Hyderabad against Mumbai Indians in 2014.

Despite being the fourth-highest run-scorer in the IPL this season, KL’s strike rate is a cause for concern. He has 262 runs at an average of 37.42 in seven matches, with two half-centuries and a best score of 74. So far in IPL 2023, his strike rate is 113.91. The next match was between MI and PBKS at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium.

MI won the coin toss and chose to bat first against PBKS. In their 20 overs, PBKS reached 214/8. Punjab’s top batters included Sam Curran (55 in 29 balls with five fours and four sixes), Harpreet Singh (41 in 28 balls with four boundaries and two sixes), and Atharva Taide (29 off 17 balls with three fours and a six).

MI’s bowler of choice was Piyush Chawla (2/15 in three overs). Cameron Green took 2/41 in his four overs as well. Arjun Tendulkar, Jofra Archer, and Jason Behrendorff each took one scalp.

MI lost Ishan Kishan early in their chase of 215, but a 76-run second-wicket stand between skipper Rohit Sharma (44 off 27 balls with four boundaries and three sixes) and Green got them back into the game. Green, who hit 67 off 43 balls with six fours and three sixes, also shared a 75-run third-wicket stand with Suryakumar Yadav (57 off 26 balls, seven fours, and three sixes).

However, PBKS and Arshdeep (4/29) in particular delivered excellently in the death overs to help PBKS win by 13 runs. PBKS’s batting innings saw record books being rewritten. Piyush Chawla of the Mumbai Indians (MI) has surpassed Ravichandran Ashwin to become the bowler with the fifth-most wickets in IPL history. Chawla was MI’s standout bowler in the match, taking 2/15 in three overs with an economy rate of 5.00. He dismissed Atharva Taide and Liam Livingstone.

Piyush has taken 166 wickets in 171 matches for Chennai Super Kings, PBKS, Kolkata Knight Riders, and MI in his IPL career, with an average of 26.86 and an economy rate of 7.84. His best bowling average is 4/17. The spinner was picked up for Rs 50 lakh at last year’s auction at the age of 34, and the move is paying off handsomely for his team. He has nine wickets at an average of 17.55 and an economy rate of 6/86 in six matches. His best bowling figures are 3/22, and he currently ranks ninth in the bowling charts. So far this season, he has taken the most wickets for MI.

Punjab Kings scored their second-highest total against Mumbai Indians (MI) on Saturday. Punjab Kings’ highest total against MI is 230/3, which they achieved in 2017. Punjab Kings scored 109 runs in their final six overs of the innings, from the 16th to the 20th over, the second most by any team in the IPL in this phase of the innings. Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) scored the most runs in the final six overs of an innings against Gujarat Lions in 2016. During this phase, they scored a total of 126 runs.

However, there was an unfortunate record as well: Arjun Tendulkar bowled the second most expensive over in IPL history by a MI bowler. Arjun conceded 31 runs in the 16th over, bowling the second most expensive over by a MI bowler in the IPL. Daniel Sams is ranked first after conceding 35 runs against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in 2022. For third place, three players have conceded 28 runs each: Pawan Suyal against Royal Challengers Bangalore (2014), Alzarri Joseph against Rajasthan Royals (2019), and Mitchell McClenaghan against PBKS (2017).

During MI’s batting, Rohit Sharma became the first Indian to reach 250 sixes in Indian Premier League (IPL) history. With this, his six IPL sixes total has increased to exactly 250. He has scored 6,058 runs in 233 matches, with an average of 30.29 and a strike rate of 130.22. In the league, he has one century and 41 half-centuries, with a best score of 109*. He is the third player in IPL history to have hit 250 or more sixes. Chris Gayle has 357 sixes in IPL history, AB De Villiers has 251, Rohit Sharma has 250, MS Dhoni has 235, and Virat Kohli has 229.

Arshdeep Singh, PBKS’s rising star, also reached 50 IPL wickets. Arshdeep finished the match with figures of 4/29 in four overs and an economy rate of 7.25. Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, and Nehal Wadhra were all dismissed by him. In the final over, defending 16 runs, he gave up only two runs and scalped Tilak and Nehal, breaking their middle stumps in the process. Arshdeep has taken 53 wickets in 44 IPL matches, with an average of 23.74 and an economy rate of 8.32. His best bowling average is 5/32.

Following his side’s win, PBKS skipper Sam Curran said, “Pretty special. What amazing ground. The environment is incredible here. It (the win) is a massive positive for us. I do not think I should be getting the Man of the Match considering how the boys closed the game out there. Without Shikhar, we know we had to take that responsibility. Our group is coming together really well. Shikhar will be fit soon. We won 4 out of the 7 games and it is not a bad place to be. Have got great support from the management and the local guys. The boys are enjoying themselves, and it is still a long way to go the important thing is to enjoy the game and not put too much pressure on ourselves.”

On the other hand, Rohit Sharma said, “Yes, a little disappointment there (in death overs), we made some errors in the field which can happen, not gonna look too much into that. Just keep our heads high, we have won three and lost three, pretty even-stevens at the moment. There is a lot of time left in the tournament. We can’t look down and start worrying about things. Yes, we did not come out on top today. We made some errors but something to go back and look into. (On Green and Sky) Quite happy with the way those two guys batted today and they kept us in the game till the end. Credit to Arshdeep for the way he bowled in the last couple of overs.”

Curran was also named ‘Player of the Match’.

GT is fourth with four wins and two losses (8 points), and LSG is second with four wins and three losses (8 points). PBKS is fifth with four wins and three losses (8 points), while MI is eighth with three wins and three losses (6 points).