Hardik Pandya and Shubman Gill added 59 runs off 33 balls

The Titans maintained a tight rein throughout the chase, but Samson and Hetmyer eventually cut them off.


By three wickets, Rajasthan Royals defeated Gujarat Titans, score 177 for 7 (Miller 46, Gill 45, and Sandeep 22-35) with a total of (Samson 60, Hetmyer 56*, Shami 3-25 and Rashid 2-46) 179 for 7.

The Rajasthan Royals were dangerously close to failing.

With 66 for 4, their pursuit of 178 had no chance of success. They required another 112 runs off of 48 balls. Rashid Khan was supposed to bowl twelve of them.

Even for someone as accomplished as Sanju Samson and Shimron Hetmyer, you thought this mission might be too difficult. It’s over once it’s over, as Rinku Singh demonstrated the other night on this field.

In Rashid’s third over, which resulted in 20 runs, Samson went 6,6,6, and Shimron attacked his West Indies teammate Alzarri Joseph from the other end. The Royals’ lead quickly swung so much in their favor that nothing, not even Samson’s firing at that point, seemed to bother them.

Hetmyer persevered to reach his half-century off 25 deliveries, Dhruv Jurel played a valuable cameo knock of 17 runs, and R Ashwin entered the game to smash a six and a four in the penultimate over. All of this put them within a few strikes of success.

The Royals had returned from nowhere to pull off a robbery that propelled them to the top of the IPL 2023 standings five games in. With five needed off five, Shimron completed a victory that initially appeared unthinkable by biffing Noor Ahmad for six.

Like the anguish, they suffered last week against the Kolkata Knight Riders, the Gujarat Titans suffered another setback.

Titans’ erratic beginning

As the Titans stumbled to 42 for 2 during the powerplay, it was the first time this season that they had not reached 50 runs through the first six overs. Wriddhiman Saha and B Sai Sudharsan were both out.

Trent Boult was the one who snatched the rebound as Samson and Shimron collided. Saha was out to a hoick with three others vying for it. After coiling at the bowler’s end, Sudharsan was run out at the striker’s end by a yard; those valuable seconds cost him the opportunity to cover the distance.


Hardik-Gill start.

The two started reorganizing the innings, and one strategy they used was to try to target the spinners. In Hardik’s first two innings, Ashwin took 27 hits; Gill scored against him using his feet, and Hardik struck out Adam Zampa. Before Yuzvendra Chahal caught Hardik for a 19-ball 28 after deceiving him in flight, the pair added 59 runs in just 33 balls.

Titans’ decline

Hardik was dismissed, and the next 30 deliveries went for just 31 runs, thanks to the Royals’ excellent use of their spinners. Abhinav Manohar’s 27 off 13 in a game he would not have participated in had Vijay Shankar has been healthy gave the Titans much of their final-quarter momentum. Miller did Miller things by taking the inning deep before launching a barrage of vicious hits to reach 46. The Titans unexpectedly had 177 for 7, more than they had initially appeared to obtain but possibly less than they had preferred.

The Royals started well.

Yashasvi Jaiswal was eliminated in the slips, while Jos Buttler attempted to scoop but was clean bowled. Shami Mohammed for just his second IPL duck. Devdutt Padikkal and Samson gave them the appearance of normalcy they needed when they were 4 for 2 in 3 overs before Rashid came and made a significant impact.

In his first over, he saw Padikkal, who was pursuing him, slice a ball to short third base. He had Riyan Parag smack one down the throat of a long-off in his second at-bat, the 11th.

Samson makes 6,6,6

The Royals’ win probability, according to ESPNcricinfo, was 2.01%, with a requirement of 112 out of 48. Rashid’s third inning saw some big hits from Samson, though. As soon as Rashid dropped short while attempting to mix his lengths, he rapidly shifted weight back to pull. He arrived at the pitch to belt the first two down the ground.

At this time, the Titans substituted Noor Ahmad, a left-arm spinner from Afghanistan, for Gill as the impact sub in their lineup. Samson was instructed to choose long-off after he was hammered for a six and a four.

Hetmyer visits the Royals’ stadium.

Hetmyer, more so than Joseph, was the ideal counterpunch on the other end, feeding off Samson’s vigor with takedowns of his own. However, Shami, who tripped a little distance in at third man for a catch that might have gone clean down Hetmyer’s neck had he stayed on the ropes; the Royals might not have gotten Shimron Hetmyer at one point. Then, the Royals needed 62 runs off of 29. They could reflect on it in the future and speculate about what might have been.

When Samson’s wicket fell, Dhruv Jurel quickly settled in. The Royals swiftly reduced the gap thanks to his flawless six-hitting and wise use of pace while playing behind the wicket.

As Jurel went for a 10-ball 17, the Titans may have thought they had a chance, but Ashwin used the long handle of his first two deliveries to reduce the target to single digits. From then on, Hetmyer wouldn’t let the Royals’ comeback victory slip away.

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