Riding on a stunning bowling display from Afghan spin duo Rashid Khan and Noor Ahmed followed by Hardik Pandya's unbeaten and quickfire 15-ball 39 , Gujarat Titans (GT) registered a dominating 9-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals (RR) in an IPL 2023 match at Sawai Mansingh Stadium, here on Friday.
With this win, Titans made their position strong at the top of the points table with seven wickets in 10 matches.
Rashid (3/14) and Noor (2/25) once again proved to be lethal with their attacking bowling skillset and rattled the Royals' batting line-up in the middle overs as the hosts were bundled out for a paltry 118 in 17.5 overs.
In reply, after Shubman Gill and Wriddhiman Saha provided a good start to the chase, Hardik Pandya smoked Adam Zampa for three sixes and a four as the visitors sealed a win under 13.5 overs.
Chasing the paltry 118-run target, the opening duo Gill and Saha started off well, hitting ten boundaries in the first six overs as GT reached 49 for no loss in the PowerPlay.With just two boundaries coming in the next three overs, Shubman Gill got stumped in the 10th over off the bowling of Yuzvendra Chahal.
Gill attempted a big slog but the ball turned away sharply after hitting the deck. Sanju Samson made no mistake and was quick to take the bails off.Then, Hardik Pandya took Adam Zampa to the cleaners as he hit 6,4,6,6, taking 24 runs off an over and Titans reached 96/1 in eleven overs.
Saha and Hardik collected 18 runs off the next two overs including two boundaries. With five needed to win, the duo dealt in singles and chased down the target with ease.Earlier batting first, the Royals had a slow start as they lost Jos Buttler early.
Yashaswi Jaiswal and Sanju Samson went for a few big hits to add crucial runs before the former got run out and the hosts posted 50/2 in the PowerPlay.Titans continued to put pressure on the hosts with their clinical bowling and RR failed to establish a stable partnership, as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals.
Hardik Pandya struck in the second over to dismiss Buttler after conceding two successive boundaries. RR suffered another blow when Jaiswal got run while attempting a second run in the last over of the powerplay.
The next over Joshua Little sent Samson back and Royals were three down in seven overs.Rashid posed another threat in the eighth over as he cleaned up Ravichandran Ashwin cheaply for 2 before trapping Riyan Parag in the 10th over to reduce RR to 72/5.
Noor too joined the party and struck in his two overs to put a further dent in RR innings with the wicket of Devdutt Padikkal for 12. Soon, he trapped Dhruv Jurel lbw in the 14th over. The next over Rashid removed Shimron Hetmyer, reducing the Royals to 96-8.
After an impressive opening over, Shami came into the attack in the 17 over and dismissed Trent Boult on fine yorker. Then, Abhinav Manohar's firing in a sharp one-bounce throw at the striker's end rattled the stumps and ended Royals' innings at 118 in 17.5 overs.
Brief scores: Gujarat Titans (Wriddhiman Saha 41 off 34, Hardik Pandya 39 off 15; Yuzvendra Chahal 1/22) beat Rajasthan Royals 118 all-out in 17.5 overs (Sanju Samson 30 off 20; Rashid Khan 3/14, Noor Ahmad 2/25) by nine wickets.