On May 24, in IPL 2022, the Gujarat Titans (GT) demonstrated why they are the table-toppers by defeating the Rajasthan Royals (RR) by seven wickets at Eden Gardens in Kolkata. They qualified for their first final with this victory, while Rajasthan will face the winner of Eliminator in Qualifier 2.
GT skipper and man in form Hardik Pandya won the toss and opted to bowl first. They removed opener Yashasvi Jaiswal for a low total before Jos Buttler and captain Sanju Samson put on a 68-run partnership With wickets coming from one end, Buttler held on to the innings and accepted the responsibility with a decent knock from the other.
The Englishman appeared to be on his way to a century before being run out for a 56-ball 89 as the Royals achieved a competitive total of 188/6. Each of Mohammed Shami, Yash Dayal, Hardik Pandya, and R Sai Kishore took a wicket.
In response, the Titans lost Wriddhiman Saha for a duck before Gill (35) and Wade (35) rescued them with a 72-run second-wicket stand. While the middle-order combo of Hardik Pandya and David Miller kept the scoreboard ticking.
As Gujarat were slowly moving forward for the hunt towards the conclusion, Hardik Pandya contributed with an undefeated 40 runs off 27 balls. With 16 runs needed in the last over, pacer Prasidh Krishna was given the assignment of bowling the final over. Despite this, Miller took the challenge and clobbered the youngster for three consecutive sixes.
Thus, allowing GT to cross the finish line with three balls to spare and on 68 runs from 38 deliveries, the Proteas sensation stayed undefeated.
IPL 2022: GT defeated RR by 7 wickets – Post Match Reaction
After the match the winning captain Hardik Pandya said
“I’ve started to balance things in my life. Has been a constant effort through the last couple of years. In the end, my family, my son, my wife, and my brother as well have played a big role.”
“The kind of people we have, the genuine human beings we have.. I genuinely see even the players in the dugout are trying and praying for them to make sure they do well. That is something fantastic and that is the reason we have reached where we have reached.”
Meanwhile, the losing skipper Sanju Samson of Rajasthan Royals said
“Felt good to put up that kind of total as I felt the wicket was a bit sticky and there was lot of swing in the powerplay. I think we managed to put in a good score, but I think they played really well to chase the score down.”
“We have been playing some really good cricket throughout the tournament, couple of overs here and there, couple of extra runs, couple of off-rhythm by couple of our bowlers, we will try to come back and play some good cricket. In this format luck (the toss) plays a huge role, so it all comes down to what you want to do in your control. Hoping for a good result in the next game.”
What’s next for Rajasthan and Gujarat?
While GT becomes the first team in IPL 2022 to reach the final, RR will have another opportunity as they now face the winners of qualifier 2.