TATA IPL 2024: Rashid Khan stars as Gujarat beat Rajasthan in a thriller

TATA IPL 2024: Rashid Khan stars as Gujarat beat Rajasthan in a thriller
Rashid Khan's quick-fire of 24 runs after skipper Shubman Gill's half-century helped Gujarat Titans win the match by three wickets in a last-over thriller against Rajasthan Royals at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium, here on Wednesday.
Chasing the target of 197, Gujarat Titans went off to a slow start. Both the openers Shubman Gill and Sai Sudarshan scored over a run a ball in their first four overs, and with 171 needed from the last 16 overs they needed a push. The Titans ended their powerplay at 44 for no loss.
Sai Sudharsan smashed two lovely fours at the start of the eighth over and off Yuzvendra Chahal's first, by both back-foot punches, first to beat deep midwicket to his right, and the next to beat sweeper cover. The fourth ball of the over was another back-foot punch, but straight back to the bowler this time as it was a tough reflex catch, and it didn't quite stick in Chahal's hands.
Titans were reeling on 63 for no loss after eight overs. The openers were looking good without yet putting up the really big overs. Kuldeep Sen, introduced in the attack in the ninth over, gave the Royals their first breakthrough as he plumbed Sudarshan in front of the stump. RR went upstairs after the onfield call was not out and with three reds in Sudarshan had to depart scoring 35 off 29 deliveries.
After a short rain break, Sen struck again in his next over. In just ten legal deliveries Sen had struck three times. After breaking the opening partnership Sen went on to dismiss Mattew Wade for 4. Sen went hard at a short-of-length ball angling away from Wade, but it took the inside edge of his diagonal bat and clattered into the stumps.
In the fourth delivery of the over Sen went past Abhinav Mankhar’s defense to dismiss him for a single-digit score of 1. The Titans were 79 for 3 in 10.4 overs. Gill on the other hand completed his half-century off 35 balls, at the start of the 14th over of the Titans' innings.
They still needed 93 off 41 deliveries. Gill managed to hit only two fours and two sixes and was not able to hit a boundary since the end of the 10th over. Vijay Shankar, who was struggling with his form went off to a good start before getting out of Yuzvendra Chahal's googly at the score of 16. Rahul Tewatia walked into the crease with 84 needed off 36 balls. Titans collected 13 runs off Ashwin’s third over.
Right when Gill was trying to bring back the momentum to Titans' favour, they lost their skipper after he smashed back-to-back boundaries to Chahal. Gill hit him for two off-side fours off the first two balls of the 16th over, and then stepped out to the third ball, looking for another boundary. Chahal saw him coming and bowled it even wider, a genuine wide, well out of his reach, and Samson completed the stumping. Gill went back to the pavilion for 72 off 44, and the Titans needed 64 in 28 balls. Chahal ended his spell with a figure of 2 for 43.
Ashwin in his last over of the spell bowled the second most expensive over of the inning after he got smashed for 17 runs by Tewatia and Shahrukh Khan and ended his spell with the figure of 40 for none.
Avesh Khan bowling the 18th over trapped Shahrukh Khan in front of the stumps for 14 off eight deliveries and Titans needing 40 off 15 balls. By the end of the 18th over the equation went down to 35 required of 12 deliveries. Sen, who was the star bowler for Royals so far was given the responsibility to bowl the 19th over of the inning. It was a nine-ball over. Both Tewatia and Rashid found the extra-cover boundary once each. There was also a wide outside off stump to the left-hander and a wide down the leg side to the right-hander from Kuldeep Sen.
There was a (tight) no-ball as well. The free hit produced a catch in the outfield, and Tewatia finished the over with a terrific hit, a one-bounce four over mid-off off a slower-length ball angling away from his arc. Avesh Khan was asked to bowl the final over, and the Royals with five minutes behind the targeted over rate, were with only four fielders outside the circle.
Avesh Khan bowled the final over with only four men out on the boundary and with Titans needing 15. A low full-toss that Rashid swiped to the leg-side boundary, nice yorker outside off, squeaked by Rashid past the diving Samson. The Titans needed four out of two when Tewatia misplayed a hit in the middle of the off. With Buttler pursuing them back towards the boundary, they attempted to run a third, but Tewatia was well short of the bowler's end crease.
Titans now needed two runs off the final ball, and Rashid was on strike. With just four fielders back, Avesh doesn't have many solid options. He went short, a little outside off, and Rashid slashed this through covers for a boundary to win the match for the Titans by three wickets.
Brief score:
Rajasthan Royals 196 for 3 in 20 overs (Sanju Samson 68 not out, Riyan Parag 76; Rashid Khan 1-18, Umesh Yadav 1-47) lost to Gujarat Titans 199 for 7 (Shubman Gill 72, Sai Sudarshan 35; Kuldeep Sen 3-41, Yuzvendra Chahal 2-43) by three wickets.