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Turning Point: Tewatia's Attack

By HARISH KOTIAN
March 29, 2022 07:45 IST
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IMAGE: Gujarat Titans's Rahul Tewatia hits out during the IPL game against the Lucknow Super Giants against the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai on Monday, March 28, 2022. Photograph: BCCI

Gujarat Titans's huge bid of Rs 9 crore (Rs 90 million) for Rahul Tewatia at the IPL auction left many surprised, but the all-rounder showed he is worth the money with his match-winning cameo against the Lucknow Super Giants in Mumbai on Monday.

Gujarat were struggling on 78/4 in the 12th over when Tewatia walked out to bat.

Things got more difficult with Gujarat managing just 12 runs from the next three overs, as the equation stood at 68 needed from the last five overs.

Lucknow Captain K L Rahul's gamble of bowling part-time spinner Deepak Hooda for an extra over proved decisive for his opponents.

Tewatia knew this was the moment to make his move. He swung Hooda over midwicket for a six before launching the next ball back over the bowler's head for a four.

His partner David Miller also seized the opportunity as he hit the last two balls from Hooda for a four and a six, to get 22 runs from the 16th over.

That turned the tide in Gujarat's favour as young leggie Ravi Bishnoi, who had conceded 17 from his three overs, was taken to the cleaners by Tewatia. The left-hander played a stunning reverse sweep off the first ball for a six over point before hitting another couple of fours, to get 17 from the 17th over.

Miller hit Avesh Khan for a six before he perished off the next ball, but Tewatia kept his composure in a pressure situation.

Debutant Abhinav Sadarangani kept the boundaries flowing. He lofted Dushmantha Chameera's first ball for a four and Tewatia got another boundary off the fifth ball, but the match was still up for grabs with 11 needed from the final over.

Karnataka's Sadarangani showed no nerves as he clubbed pacer Avesh for successive fours off the first two balls of the final over before Tewatia deservedly hit the winning runs, playing a nice drive through the covers for a four.

Gujarat won the battle of the debutants by five wickets with two balls to spare, with Tewatia guiding them home with a cracking 40 from 24 balls.

 
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HARISH KOTIAN / Rediff.com

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