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Available on  gplay  » Cricket » Top Performers: Gill, Rashid Give Titans Winning Start

Top Performers: Gill, Rashid Give Titans Winning Start

April 01, 2023 09:31 IST
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IMAGE: Shubman Gill hits out as Mahendra Singh Dhoni looks on. Photograph: BCCI

Shubman Gill is enjoying the time of his life!

The 23-year-old batter has proved to be unstoppable with the bat in the last few months, hitting centuries across all three formats in international cricket and he seems to have carried that form into the IPL as well.

Gujarat Titans opener Gill showed why he is rated as one of the best young batters in the world today with a smashing innings of 63, in which he hardly hit a shot in anger, but still scored at a strike rate of 175, hitting six fours and three sixes in his 36-ball knock.

While Wriddhiman Saha went on the attack in the early overs, Gill preferred to take his team and play the supporting role to his senior partner. He started off nervously with a few unsure shots in the first couple of overs before he made his presence felt as he swiped Tushar Deshpande for a four through midwicket in the second over.

The CSK pacer, who came in as the Impact Player, suffered further at Gill's bat in his next over. He punched a short wide delivery through the covers for a four and then despatched a free hit delivery wide of long-on for a six.

He hit spinner Mitchell Santner for a boundary each in successive overs, showing his range with a cut shot off the backfoot and using his feet to loft the spinner for an exquisite inside out lofted shot.

Gill showed no respect for his senior India team-mate Ravindra Jadeja, whom he hit for a boundary and a six off successive deliveries in the 11th over as he eased to his fifty from just 30 balls.

Courtesy of Gill's positive batting, Gujarat kept in touch with the asking rate. He perished in the 15th over, as he miscued the pull shot off Deshpande but his knock had put his team in control with 41 needed from five overs for victory and six wickets in hand.

IMAGE: Rashid Khan celebrates dismissing Moeen Ali. Photograph: BCCI

Despite Gill's knock, things certainly got too close for comfort for Gujarat at the end.

The match was evenly poised after the 18th over with Gujarat needing 23 from the final two overs.

CSK Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni brought back his experienced pacer Deepak Chahar to bowl the penultimate over. But Rashid Khan changed the script completely in the matter of two deliveries.

The first ball he faced from Chahar was heaved over midwicket for a six before he sliced the next over short third man for a four.

15 runs from the over got Gujarat close before Rahul Tewatia finished off the match in style, hitting Deshpande for a six and a four in the final over.

Rashid showed why he is so highly rated with the ball in T20 cricket. He broke the back of CSK's batting by dismissing Moeen Ali (23) and Ben Stokes (7) in back to back overs to finish with 2/26 from his four overs.

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