It was a match of two extremes -- both teams at different ends of the spectrum; while Gujarat Titans needed two points to qualify for the Play-Offs, SunRisers Hyderabad needed a win to stay alive in the tournament.
And the match was reflective of how both teams have fared over the course of the tournament and the result eventually went that way too, with Gujarat dominating with both bat and ball to hand SRH a 34 run hammering to make the Play-Offs and seal a top-2 finish.
SRH won the toss and Captain Aiden Markram rued his decision very quickly. Although Bhuvneshwar Kumar had the back of in-form Wriddhiman Saha in the first over itself, but Shubhman Gill made his presence felt in no time. Gill joined forces with Sai Sudarshan and creamed the SRH bowling.
Spinner or pacer, none was spared and Gill continued to pile on the runs on his happy hunting ground with Sudarshan playing perfect foil. Gill brought up his 50 in the 8th over before the duo completed their 100-run partnership in the 10th over.
The Gill-Sai show was threatening to take the game away from SRH and with bowlers bowling without any intent, Gill and Sudarshan were just piling on the misery. With the scorecard reading 103 for 1 in the 10th over, GT were expected to score 200+.
But that idea was put paid when SRH bowlers, led by the incredible Bhuvneshwar Kumar. did well to restrict GT to just 188 for 9.
After 14 overs, the 147 run stand was finally broken by Marco Jansen as Sudarshan miscued a shot and holed out at backward point. Sudarshan did well to make 47 off 36, making the most of a dropped chance and a surviving a run-out.
But that dismissal opened the floodgates and GT kept losing wickets in a heap with Hardik Pandya, David Miller and Rahul Tewatia returning to the dugout almost as soon as they arrived at the crease.
The rush of GT wickets affected Gill's scoring momentum and although he got to his maiden IPL century in the 19th over, he was out in the next. Bhuvi took three wickets in the final over and effected a run-out to restrict GT to what seemed like a gettable target.
With a five-wicket haul, Bhuvi had nicely set it up for the batters, but SRH's inexperienced batters had to contend with Mohammed Shami, who before this game had 12 wickets in the Powerplay this season.
All SRH needed to do was to show some fight and get off to a flyer in the first 6 overs, and they failed gloriously. Shami once again got the early breakthrough -- Impact Sub Anmolpreet Singh -- before adding the wickets of Rahul Tripathi and Aiden Markram to his tally of scalps in the Powerplay.
SRH's innings was in disarray, the scorecard reading 45 for 4 in six overs. Mohit Sharma added to SRH's humiliation with a two-wicket burst in the next over.
With a sorry total of 66 for 7 in 10 overs, SRH were down for the count. Heinrich Klaasen (64 off 44) and Bhuvi's counter-attacking 68-run partnership raised a few hopes in the SRH camp.
Brought back to bowl the 17th over, Shami once again made a crucial breakthrough with Klaasen's wicket. That brought down the shutters on SRH's innings who finished on 154 for 9, 34 runs short of the target.
Once again, it was SunRisers' Indian batters who lacked intent during their stay at the crease.
Abhishek Sharma, Rahul Tripathi and Abdul Samad, all threw their wickets away. Markram failed again and it's a pity that all the cricketing brains in the dugout -- Brian Lara, Muttiah Muralitharan, Kumar Sangakkara and Dale Steyn in coaching roles -- cannot convert performances out in the middle.
SunRisers need to stitch up a more balanced team for the next season and hope to end IPL 2023 on a happy note with two more games to go against RCB on May 18 and Mumbai Indians on May 21.