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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Gill Or Sudharsan? Who Batted Better?

Gill Or Sudharsan? Who Batted Better?

By HARISH KOTIAN
May 11, 2024 09:31 IST
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On the verge of getting eliminated from the league stages, Gujarat Titans came up with one of their most commanding performances this season to keep their slim hopes alive.

Centuries from Openers Shubman Gill and Sai Sudharsan powered Titans to a huge 231/3. Champions CSK were rocked by early wickets and could never pose a challenge in the run chase as the hosts romped to an emphatic 35 run victory.

GT vs CSK: The Best Knocks...

 

Shubman Gill

After King Kohli missed out a landmark 100th century in the IPL, departing for 92 against Punjab Kings on Thursday, it was only fitting that Shubman Gill, rated as the next big thing in Indian cricket, completed the feat.

Gill brought up his fourth IPL century and the 100th hundred in the T20 league.

Left out of the T20 World Cup squad and only named among the reserves, Gill made an emphatic statement with one of the best knocks this season.

With opening partner Sai Sudharsan also getting a hundred, this was just the third time in the league that two centuries have been scored in the same innings of a match.

GT Captain Gill, who had struck only two half-centuries this season, broke his barren spell as he got his innings off to a positive start. He punched the short ball from Mitchell Santner past the point fielder to open his innings with a boundary and then showing intent, hammered Santner for a maximum, lofting the spinner for a six down the ground.

Getting off the mark with two gorgeous shots, Gill handed the Titans the perfect start in the Powerplay.

The pair took the hosts past the 50 run mark in the sixth over.

Gill, who got off the blocks quickly brought up his half-century with a top-edged pull off Simarjeet Singh that went soaring over the boundary behind the wicket-keeper. Gill kept his foot on the pedal as boundaries flowed at the Modi stadium.

In the 14th over, after pulling Daryl Mitchell for a six over fine leg, Gill, on 72 from 37 balls, was handed a lifeline, as Tushar Deshpande put down a catch at long off. To add salt into CSK's wounds, Deshpande ended up deflecting the ball into the cushions to concede a six.

Continuing the carnage, Gill smashed Mitchell for the third six off the over, taking 19 off him in the 14th over.

Scoring at a rate of 200, Gill brought up his hundred with a boundary through square leg off Simarjeet.

Bringing up his fourth IPL century off fifty deliveries, Gill celebrated in an animated fashion -- if not angry celebration as if to prove a point to the men who matter!

Gill walked back to a standing ovation after a whirlwind innings of 104 off 55, at a strike rate of 189. He hit nine boundaries and six sixes in a superb exhibition of stunning strokeplay all around the park at the world's biggest cricket stadium.

Sai Sudharsan

Sai Sudharsan's promotion as the opener in place of the injured Wriddhiman Saha turned out to be a masterstroke for the Titans.

While Gill struck his fourth IPL century, Sai Sudharsan matched his skipper stroke to stroke as he struck his maiden IPL ton.

Sudharsan got off to a cautious start, but he switched gears as GT's openers scored in tandem. Both openers were on similar scores of 96 off 48, with Gill bringing up his century first.

The Tamil Nadu left-hander complemented his skipper well as the pair added 210 off 104 for the first wicket. This is the highest partnership for any wicket in IPL 2024 so far, and with teams scoring 200-plus scores quite regularly, it isn't a mean feat but any nature.

Sudharsan bagged his first boundary in the third over as he played a beautiful inside out shot off Shardul Thakur over extra cover for six in the third over.

After another flat six off Deshpande in the next over, Sudharsan took the attack to Ravindra Jadeja, hammering the CSK all-rounder for a boundary through mid wicket off his very first delivery.

He took a liking to Jadeja as he hit the spinner for a four and a six to bring up his half-century off 32 deliveries.

Sudharsan paired up with Gill in the 11th over to hammer Simarjeet for 23 runs. With back-to-back sixes off Simarjeet, Sudharsan became the quickest Indian in terms of innings to reach 1,000 runs in IPL, taking 25 innings to reach the landmark as he beat the previous record of 31 innings by Ruturaj Gaikwad and Sachin Tendulkar.

Sudharsan entered the 90s with a lovely six over Santner, slogging the spinner over deep mid wicket.

It turned out to be a thrilling race towards the century between the two Gujarat openers as they matched each other stroke for stroke. Interestingly, both the batters were on the exact same score from the same number of deliveries -- 96 from 48 balls at the end of the 16th over.

And both brought up their centuries in the same over as well, with both taking 50 balls each to get there.

Sudharsan who has narrowly missed out on his ton previously, almost found himself in the same situation. In last year's IPL final, against the same opponents, he had missed out on his maiden ton, falling for 96 off 47.

But on Friday, he breathed a sigh of relief as he just cleared square leg to bring up his first IPL century in style from 50 balls.

Sudharsan lit up the stadium with five boundaries and seven sixes. Sudharsan and Gill's 210 off 104 is the joint highest opening partnership in the IPL.

Daryl Mitchell

Daryl Mitchell slammed his second half-century of IPL 2024 to lead CSK's revival after a flurry of wickets at the start.

The Kiwi batter, who was bought for a huge Rs 14 crore (Rs 140 million) at the IPL auction, showed why he is so highly rated across formats as his counter-attacking knock brought CSK back in the hunt.

CSK were struggling on 10/3 in three overs before Mitchell hit Sandeep Warrier for a six and a four off successive deliveries in the fourth over. In the company of Moeen Ali, Mitchell ensured CSK batted aggressively to stay in the run chase despite being set a huge 232 for victory.

Mitchell smashed Warrier for another six in the seventh over and followed it up with three boundaries off pacer Kartik Tyagi, who made his debut for the Titans.

The CSK right-hander, who raced to his fifty from 27 balls, continued his offensive against Titans' spin ace Rashid Khan, hitting a wonderful boundary with the inside out lofted shot over the covers for a four followed by a six straight down the ground.

It was his superb strokeplay in the middle overs which ensured that the asking rate didn't get out of hand as he added 109 runs for the fourth wicket with Moeen Ali from just 57 balls -- the highest partnership for CSK in IPL 2024.

However, his dismissal to pacer Mohit Sharma in the 13th over was a big blow to CSK's hopes. He walked back after smashing 63 from 34 balls, with three sixes and seven fours.

Moeen Ali

Moeen Ali got back among the runs with a quickfire half-century to rally CSK after a difficult start.

No 5 Moeen came to bat quite early with CSK reduced to 10/3 in the third over. He made a shaky start as he edged the first ball he faced, from Umesh Yadav, but the ball dropped well short of wicket-keeper Matthew Wade.

Moeen struggled as he was beaten a couple of times in the next over bowled by Sandeep Warrier, who managed to get some away movement with the new ball.

The England left-hander finally got going as he slogged Umesh Yadav through mid wicket for a four and a few balls later pulled the pacer for another four through square leg in the fifth over.

It was Moeen's brutal assault on GT spinner Noor Ahmad which got the confidence back in the CSK camp. Moeen went on the rampage as he slammed Ahmad for a hat-trick of sixes in the 11th over as CSK looked to be getting back the momentum.

Moeen completed his first fifty of the season from just 31 balls before he became Mohit Sharma's second victim, caught at deep mid wicket after miscuing the pull shot in the 15th over.

VOTE! GILL OR SUDHARSAN: WHO BATTED BETTER?

Photographs: BCCI

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HARISH KOTIAN / Rediff.com

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