Connect with us


Gujarat Titans pull off an upset against former captain Hardik’s MI

Rohit and Brevis add 77 but Umesh Yadav defends nine off four after being hit for six and four

Umesh Yadav was carted for a six and four by Hardik Pandya before he rallied to defend nine runs from four balls by taking two consecutive wickets and inspire Gujarat Titans to a stupendous six-run win against Mumbai Indians in another last-over IPL humdinger at Ahmedabad on Sunday. Titans’ 168 looked well short of the par score as Mumbai Indians raced to 107/2 after 12 overs, needing 62 from 48 balls. But they lost seven wickets from that point as Titans held their nerve in a tight victory.

Players exchange handshakes after the match between Gujarat Titans and Mumbai Indians.(ANI)

Pandya getting roundly booed at the ground where he had won Titans’ maiden title in 2022, Shubman Gill making a calm, collected debut as one of the youngest ever IPL captains, Jasprit Bumrah coming back to bowl after missing the entire 2023 season, Ishan Kishan resurfacing after leaving South Africa mid-tour in January — this IPL match had a dizzying number of plots and subplots. Nothing, however, could have been more intriguing than how Rohit Sharma — undoubtedly in the last leg of his illustrious IPL career — took to not leading Mumbai Indians in the backdrop of an upcoming T20 World Cup where he remains undisputed captain of India.

Hindustan Times – your fastest source for breaking news! Read now.

Also Read | R Ashwin lauds RR’s ‘unsung hero’ after win over LSG at IPL 2024: ‘I went for 12 runs’

An inside edge off the first ball he faced couldn’t have boosted the confidence. Neither would have some of the false shots induced by the slower bowlers of Gujarat Titans. But Rohit hung back and waited for the right balls in an approach diametrically opposite to what he has followed recently in international cricket. It served the purpose though. Rohit couldn’t anchor the chase all the way but a 29-ball 43 was just the kind of knock needed to shake off an inexplicable two-season rust that may have triggered this tectonic captaincy change.

And it featured all the vintage Rohit shots too. When Yadav bowled short, he stepped out and pulled him over midwicket for a sumptuous four. When Yadav bowled full and wide, Rohit leaned into a glorious drive. Getting the ball full and in his slot, Rohit nonchalantly flicked Yadav over midwicket for six. The sweep off Rashid Khan behind square leg was slightly uppish but it fetched a boundary nevertheless, as did a near-perfect reverse sweep off Sai Kishore.

Rohit looked to be in his elements but equally impressive was the 20-year-old Dewald Brevis, mixing caution with aggression in a 38-ball 46 before Mohit Sharma held on to his return catch and tilted the scales. Together, Rohit and Brevis had added 77 in 55 balls but their dismissals triggered a slowdown that neither Tilak Varma — who had inexplicably turned down easy singles off Rashid Khan — nor Tim David could arrest.

So deep is Mumbai Indians’ batting that they could afford Pandya coming in at No.7 with 27 required from the last two overs. Varma clobbered Spencer Johnson for a massive six over long-on but was dismissed the next ball itself. And when Johnson snared Gerald Coetzee, Pandya was tasked with scoring 19 from the last over. First ball was slightly short from Yadav and Pandya climbed into it for a six over extra cover. It seemed all over for Titans when Pandya slapped the next ball through covers for four but he then misjudged another pull and holed out to Rahul Tewatia at long-on. Piyush Chawla is used to wielding the long handle but this time he couldn’t clear Khan at deep midwicket. Two singles off the next two balls and Titans had pulled off an upset, purely because 168 was probably 20 short of the par score.

And Bumrah, quite predictably, was the chief reason behind it with 4-0-14-3 as he beguiled Titans batters with an array of slowers, yorkers and short balls to keep the lid on the scoring despite the hosts reaching 100 in the 12th over. Bumrah not opening the bowling with Pandya came as a surprise but he got the ball in the fourth over and did his job by unleashing a yorker that broke through the defence of Wriddhiman Saha who was threatening to run away with the initial momentum.

Foxing the doughty David Miller with a slower ball, further dousing Titans’ hopes by inducing Sai Sudharshan into flicking him to a diving Varma at backward square-leg, Bumrah landed the punches just when Mumbai needed them before closing his three-part, 14-dot-balls act with a seven-run penultimate over. Complementing him aptly during all this was Coetzee, who finished with 2/27. Pandya was expensive but more effective is his batting, which unfortunately for Mumbai Indians didn’t quite yield the desired result on his MI captaincy debut.


Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Must See

More in News