gujarat titans 227 for 2 wickets (Gill 94*, Saha 81) defeated Lucknow Super Giants 171 for 7 (de Kock 70, Mayers 48, Mohit 4-29) by 56 runs
Saha got angry
At the Titans, Saha’s role with the bat is to attack in the powerplay, and he could not have done more justice to it. He started with two fours off Mohsin Khan in the opening over. The first came from the outside edge but it did not cause any trouble to Saha. In the next over, he hit a six and a four off Avesh Khan.
Mohsin came in for more punishment with the help of two fours and two sixes from Saha in the fourth over. By the end of that over the Titans had reached 53; Saha’s contribution was 46 runs.
Saha completed his half-century in just 20 balls in the sixth over by hitting a six over long on off Yash Thakur. By the halfway stage, Saha had reached 74 off 37, but his innings ended when he pulled Avesh Khan to deep square leg.
Gill took charge
Gill spent most of the powerplay watching Saha from the non-striker end. He faced just five balls in the first four overs and at one point was at 9 out of ten. But soon he began to catch up with Saha, even surpassing him.
It started with a six from Krunal; Deepak Hooda pounced on long-off and tried to bounce it back but failed. Soon after, Gill hit two sixes in an over from Ravi Bishnoi and completed his half-century in 29 balls. There were six sixes in his first 68 runs but no fours.
After Saha fell, and Gill started to tire a bit in the scorching Ahmedabad heat, Hardik and David Miller made cameos. When Thakur started the last over of the innings, Gill had reached 85 runs. He hit a six and a two off the first two balls and reached 93 runs with four runs remaining. But after that came a dot and a single. Miller pulled the last ball for four runs and took a single off the last ball, leaving Gill six runs short of his maiden IPL century.
Mayers, De Kock responded in kind
Mohammed Shami started the Titans’ defense with a four-run over. But in the next three overs, Mayers and de Kock scored nine fours and six runs. With LSG reaching 50 in four overs, Hardik was forced to bring on both wrist spinners Rashid Khan and Noor Ahmed inside the powerplay. Still, the Titans found no respite. The LSG openers hit three fours and a six in the first two overs of the Afghan pair.
Mohit brings back the titans
When the Titans were batting, some slower balls were stuck on the surface. Mohit used the same trick to dismiss Mayers as the batsman missed a ball towards deep square leg, where Rashid, after running diagonally to his right, completed the catch with a slide.
Mayers’ wicket slowed down LSG significantly. In the next six overs, including the one in which he fell, LSG got only 33 runs. Due to this, they needed 107 runs in the last six overs.
De Kock tried to achieve the target by hitting a six off Mohit but the bowler made a comeback by dismissing Marcus Stoinis on another slow ball. In the next over, Rashid effectively ended the game by sending back De Kock. Ayush Badoni tried to reduce the margin of defeat but Mohit dismissed him and Krunal and took 4 wickets for 29 runs.
Hemant Brar is sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo