Gujarat Titans has won its maiden IPL title with a seven-wicket victory over Rajasthan Royals at the Narendra Modi stadium in Ahmedabad on Sunday. Shubman Gill scored an unbeaten 45 while David Miller smashed a 19-ball 32.
Leading from the front, Hardik made all the difference with the crucial wickets of Sanju Samson (14), Jos Buttler (39) and Shimron Hetmyer (11).
Gujarat Titans’ limited a formidable Rajasthan Royals batting unit to 130 for 9.
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It should have been a comfortable chase but Rajasthan bowled their hearts out to make it an interesting final. As they showed all season, Gujarat remained calm in tough situations to finish the chase in 18.1 overs. Not many gave Gujarat a chance in their first season, especially after a mixed auction where they waited till the end to secure the services of wicketkeepers Wriddhiman Saha and Matthew Wade.
It was not a team studded with star players but Hardik impressed with his leadership and got the best out of his colleagues. His performance with bat and ball also contributed immensely to the teams triumph besides the ability to bounce back from any situation through the brilliance of Miller and Rahul Tewatia.
After posting an underwhelming total, Rajasthan had to produce a special effort with the ball to get back in the game. The pace duo of Trent Boult and Prasidh Krishna were brilliant in the powerplay, reducing Gujarat to 31 for two with Wriddhiman Saha (5) and Matthew Wade (8) back in the dugout.
Krishna got one to seam back in from good length to breach Sahas defence and crash into the stumps. Boult, who also bowled a maiden over in his tidy spell, removed Wade.
Gujarat would have been three down in the powerplay if Yuzvendra Chahal held on to a simple catch of Gill off Boult in the first over of the innings. Hardik and Gill struggled to get the boundaries but never felt extreme pressure as the asking rate remained very much in control.
R Ashwin was introduced in the 12th over and Hardik (34 off 30) decided to go after him, collecting a four and six off successive balls to bring up the 50-run stand with Gill and take Gujarat to 77 for two in 12 overs. The skipper fell to a brilliant leg break from Chahal but Gill and Miller got the job done in the end.
The entire stadium, housing more than a lakh people, erupted when Gill hit the winning six.