Gujarat Titans 227 for 2 (Gill 94*, Saha 81) beat Lucknow Super Giants 171 for 7 (de Kock 70, Mayers 48, Mohit 4-29) by 56 runs
Saha blazes away
At Titans, Saha’s role with bat is to attack in the powerplay, and he couldn’t have done more justice to it. He started with two fours off Mohsin Khan in the opening over. The first one had come via an outside edge but that didn’t bother Saha. In the next over, he picked up a six and four off Avesh Khan.
Mohsin came in for more punishment in the fourth over with Saha hitting two fours and two sixes. By the end of that over Titans had cruised to 53; Saha’s contribution was 46.
With a six over long-on off Yash Thakur, Saha brought up his half-century, off just 20 balls in the sixth over. By the halfway stage, Saha had moved to 74 off 37 but his innings came to an end when he dragged Avesh Khan to deep square leg.
Gill takes over
Gill had spent most of the powerplay watching Saha from the non-striker’s end. He faced just five balls in the first four overs and was on 9 off ten at one point. But soon he was matching Saha shot for shot, even outshining him.
It started with a six off Krunal; Deepak Hooda jumped at long-off and tried to lob it back but failed. Shortly after that, Gill launched Ravi Bishnoi for two sixes in one over, and raised his fifty off 29 balls. There were six sixes but no four in his first 68 runs.
After Saha fell, and Gill started tiring a bit in the harsh Ahmedabad heat, Hardik and David Miller chipped in with cameos. Gill had reached 85 when Thakur started the last over of the innings. He hit the first two balls for a six and a two, reaching 93 with four to go. But that was followed by a dot and single. Miller pulled the penultimate ball for a four and took a single off the final one, with Gill finishing six short of what would have been his maiden IPL hundred.
Mayers, de Kock respond in kind
Mohammed Shami started Titans’ defence with a four-run over. But in the next three overs, Mayers and de Kock smashed nine fours and six. With LSG racing to 50 in four overs, Hardik was forced to introduce both wristspinners Rashid Khan and Noor Ahmad inside the powerplay. Still, there was no respite for Titans. The LSG openers hit three fours and a six in the Afghan duo’s first two overs.
Mohit brings Titans back
When Titans were batting, a couple of slower balls had stuck in the surface. Mohit used the same trick to dismiss Mayers as the batter miscued one towards deep square leg, where Rashid, after running in diagonally to his right, completed the catch with a slide.
Mayers’ wicket slowed LSG down drastically. The next six overs, including the one in which he fell, brought LSG just 33 runs. It left them needing 107 from the last six overs.
De Kock tried to revive the chase with a six off Mohit but the bowler bounced back by dismissing Marcus Stoinis with yet another slower ball. In the next over, Rashid sent back de Kock to effectively end the game. Ayush Badoni tried to reduce the margin of the loss before Mohit dismissed him and Krunal to finish with 4 for 29.
Hemant Brar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo