IPL 2022: Hardik, bowlers help Gujarat reclaim top spot

Gujarat Titans beat Kolkata Knight Riders by eight runs


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Hardik Pandya of the Gujarat Titans plays a shot. (BCCI)
Hardik Pandya of the Gujarat Titans plays a shot. (BCCI)

Published: Sat 23 Apr 2022, 7:25 PM

Hardik Pandya’s Gujarat Titans survived a late assault from Kolkata Knight Riders’ big-hitter Andre Russell to win by eight runs and return to the top of the IPL table on Saturday.

Pandya, who missed the previous match due to injury, hit 67 — his third successive half-century — to guide Gujarat to 156 for nine after electing to bat first in Mumbai.

Kolkata lost regular wickets to be in trouble at 108-7 when Russell, already on 24 off 13, attempted to single-handedly drive the chase only to be caught in the deep by a good running catch by Lockie Ferguson in the final over. He made 48 off 25.

West Indies quick bowler Alzarri Joseph defended 18 in the final over after getting hit for a six on the first ball by Russell as Kolkata ended on 148-8.

“I thought we were 10-12 runs short. But I back my bowlers,” said Hardik.

“The wicket played similar throughout the match. I fancy (us) on defending. And having Rashid Khan and Lockie Ferguson changes (the) dynamics.”

Fast bowler Mohammed Shami stood out with figures of 4-20 while Rashid Khan took two wickets to get past 100 IPL scalps, controlling the middle overs with his leg spin.

Rashid was named player of the match for figures of 2-22.

Pandya set up victory with partnerships of 75 with Wriddhiman Saha (25) and 50 with David Miller (27) but the opposition bowlers checked the Gujarat surge.

Pandya, who hit four fours and two sixes in his 49-ball knock fell to New Zealand pace bowler Tim Southee, who returned figures of 3-24, as the Gujarat batting fell apart.

Russell, who bowled just one over, claimed four wickets in the 20th with Gujarat losing seven in the final four for just 23 runs.

But Gujarat’s total proved enough for them to topple Rajasthan Royals from the top of the 10-team table with six wins out of seven matches.

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