AHMEDABAD: Pacer Mohit Sharma (5/10) didn’t allow opener Shubman Gill‘s brilliance to go waste as he produced a crucial two-wicket over to dent whatever little chance Mumbai Indians had of overhauling a mammoth 234-run target set by the Titans on Friday night.
Gujarat Titans beat Mumbai Indians to reach IPL final
Mohit, a wily operator who runs in diligently, bangs the ball hard into the pitch, and hardly celebrates, castled dangerman Suryakumar Yadav for 61 (38b; 7×4, 2×6) while attempting a scoop over fine leg. That was game, set and match for the Titans as they coasted to a 62-run win over their western neighbours in the second qualifier to set up a Sunday showdown against Mahendra Singh Dhoni‘s Chennai Super Kings. This is their second consecutive appearance in the final.
The star of the show, of course, was Gujarat opener Shubman Gill, who delivered another batting masterclass, cutting, pulling, flicking and short-arm jabbing his way to 129 (60b; 10×6, 7×4) to help the Titans to 233/3 on a balmy Friday evening. This was his second straight ton here and third in the last four matches.
IPL 2023: Shubman Gill ton helps Gujarat Titans beat Mumbai Indians to reach final
After a sedate opening stand with Wriddhiman Saha, in which the first five overs yielded 38 runs, Gill got stuck into Chris Jordan, who had an ordinary day with the ball. Gill was dropped by Tim David at mid-on while batting on 30 in the last over of the Powerplay and that was all the luck he needed.
Gill smashed MI’s highest wicket-taker Piyush Chawla straight over his head for a six, before launching left-arm spinner Kumar Kartikeya over square leg for another maximum as the Titans raced to 91 in 10 overs.
In the 11th over, MI’s bowling sensation this season, Akash Madhwal, was clobbered for three stunning sixes over the leg side boundary. Chawla was then smashed for 16 in the next over and for a while, it seemed Gill was batting from both ends.
After getting to his hundred with a single off a Cameron Green delivery, Gill celebrated by leaping into the air, arms aloft, before bowing in his customary style. He struck Green for two more sixes and hit three more boundaries before holing out to midwicket off Madhwal’s bowling.
If MI had any chance of hunting down the huge total, they needed either of captain Rohit Sharma or Ishan Kishan to play a blinder of a knock.
With Kishan injured and impact player Nehal Wadhera dismissed for 4 (3b; 1×4) and Sharma departing early for 8 (7b; 1×4), it was down to the MI middle order of Tilak Varma, Suryakumar Yadav and Cameron Green to go for it.
Varma smashed some superb boundaries in his 43 (14b; 5×4, 6×3) before a special delivery by Afghan leg spinner Rashid Khan castled him.
Green and Yadav added 52 runs in quick time but impact player Josh Little announced his arrival from international duty by knocking over Green for 30 (20b; 2×4, 2×6). Despite Yadav hitting a fine half-century, he could not match Gill’s six-hitting.