Sai Kishore’s 4-for and Rahul Tewatia’s batting heroics help Gujarat Titans down Punjab Kings in IPL 2024 | Crickit
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Sai Kishore’s 4-for and Rahul Tewatia’s batting heroics help Gujarat Titans down Punjab Kings in IPL 2024

By, Mullanpur
Apr 21, 2024 11:55 PM IST

The 2022 winners won by 3 wickets as struggling PBKS lost their fourth straight game at their new home venue.

For struggling Punjab Kings (PBKS), captain and batting mainstay Shikhar Dhawan sitting out due to a shoulder injury after playing only in half of their eight fixtures has added to their woes. As if that was not enough, stand-in skipper Sam Curran and other top-order batters have been a disaster with the in-form Shashank Singh and IPL debutant Ashutosh Sharma the saving grace in an ordinary PBKS batting line-up.

Gujarat Titans' Rahul Tewatia , right, and his batting partner Sai Kishore celebrate their team's win over Punjab Kings(AP)
Gujarat Titans' Rahul Tewatia , right, and his batting partner Sai Kishore celebrate their team's win over Punjab Kings(AP)

Playing their eighth match of the season against Gujarat Titans (GT) in their last contest at the Mullanpur stadium, PBKS lost the plot while batting first on Sunday as the innings folded for 142. GT cruised to a three-wicket win, achieving the target in 19.1 overs.

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The crowd at the Mullanpur Stadium was left disappointed as they saw their team win just one game at home out of five. The fans had to be content rejoicing a bit for local boy and GT captain Shubman Gill, who scored 35 off 29 deliveries in the chase.

Sai Sudharsan made 31 before Curran bowled him. At one stage, GT were cruising but Liam Livingstone got PBKS back in the game when he bagged David Miller's wicket. Azmatullah Omarzai was sent back by Harshal Patel for 13.

Tewatia, who hails from Faridabad, Haryana, showed his power-hitting abilities to make the chase look easy in the end. At one point, the pendulum was swinging in PBKS favour, but didn’t have a big enough total to put pressure on the Titans.

“I have been training for such situations. I am happy to have delivered. In the middle, I saw there was not much turn, so I went after the left-arm spinner (Harpreet Brar). Our spinners also did a fine job,” Tewatia said.

Patel ended up taking three wickets for PBKS but this performance did not matter much as the home time failed to build on the effort and pull off a win. PBKS have lost four home games on the trot and had won only their opening home game against Delhi Capitals last month.

T20 finisher Tewatia made the difference in the end, helping GT complete victory. Needing five off 12 balls, GT got to the target with five balls to spare. Tewatia scored the winning four to finish on an 18-ball 36. PBKS bowlers did create chances to make comebacks in certain phases, but it wasn’t enough.

PBKS got off to a good start with openers Prabhsimran Singh (35 off 21b) and Curran (20 off 19b) raising a swift 52 in 5.3 overs. Once the opening pair was back in the dug-out, GT spinners Rashid Khan, Noor Ahmad and Sai Kishore combined well to restrict PBKS batters from cutting loose. Rilee Rossouw (9), Jitesh Sharma (13) and Livingstone (6) failed to make a difference. Shashank Singh (8) and Ashutosh Sharma (3) also failed to fire. That PBKS still got to 142 was thanks to Harpreet Singh (14) and Harpreet Brar (29). Left-arm spinner Kishore took 4/33.

Speaking after the loss, Curran said: “The effort with the ball was incredible, the fight from the team was amazing. It was not meant to be again. They've got some world-class spinners and Sai Kishore bowled really well. Anything above 160-165 would have been tough. I thought the way we bowled we gave ourselves a chance. We lost wickets in clusters. We know what we need to do now; we cannot lose many more games."

PBKS will move to Dharamsala for their next two home games.

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