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RESULT
23rd Match (N), Ahmedabad, April 16, 2023, Indian Premier League
(19.2/20 ov, T:178) 179/7

Royals won by 3 wickets (with 4 balls remaining)

Player Of The Match
56* (26)
shimron-hetmyer
Cricinfo's MVP
98.59 ptsImpact List
mohammed-shami
Updated 16-Apr-2023 • Published 16-Apr-2023

Live Report - IPL 2023 - Gujarat Titans vs Rajasthan Royals, Ahmedabad

By Shashank Kishore

Royals pull off a heist

Rajasthan Royals had reached a point of no-return.
Their chase of 178 was going nowhere at 66 for 4. They needed a further 112 more off 48 balls. Twelve of those were to be bowled by Rashid Khan.
You sensed this was perhaps a task too steep, even for someone as pedigreed as Sanju Samson and Shimron Hetmyer. But as Rinku Singh showed the other night at this very ground, it ain’t over till it’s over.
Samson went 6,6,6 in Rashid’s third that went for 20, Hetmyer took the attack at the other end to his West Indies teammate Alzarri Joseph. The momentum had swung the Royals way.
Not even the dismissal of Samson came in their way of victory. Hetmyer stood tall to bring up his half-century off 25 balls, Dhruv Jurel contributed a cameo 17 that was worth a lot more, R Ashwin came in to smack a six and a four.
Royals were suddenly one blow away from victory in the final over. With five needed off five, Hetmyer sealed a win that seemed improbable at one stage, by biffing Noor Ahmad for six.
Royals had comeback from nowhere to pull off a heist that took them to the top of the IPL 2023 leaderboard five games in. For the Gujarat Titans, this was yet another heartbreak, eerily similar to the one they endured against Kolkata Knight Riders last week.
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6, 4 and out

Surely with Jurel gone the pressure was back on the Royals, right?
Nope.
Ashwin comes in and slaps his first ball disdainfully over point for four. Follows that with a mow for six. Brings the equation down to 7 off 8 and then slices his third to short third man. Another twist.
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Four overs of mayhem since Samson's dismissal. Dhruv Jurel has done what Royals expected from Riyan Parag. In his first opportunity itself, he showed as an impact player what he could do with his innovation. Tonight, it wasn't innovation that was at the forefront of his cameo. It was pure muscle. It was stand-and-deliver stuff. It was proper picking of lengths and swinging to the hills. Royals can walk home here. They need 17 off 10.
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The Noor Ahmad Impact

Comes on at a crucial time with Samson and Hetmyer on a rampage.
It's his debut, and there are visible nerves. He gets walloped for six down the ground, and tries to change his line, only to be flicked four.
What does he do?
Sticks to his strengths and releases a superb wrong'un that Samson slices to long-off in trying to hit another. Noor Ahmad, Afghanistan's left-arm everything, has announced himself to the IPL with his maiden wicket. Is that the game for the Titans?
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35 Runa Royals have made between overs 12-14. That brings the equation down to 77 off 36. More than possible with Samson and Hetmyer at the crease.
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Samson takes on Rashid

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Meanwhile, Titans have summoned their Impact Player. Noor Ahmad, the Afghanistan spinner, comes on for Shubman Gill, who has spent much of the innings off the field since injuring his hand while attempting a sharp chance at slip off Padikkal.
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Rashid strikes as Royals slide further

A wicket in his first over, a wicket in his second. And they're the scalps of Devdutt Padikkal & Riyan Parag, whose lean run continues amid increasing scrutiny over his place in the side.
Royals have invested heavily in Parag to be a finisher and situations such as today, when he walked in with the side needing 131 from 69, are ones where they're hoping he's able to take charge in. Easier said than done, but so far the opportunities have outweighed the output.
His scores this season read 7, 20, 7 and 5.
Samson stands in the way of Titans and victory. Royals need 112 off 48 with six wickets in hand.
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Royals struggle

Twenty-six dots in the first six overs. Padikkal and Samson have a task at hand. Could've so easily been three down had Shubman Gill held on to a tough chance at slip off Padikkal. He responds by lofting Hardik inside-out over extra cover for six. Long, long way to go. Royals 26/2 and in need of some momentum.
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Buttler duck; Royals two down

1lb
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After Hardik had Jaiswal nicking to slip, Shami snuffs out Buttler as pressure built up over the first two overs bursts.
A cheeky attempted scoop backfires and the off-stump is flattened. Shami roars, ends his second with a wicket maiden. Titans all over the Royals.
2 Number of ducks for Jos Buttler in the IPL. In 86 previous innings, his only other duck was way back in 2016, while playing for Mumbai Indians against Rising Pune Supergiant.
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The Manohar & Miller show

It's funny how niggles open the door to someone who them leaves his imprint so strong that he becomes a regular member.
Only time will tell if this opens the door for him to become a regular, but Abhinav Manohar came in today only because Vijay Shankar wasn't fully fit, and he's made the most of it.
It can't be easy coming in to bat in the death and strike straight away, but in hitting 27 off 13, he's given Titans a late lift, especially after the five-over period following Hardik's wicket, between the 11th and 16th over, just fetched 31.
Manohar wasn't the only one doing the heavy lifting. David Miller, like he did for much of last year, came in and bossed his way against spin in the end overs to make 46.
It means Titans have 177, far more than they looked like getting at one stage. Is it slightly lesser than they would've liked to get at the toss? Yuzvendra Chahal tells Harsha Bhogle on the broadcast that there's plenty of dew.
Advantage Royals?
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Padikkal in, Chahal out

With his four overs done, Chahal is done for the night. He's replaced by Devdutt Padikkal, who storms into the field as an impact sub.
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Sandeep continues to impress

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Only Bhuvneshwar Kumar has taken more power play wickets in the IPL than Sandeep Sharma. When he went unsold at the auction, it was surprising as it was shocking.
The man himself couldn't process it, and didn't hide his hurt.
“I don’t know why I went unsold," he said. "I’ve done well whichever team I had played for and genuinely thought some team would bid for me. To be honest, I was not expecting this. Don’t even know where it has gone wrong. In domestic cricket, I have been performing well. In the Ranji Trophy, last round, I took seven wickets. I did so well in Syed Mushtaq Ali.”
Then he gets an opportunity here thanks to Prasidh Krishna's unavailability. Comes in, delivers a gun finaL-ball Yorker to win Royals a game against the marauding MS Dhoni.
And then delivers another blockbuster first three overs against the defending Champs. The third over also delivers the wicket of Shubman Gill, one of their mainstays. It's quite a return to the IPL.
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Will Miller make Royals pay?

Miller had previously been out to Zampa thrice in five innings while striking it just a 100.
Today, he could've been out for a fourth time but Zampa has put down a regulation return catch. Miller, on 6 then, appears to be revving up.
Peter Della Penna on ESPNcricinfo's ball-by-ball describes it like this: "his body is terribly balanced shuffling sideways and he snatches at it to the left of his face while falling sideways instead of having a stable base and shells this. He turned a 5/10 difficulty into an 8/10 difficulty with his poor balance and body positioning."
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Chahal goes back to Plan A

"Chinnaswamy trains you to get over the fear of being hit for sixes. If I can bowl there and be successful, I can bowl anywhere."
Yuzvendra Chahal goes back to his old methods of flight and dip, rather than trying to restrict runs by bowling the slider off the front hand. These boundaries are way bigger than what you find at the Chinnaswamy. That said, no ground is too big for Hardik.
Chahal still tosses it up well outside off, and the moment Hardik decided in that split-second to hit it against the turn, he was in trouble. It still needed a Yashasvi Jaiswal to take the skier at cover. A threatening 59-run stand has been broken.
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Ashwin under the pump

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After a slow power play, Hardik and Gill have said 'enough is enough'. And the first step towards reclaiming some lost ground is by going after Ashwin, who has been taken for two huge sixes and a boundary downtown in his first two overs alone. The second of those has gone for 17. His first two wicketless overs have now cost 27 runs.
They've added 40 in just three overs.
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42 The runs Titans made in the Powerplay today. This is their slowest start in this phase so far this year. This is also the first time they didn't cross 50 in the first six
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Hardik takes on Zampa

It's been an unusual start in a sense for the Titans.
They haven't been allowed to break free. Dot balls piling. Saha out to a skier. Sai Sudharsan run out.
Hardik promotes himself up to No. 4 and immediately takes the attack to Adam Zampa. Where Shubman Gill was getting too close to the pitch of the ball in his first over, Hardik stays his ground and relies on his famed hand-eye and muscle to belt the ball down the ground in taking 13 off the seventh.
Titans 55 for 2.
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Chaos amid the calm

In the very first over, Wriddhiman Saha is out trying to play his trademark hoick. But not before chaos reigned.
First there was Samson charging in from behind the stumps. Hetmyer came running in from square leg. Dhruv Jurel ran in from point. Each of them only looking at the ball, none making an attempt to make eye contact with the other and back off.
Samson eventually got his gloves to the ball, but the ball popped out due to the impact of his collision with Hetmyer. Boult is alert to the possibility of this happening and positions himself for the rebound that he eventually holds on to.
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ESPNcricinfo T20: Time Out with Tom Moody

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Royals opt to bowl

Vijay Shankar isn't playing, presumably due to a niggle. Abhinav Manohar comes in for him. Titans are playing only three overseas players to begin with. A good chance one of Josh Little or Noor Ahmad, the left-arm wrist spinner, could come in later in their defence. Jayant Yadav, Srikar Bharat and Dasun Shanaka are their other options for Impact Subs.
Gujarat Titans (Playing XI): Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Shubman Gill, Sai Sudharsan, Hardik Pandya (capt), Abhinav Manohar, David Miller, Rahul Tewatia, Rashid Khan, Alzarri Joseph, Mohammed Shami, Mohit Sharma
Royals have brought back Riyan Parag for Devdutt Padikkal, but Samson has more or less confirmed Padikkal will possibly come into play in their chase as an Impact Player. Trent Boult is back after missing the previous game due to a niggle. Jason Holder goes out as does Kuldeep Sen.
Rajasthan Royals (Playing XI): Jos Buttler, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Sanju Samson (capt,wk), Riyan Parag, Shimron Hetmyer, Dhruv Jurel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Trent Boult, Adam Zampa, Sandeep Sharma, Yuzvendra Chahal
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Clash for the top spot

The early pace-setters of IPL 2023 meet in what is a repeat of last year's finale.
Both sides are coming off tight wins. Rahul Tewatia's last-over heroics saved Titans the day against Kings. Sandeep Sharma's pin-point yorker off the final ball helped Royals cross the line after MS Dhoni threatened a jailbreak.
Over to hot and dry Ahmedabad for what promises to be another cracker.
If you are seeing this on a mobile device and didn’t know it already, ESPNcricinfo is better experienced on our apps. And we have recently rolled out an update for Android, which you can download or update here.
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Language
English
Win Probability
RR 100%
GTRR
100%50%100%GT InningsRR Innings

Over 20 • RR 179/7

Royals won by 3 wickets (with 4 balls remaining)
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Indian Premier League
TEAMMWLPTNRR
GT14104200.809
CSK1485170.652
LSG1485170.284
MI148616-0.044
RR1477140.148
RCB1477140.135
KKR146812-0.239
PBKS146812-0.304
DC145910-0.808
SRH144108-0.590