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30th Match (D/N), Lucknow, April 22, 2023, Indian Premier League
(20 ov, T:136) 128/7

GT won by 7 runs

Player Of The Match
Cricinfo's MVP
84.61 ptsImpact List

Noor Ahmad, Mohit Sharma lead the way as Titans defend 135

Rahul struggled after a bright start as LSG went boundary-less for the last 45 balls of the chase

Vishal Dikshit
Vishal Dikshit
Gujarat Titans 135 for 6 (Hardik 66, Saha 47, Krunal 2-16, Stoinis 2-20) beat Lucknow Super Giants 128 for 7 (Rahul 68, Noor 2-18, Mohit 2-17) by seven runs
A game that was very much in Lucknow Super Giants' hands was snatched from them by the combined efforts of Noor Ahmad, Mohit Sharma and Mohammed Shami. The Gujarat Titans bowlers turned the tables on the hosts, when they needed a comfortable 31 to win from 36 balls with as many as nine wickets left and a well-set KL Rahul in the middle.
The turnaround started with Noor Ahmad picking up two wickets for one run over nine balls, which put the pressure back on Super Giants as the equation reached 23 off 18. Mohit then sent down a flurry of accurate yorkers and slower balls for six singles, Shami bowled a tight 19th over for five runs, and when 12 were needed off six, Mohit pretty much shut the game out with the wickets of Rahul and Marcus Stoinis on the second and third balls of the last over. When 10 were needed off three, Ayush Badoni and Deepak Hooda were run out while attempting risky second runs and a dot ball sealed the win for Titans.
Titans are on eight points now, like the three teams above them on the IPL points table, and extended their unbeaten record against Super Giants to 3-0.

More questions on Rahul?

When Rahul raced to 30 off 19 and led his team to 53 for 0 in the powerplay with Kyle Mayers, it looked like the LSG captain was ready to take the bowlers on on a slow and sluggish pitch. He and Mayers finished the boundary-laden powerplay on such a good score that the asking rate had come down to under six an over.
Rahul brought up his fifty off 38 balls, stitched a fifty stand with both Mayers and No. 3 Krunal Pandya, and looked all set to see his side through when they needed 31 from the last six overs.
But the Titans bowlers dried up the boundaries after the 13th over, and took advantage of Super Giants' slow down to eventually emerge victorious. Noor's second spell started the slide with wickets in consecutive overs when Krunal was stumped while going for a big shot and Nicholas Pooran was caught off the leading edge by Hardik Pandya while attempted a big sweep. When it came down to the last three overs, Rahul just couldn't put away Shami and Mohit's accurate deliveries and holed out before Stoinis did the same in the last over.

Gujarat Titans' slowest powerplay of IPL 2023

There were early indications that the black soil pitch in Lucknow was going to help spinners a lot more than the quicks. They bowled three of the first six overs of the game and Krunal even found success when Shubman Gill came down to attack but handed an easy catch to long-off after the turning ball took a leading edge. Seeing the lack of pace on the pitch and knowing they needed someone senior to guide the innings, Hardik Pandya promoted himself to No. 3. Meanwhile, Wriddhiman Saha went all out attack and raced to 34 off 24 to push the score to 40 for 1, which was still Titans' lowest in the powerplay this IPL.

LSG's spinners shows up. Kind of

Saha kept the tempo up by making room and coming down the pitch often, but he became Krunal's second victim when he failed to clear long-on and fell for 47 off 37. By then, however, Saha and Hardik had bashed Ravi Bishnoi, Super Giants' best bowler this season, out of the attack. His first two overs went for 25 runs.
Super Giants turned to the experience of Amit Mishra, who sent down slow and loopy deliveries which made scoring even tougher. Abhinav Manohar took him on by targeting the long cover boundary where Naveen-ul-Haq took a stunning diving catch and Titans had lost wickets in successive overs to be 77 for 3 in the 12th over.

Quiet death overs despite Hardik's fifty

Hardik had struck the only six of the innings when David Miller joined him at 92 for 4 in the 15th over, and Titans were in desperate need of runs. Bishnoi and Avesh Khan slowed them down further with tight lines and taking the pace off, and curiously they subbed out Mishra when he had two overs left. It meant Hardik faced Bishnoi in the 18th over and the Titans captain pulled him for 4, 6 and 6 in a 19-run over that ended a 27-ball boundary drought. The first of those sixes also took Hardik to his first fifty - off 44 balls - of the season to lift Titans almost single-handedly in the end.
Even without Mishra, Super Giants emerged the better side in the last two overs as Naveen and Stoinis took all the pace off the ball, dismissed Hardik in the last over and kept Miller quiet to just 6 off 12 balls, which, thankfully for them, didn't proved costly in the end.

Vishal Dikshit is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Win Probability
GT 100%
100%50%100%GT InningsLSG Innings

Over 20 • LSG 128/7

KL Rahul c Yadav b Sharma 68 (61b 8x4 0x6 94m) SR: 111.47
Marcus Stoinis c Miller b Sharma 0 (1b 0x4 0x6 2m) SR: 0
Ayush Badoni run out (Shankar/Sharma) 8 (6b 0x4 0x6 22m) SR: 133.33
Deepak Hooda run out (Rashid Khan/†Saha) 2 (2b 0x4 0x6 4m) SR: 100
GT won by 7 runs
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