Miller’s Turbocharged Innings Drowns Chennai In Last-Over Thriller

| Updated: 17 April, 2022 11:46 pm IST

PUNE: Gujarat Titans on Sunday chased down 170 in 19.5 overs against Chennai Super Kings to seal a three-wicket victory in match 29 of the Indian Premier League. This is Gujarat’s fifth win out of six matches in the tournament.

Coasting on David Miller’s breathtaking innings of 94 runs off just 61 balls, Gujarat handed Chennai their fifth defeat in six matches. Chasing 170, Gujarat were in dire straits at one stage, tottering at 87-5 in 13 overs, but Miller and stand-in captain Rashid Khan joined forces to change the course of the match.

While Miller remained unbeaten at 94, Rashid’s zestful innings – 40 off 21 balls – was equally important. In fact, Rashid whipped Chris Jordan for 25 runs, including three sixes, in the 18th over which proved to be the turning point of the match. Rashid flicked and sliced with brutal prowess to put Jordan to sword. In the absence of a regular captain, Rashid led the team with gusto.

In the last over, Gujarat needed 13 runs to win and the match was still hanging in the balance. Jordan had Miller caught at short third man on the fourth which unfortunately turned out to be a no-ball. This summed up Jordan’s performance as he was smashed for 58 runs in 3.5 overs.

Earlier, Chennai got off to an insipid start as Robin Uthappa and Moeen Ali perished early. But Ruturaj Gaikwad, who was going through a lean patch, bounced back and unfurled a splendid innings. He regained his mojo and looked in excellent form. Ambati Rayudu also came to the party and made vital 46 runs. Gaikwad and Rayudu added 92 runs for the third wicket to put Chennai on the track. However they both departed in quick succession which hampered the momentum of the innings.

Chennai captain Ravindra Jadeja also sprang to form and reeled off a quick-fire 22 off 12 balls in death overs as Chennai reached 169-5 in 20 overs. Shami was particularly impressive as he conceded only 20 runs in 4 overs and chalked up the important wicket of Uthappa.

In the end, the score of 160 proved insufficient.

“It’s an amazing feeling. It’s a dream come true to lead the team, and delivering that is something special. We were capable of chasing 90 runs in the last 7 overs, and that was the plan. We were trying to take the game as deep as possible,” said Rashid, the stand-in captain of Gujarat.

“I haven’t batted in the first 5 games, so I wanted to take the responsibility. We wanted two batters to score big. I just had a discussion with Miller and we tried to strike the ball hard. I needed to step up and wanted to back myself and that was the plan,” he added.

“We started brilliantly. As a bowling unit, we did well in the first 6 overs. When we were batting, the wicket was holding up a bit. The ball was gripping, but we didn’t execute our plans in the last 5 overs. I thought Jordan could execute his yorkers, but he couldn’t do so. That’s the beauty of T20 cricket,” lamented Chennai captain Jadeja.

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