IPL-2022: David Miller-Rashid Khan Blitzkrieg Powers GT To Its 5th Win Handing Over 5th Defeat To CSK!

After watching this cliffhanger of a match between Gujarat Titans (GT) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK), the second of the Sunday double-header today in Pune I just couldn’t stop myself from writing a bit about it. Chasing a moderately challenging but tricky nonetheless target of 170 runs set by CSK the GT started in a horrible way passing through the phases of regular fall of wickets at 1 for 1, 2 for 2. 16/3. 48/4 and 87/5, losing in the process all the batsmen except for David Miller and without the momentum-building skipper Hardik Pandya, not playing today due to injury. At the stage of 87/5 in the 13th over GT was looking at defeat needing 83 runs in 38 balls with only one recognized batsman Miller and stand-in skipper cum bowling all-rounder Rashid Khan just coming in who did not quite do well with the bat in the previous matches. As you know nothing is for certain in cricket, a game of glorious uncertainties, Rashid Khan had other incredible ideas as if he was in a dream.


For the next three overs Miller had been taking the charge of hitting big shots allowing Rashid to settle down. They needed 48 runs from 18 balls then. Now Rashid Khan picked out pacer Jordan for an incredible display of genuine cricketing shots hitting 3 sixes and a four collecting 25 crucial runs in that over and thus building a partnership of 80 runs. They still needed 23 runs from the last two overs and as Khan got out in the 19th over Miller had only the tail-end bowlers for company, and finally it was 13 runs in the last over. However, riding on the momentum created with Rashid Khan he steered the team to a 3-wicket victory in the penultimate ball. Miller had today achieved one of his best T20 innings scoring 94 not out with 6 sixes and 8 fours and was the obvious choice for the Player of the Match. GT retains the top spot in the IPL-2022 points table with 10 points now, winning 5 out of 6 matches and almost ensuring a place in the play-offs.


CSK continues to languish in the 9th position with a solitary win, just above the beleaguered Mumbai Indians. Of course, today Ruturaj Gaikwad hit a solid 73 in 48 balls and good contributions by Rayudu, Dube and Jadeja at the later stage enabled CSK to reach 169/5. Rashid could not capture any wicket and so made amends to be a match winner with the bat. For CSK Bravo bowled well, but except for Mukesh Chaudhary and Maheesh Thieekshana the other bowlers could not deliver the much desired finishing punches.  


Earlier, the resurgence of Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) continued with its 4th consecutive victory overpowering Punjab Kings quite easily by 7 wickets in the first match today. Aiden Markram, Rahul Tripathi and Nicholas Pooran did well with the bat steering the team to victory without hiccups. Now SRH has also become one of the serious contenders for the play-offs occupying the 4th position. This season of IPL so far has delivered very competitive cricket with absolute low-scoring thrillers and incredible chasses of tall scores too.


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