Shubman Gill continued his glorious run of
form in IPL 2023, bringing up his third century in four games to lead the
Gujarat Titans to a 62-run win over the Mumbai Indians in Qualifier 2 and send
them into Sunday’s final against CSK. The opener creamed the highest score in
IPL playoffs history, smashing 129 off just 60 deliveries to power the Titans
to a commanding score of 233 for 3 batting first in Ahmedabad.
A beleaguered Mumbai Indians showed some
commendable fight in the chase, but eventually fell overwhelmingly short of
their target as Mohit Sharma picked up five wickets for ten runs to send the
five-time champions crashing home.
Rohit Sharma opted to bowl after early
showers delayed proceedings in Ahmedabad. The Titans got off to a sedate start
against the new ball, managing just 38 runs off the first five overs before
Gill got into his groove, creaming Chris Jordan for a pair of boundaries in the
final powerplay over. Gill was also dropped on 30 by Tim David in the sixth
over and made full use of his fortune as he shifted through the gears after
bringing up his half-century.
The 23-year-old carted Akash Madhwal for a
trio of sixes in the 12th before smashing Piyush Chawla for 19 runs an over
later. Gill’s second fifty took just 17 deliveries, and the opener didn’t stop
after reaching his century, going 6,4,6 against Cameron Green to take the
Titans to 166 for 1 in 15 overs. The opener smashed ten sixes and seven fours
in his majestic innings, and by the time he fell for 129, Gujarat had already
posted 192 in just 16.5 overs.
Hardik Pandya’s blistering cameo of 28 from
13 deliveries pushed Gujarat’s score to 233 to end the innings, leaving the
Mumbai Indians needing a record chase to set up an El Classico final against
Mumbai stumbled in reply against the new
ball as Mohammed Shami struck twice, dismissing impact substitute Nehal Wahdera
and Rohit Sharma early on, while Cameron Green was forced off the field after
being struck on the forearm by Hardik Pandya. Tilak Varma carted 24 runs in a
single Shami over to give Mumbai some hope, but Rashid Khan dismissed the
left-hander in the final ball of the powerplay following his whirlwind 14-ball
From 72 for 2 in six overs, Cameron Green
returned to the crease to give Mumbai a lifeline alongside Suryakumar Yadav.
The pair added 52 runs in 32 deliveries. However, Josh Little removed the
Australian in his first over before Mohit Sharma ended Mumbai’s hopes with the
big wicket of Surya for 61.
Sharma also sent back Vishnu Vinod, who
came in as a concussion substitute for Ishan Kishan, and cleaned up the Mumbai
tail to pick up his maiden T20 fifer and send Gujarat into the finals, where
they will meet MS Dhoni and the Chennai Super Kings on Sunday.