Gujarat Titans captain Hardik Pandya pulled his team out of trouble with a 33-ball fifty against Rajasthan Royals in the 24th match of IPL 2022 here at the Dr DY Patil Sports Academy, Mumbai on Thursday. Pandya's innings was studded with six boundaries and a six. Earlier in GT's last match against Sunrisers Hyderabad, Pandya had scored fifty in 42 balls. However, he could not help his side continue their winning run in IPL 2022 as they faced the first defeat of the season.
Pandya is enjoying the captaincy and his batting has improved a lot this season. In the four matches so far Hardik has scored 141 runs with the help of two fifties and a decent strike-rate 122.61 given that he bats at number four for Gujarat.
Hardik Pandya in IPL 2022
Matches - 4
Runs - 141
Wickets - 3
AVG - 47
SR - 122
Hardik (87 not out off 52) first found an able ally in Abhinav Manohar (43 off 28) before he exploded in the company of David Miller (31 not out off 14) to power the IPL debutants to their highest score of the tournament. Hardik and Manohar shared an 86-run stand for the fourth wicket before the skipper and Miller blasted 53 off 25 balls to end the innings in style.
After put in to bat, Gujarat found themselves reeling at 53/3. While Hardik’s 52-ball knock was studded with eight fours and four sixes, Manohar struck four fours and two maximums. Miller, who overall hit five boundaries and a six, fetched 21 runs in the penultimate over off Kuldeep Sen (1/51).
To start with, Hardik was aggressive on pacer Kuldeep as he hammered him for three successive boundaries in the fifth over. He then fetched his first maximum in the seventh over, when he clobbered Riyan Parag over his head.
The duo upped the ante when Manohar launched into inform Yuzvendra Chahal, hammering him for a four and maximum, a lofted inside-out drive over cover. The two then took on Kuldeep, hammering him for three boundaries in the 14th over, where Hardik also notched up his fifty, with a cut towards backward point fence.
And in the next over, Pandya clobbered two successive maximums off seasoned spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who leaked 16 runs in the over. With Titans reaching 130/3 in 15 overs, the stage was set for a big total. After Manohar departed, Miller ably supported the skipper.
Earlier, Gujarat Titans lost opener Matthew Wade (12) cheaply, courtesy a direct hit by Rassie Van Der Dussen from cover. Gujarat slipped to 15/2, as Vijay Shakar (2) also perished cheaply and then a rusty looking Shubman Gill (13) became Parag’s first victim, after he was caught by Shimron Hetymar at the long-on fence.