Punjab Kings (PBKS) succumbed to their second defeat of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 as they lost to defending champions Gujarat Titans (GT) by six wickets at the Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali on Thursday, April 13.
The Kings rode on Matthew Short’s 36 off 24 balls along with contributions from Jitesh Sharma (25), Shahrukh Khan (22) and Sam Curran (22) to post a competitive total of 153/8 in their 20 overs. In reply, Shubman Gill smashed 67 off 49 balls to help the Titans chase down the total with one ball to spare.
Earlier, Gujarat Titans captain Hardik Pandya won the toss and opted to field first. They made three changes to the playing XI as Hardik, Mohit Sharma and Joshua Little replaced Abhinav Manohar, Yash Dayal and Vijay Shankar. The reigning IPL champions named Vijay Shankar, Srikar Bharat, Shivam Mavi, Jayant Yadav and Abhinav Manohar as their substitutes.
Punjab Kings also made three changes, bringing in Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Kagiso Rabada and Rishi Dhawan in place of Rahul Chahar, Nathan Ellis and Mohit Rathee. Sikandar Raza, Harpreet Singh Bhatia, Rahul Chahar, Atharva Taide and Gurnoor Brar were named as substitutes.
Prabhsimran Singh and captain Shikhar Dhawan opened the innings for PBKS. However, the hosts suffered an early blow as Prabhsimran was dismissed by pacer Mohammed Shami in the very first over.
Matthew Short joined Shikhar at the crease. Meanwhile, Shikhar slammed two impressive boundaries off Joshua Little in his first over.
In the following over, Short also looked in great touch as he hit Shami for consecutive boundaries to keep the scoreboard moving.
Shikhar and Short stitched a 28-run partnership before the PBKS skipper perished to Little for run-a-ball 8.
At the other end, Short continued to play some scintillating shots as the hosts reached fifty in just 5.4 overs.
Short and Rajapaksa added 27 runs for the third wicket before leg-spinner Rashid Khan cleaned up the Australian batter for a 24-ball 36.
In desperate need of a partnership, wicketkeeper-batter Jitesh Sharma walked into bat at number 5.
Jitesh got off to a quick start as he smashed Rashid for two fours in the ninth over.
Rajapaksa also upped the scoring as he hammered Mohit Sharma over short fine-leg for a boundary.
While Jitesh and Rajapaksa forged a crucial 37-run stand for PBKS, the hosts later lost their fourth wicket as Mohit removed Jitesh (25) in the 13th over.
PBKS star all-rounder Sam Curran joined Rajapaksa in the middle. Curran later clobbered Rashid for a much-needed six in the 16th over.
In the next over, the Titans’ fast bowler Alzarri Joseph broke the 23-run stand as he dismissed Rajapaksa for 20.
Following Rajapaksa’s dismissal, Shahrukh Khan walked out to bat. The swashbuckling batter started his innings by smashing Joseph for a huge six.
Shahrukh and Curran continued their late surge as they accumulated 15 runs off Shami’s fourth over.
However, the Kings later lost Sam Curran (22) as he departed to Mohit in the 19th over.
New batter Harpreet Brar soon smacked Little for a six on the second ball of the final over.
The visitors later bounced back to remove Shahrukh (22) and Rishi Dhawan (1) in back-to-back deliveries as PBKS finished with 153/8 in 20 overs.
At the innings break, the Kings introduced Rahul Chahar as their impact player in place of Rajapaksa.
Defending a competitive total, the hosts got off to a challenging start as GT openers Wriddhiman Saha and Shubman Gill added 48 runs off just 27 balls.
Rabada later provided PBKS the much-needed breakthrough as he removed Saha for a 19-ball 30. Interestingly, the South African fast bowler became the fastest to 100 IPL wickets, breaking the previous record of Lasith Malinga.
Sai Sudharsan joined Gill in the middle. The duo stitched a 41-run stand for the second wicket before Arshdeep dismissed Sudharsan (19).
With the score reading 89/2 in 11.2 overs, GT captain Hardik Pandya walked out to bat. PBKS bowlers bowled economically in the middle overs as Hardik and Shubman added run-a-ball 17.
Having struggled during his short stay, Hardik later perished to Brar in the 15th over.
At the other end, Shubman continued to play a brilliant knock as he brought up his fifty off 40 balls.
Gill was well supported by David Miller as the pair forged a decent partnership to guide the visitors closer to victory.
With seven required off the final over, left-arm pacer Sam Curran cleaned up in-form Gill to bring the hosts back into the game.
Curran later conceded two singles in the next two balls before Rahul Tewatia smashed the winning runs as he scooped the length ball over short fine leg to register a nail-biting win for the Titans.
With six points from four matches, the Titans jumped to the third spot in the IPL 2023 standings while the Kings were placed sixth with two wins and two losses.
The Shikhar Dhawan-led PBKS will aim to return to winning ways when they lock horns with Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) in their upcoming IPL 2023 clash in Lucknow on Saturday, April 15.