Mumbai, April 30 (IANS) Fine rearguard innings by Rahul Tewatia and David Miller, who shared an unbeaten 79-run partnership for the fifth wicket, helped Gujarat Titans beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by six wickets in Match 43 of IPL 2022 at the Brabourne Stadium here on Saturday.
Tewatia scored an unbeaten 42 while Miller remained not out with 39 as Gujarat came back strongly to score 174/4 in 19.3 overs after restricting Royal Challengers Bangalore to 170/6 in their 20 overs fuelled by Virat Kohli, who scored his first half-century of IPL 2022, and Rajat Patidar (52) after RCB elected to bat first.
Tewatia and Miller ensured that Gujarat did not lose any further wickets and romped to a six-wicket for their eighth win in nine matches. Gujarat thus moved to 16 points from nine matches and extended their lead at the top of the standings to four points. RCB remained at the fifth position, with 10 points from 10 games.
Earlier, Gujarat Titans ended the power-play with 46 runs for no loss on the board with Wriddhiman Saha and Shubman Gill keeping up a decent scoring rate.
Saha, who struck Mohammed Siraj for two fours in an over, was the first to get out, caught by Rajat Patidar off a wrong-un bowled by Wanindu Hasaranga with the score 51.
Gill was the next to go, given lbw off Shahbaz Ahmed, missing the ball completely. He reviews the decision but the video replays show no involvement of the bat.
Skipper Hardik Pandya also had an off day as he tried to whip away a full-length delivery by Shahbaz but could offer only the bottom edge and sent it straight down the throat of Mahipal Lomror. And when Sai Sudarshan too departed after getting a start, caught by substitute Anuj Rawat (20), who was keeping wickets in place of Dinesh Karthik who was ill, it looked like Gujarat were slipping into a deep gorge.
However, David Miller and Rahul Tewatia came to the rescue of Gujarat Titans as they raised a superb unbeaten 79-run partnership for the fifth wicket and guided the team from Ahmedabad home with six wickets in hand.
Miller struck Hasaranga for a four followed by a six in the 15th over and cracked a brilliant cover drive off a cutter on good length by Harshal Patel.
Tewatia, too, had started cautiously before exploding into action towards the end of the innings. He hammered a six and a four on successive balls off Josh Hazlewood in the 18th over — the six a superb flick over fine-leg — and ended the over with another four, placing the ball between two fielders around deep square leg boundary.
Tewatia, who struck Harshal Patel over extra cover for a superb six, ended the match with fours off Hazlewood in the 20th over. Their unbeaten partnership of 79 runs came off 40 balls and propelled Gujarat Titans to their eighth victory in nine matches.
Kohli, former India and Royal Challengers captain who was advised by former team India coach Ravi Shastri to take a break from IPL to revitalise his batting, gave glimpses of a welcome return to form as he struck a fine half-century and raised 99 runs for the second wicket partnership with Rajat Patidar, who struck 52 off 32 deliveries as the two set up a good platform for RCB.
Kohli started by hitting his India team-mate Mohammad Shami to back-to-back fours in the first round — first a drive down past mid-off off a fuller delivery and second, a much better-looking shot whipped off his pads to deep square leg fence.
He meted out the same treatment to Alzarri Joseph, hitting two superb shots off the English pacer’s first two deliveries in this match. That over cost Gujarat Titans 13 runs as Rajat Patidar too helped himself to a boundary. The 50 of the innings came in 39 balls.
In the 10th over, Kohli hammered Lockie Ferguson for a six and four off successive deliveries — backing away and hitting him just over the long-on rope for maximum, and with Patidar blasting the final ball of the 10th over for a four, Royal Challengers Bangalore were cruising at 76/1 at the half-way stage.
Kohli completed his half-century in 45 balls, hitting six boundaries and one six. He found a good partner in Rajat Patidar, who scored a breezy 32-ball 52 to shore up RCB innings. Patidar smacked Alzarri Joseph for a six — a pull over mid-wicket– followed by a four in the 11th over and had earlier blasted Rashid Khan for a six towards cow corner. He completed his half-century off 29 balls, hitting five boundaries and two sixes before top-edging a paddle sweep to Shubhaman Gill at square leg off Sangwan.
Kohli and Patidar added 99 runs for the second wicket that propelled RCB from 11/1 to 110/2 — a platform from which they could build their innings for a big total.
But after losing his partner, Kohli too did not survive and was out for 58 with the score 129 when he was cleaned up by Shami with a yorker as Kohli tried to make room to play a cover drive.
RCB sent Dinesh Karthik at No. 5 hoping to add some quick runs but the Tamil Nadu veteran did not stay in the middle for long as he top-edged a pull to short-fine leg off Rashid Khan as RCB slipped from 110/1 after 14th over to 143/4 in 18th.
Glenn Maxwell departed after an 18-ball 33, hitting three fours and two sixes during his brief cameo. Mahipal Lomror landed a couple of lusty blows in scoring 16 off eight balls as Royal Challengers reached a defendable score.
Brief scores: Royal Challengers Bangalore 170/6 in 20 overs (Virat Kohli 58, Rajat Patidar 52, Glenn Maxwell 33; Pradeep Sangwan 2/19, Rashid Khan 1/29) lost to Gujarat Titans 174/4 off 19.3 overs (Rahul Tewatia 43 not out, David Miller 39 not out, Shubman Gill 31; Wanindu Hasaranga 2/28) by six wickets.