Gujarat Titans rode on brilliant pace bowling by Mohammad Shami as they started their campaign in IPL 2022 on a winning note, beating Lucknow Super Giants by five wickets in a clash between two debutants whose fate was decided in the first five overs.
Bowling brilliantly and in the channel, Shami sent back Lucknow skipper and his India teammate KL Rahul for a golden duck and then claimed two more wickets in quick succession for figures of 3-0-10-3 in his first spell.
He broke the backbone of Lucknow Super Giants' batting as they were reduced to 29/4 in the fifth over with fellow pacer Varun Aaron chipping in with the wicket of West Indies batter Evin Lewis (10).
Though they recovered from a precarious 29/4 riding on half-centuries from experienced batter Depak Hooda (55) and debutant Ayush Badoni (54), the 158/6 they managed in their allotted 20 overs was below-par for this surface and the Gujarat Titans batting. Shami eventually finished with 25/3 from his four overs.
Chasing 159 for victory, Gujarat Titans overcame a few hiccups and reached 161/5 in 19.4 overs with skipper Hardik Pandya, who chose to field first on winning the toss, struck a 28-ball 33, David Miller scored 30 and Rahul Tewatia blasted a 24-ball 40 to help them start their IPL 2022 campaign with a five-wicket win.
Gujarat Titans, too, got off to a poor start as they were reduced to 15/2 in the third over as Shubman Gill (0) and Vijay Shankar (4) fell to Sri Lankan pacer Dushmantha Chameera. Skipper Hardik Pandya and Australian wicketkeeper-batter Matthew Wade raised 57 runs for the third wicket partnership but Hardik soon returned to the pavilion, when he holed out to Manish Pandey while trying to loft his brother over his head.
Hardik blasted a 28-ball 33 studded with five fours and a six. Gujarat further slumped into the bog when they lost opener Matthew Wade (30) with the score 78/4, castled by Hooda when he went for a slog sweep. With the asking rate rising steadily, David Miller and Rahul Tewatia rescued the Titans with a fine partnership, building up a partnership for the fifth wicket.
Miller scored 30 of 21 deliveries and Tewatia remained unbeaten on 40 as they reached 161/5 to register a five-wicket victory. Earlier, sent in to bat first, Lucknow Super Giants got off to a disastrous start as they lost skipper KL Rahul to a golden duck, edging behind an unplayable delivery bowled by Mohammad Shami first-up. Shami, bowling beautifully and always in the channel, sent back Lucknow's other opener, Quinton de Kock (10), splitting the gap between the bat and pad with a peach of a delivery that was full and did a wee bit to fox the South African batter.
Varun Aaron then made it 20/3 when he extracted some bounce from the surface and West Indies' Evin Lewis went for a pull but only managed to top edge towards square leg where Shubman Gill completed a fantastic catch. Lucknow's troubles deepened when Shami removed Manish Pandey with one that moved just a bit to avoid the Karnataka batter's tentative poke and hit the off stump. Lucknow had lost their fourth wicket for 29 runs and looked in deep trouble.
They crawled to 32/4 in the Powerplay as Deepak Hooda and Ayush Badoni, a 22-year-old from Delhi, repaired the innings. Then then took Delhi towards a respectable total with an 87-run partnership for the fifth wicket. Hooda, who blasted some superb boundaries, completed his fifty off 36 deliveries. Badoni blasted Gujarat skipper Hardik Pandya for a six and two boundaries in his fourth and last over.
He got down to one knee and blasted Pandya over midwicket for a six and followed it up by lapping the second delivery over fine leg for a one-bounce four and then deliberately ran down to third man another fuller one with soft hands. Hooda then blasted the final delivery for a four as Pandya conceded 19 runs in his fourth over. Lucknow reached 100 off 14.2 overs with Hooda and Badoni looking dangerous.
Rashid Khan got Gujarat Titans the much-needed breakthrough, ending the 87-run partnership for the fifth wicket when he trapped Hooda plumb as the batter tried to sweep him away. Though Badoni kept the scoreboard ticking for a couple big overs, in the end Lucknow Super Giants could manage only a sub-par total in their first innings.
Brief scores: Lucknow Super Giants 158/6 in 20 overs (Deepak Hooda 55, Ayush Badoni 54, Krunal Pandya 21*; Mohd Shami 3/25, Varun Aaron 2/45) lost to Gujarat Titans 161/5 in 19.4 overs (Matthew Wade 30, Hardik Pandya 33, David Miller 30, Rahul Tewatia 40 not out; Dushmantha Chameera 2/22)