GT vs RR Highlights: Shimron Hetmyer, Sanju Samson star in Rajasthan Royals’ first ever win over Gujarat Titans | Cricket News Apextalk

NEW DELHI: Swashbuckling Shimron Hetmyer hogged the limelight with an incredible unbeaten 26-ball 56 blitz after Sanju Samson‘s attacking half-century as Rajasthan Royals pipped Gujarat Titans by three wickets in Ahmedabad.
The victory was Royals’ first ever over Titans in IPL as they also maintained the top spot after edging the hosts in a thriller.
Rampant Rajasthan now have 4 wins in 5 games while Gujarat keep their third spot on the points table.

Chasing a tricky 178, Rajasthan got off to a woeful start, losing openers Jos Buttler (0) and Yashasvi Jaiswal (4) inside powerplay for single-digit scores. Reduced to 4 for 2 at one stage, Royals could only manage 26 runs in powerplay.
As It Happened
But skipper Samson rose to the occasion after early blows, firing a 32-ball 60. His partnerships with Devdutt Padikkal (26) and Hetmyer brought back Royls into the contest and never allowed the asking rate to go out of control.

After Samson departed in the 15th over, Hetmyer added crucial 47 runs off just 20 balls with Dhruv Jurel (18) to take Royals closer. He then eventually took his side across the finish line with four balls to spare.

The 26-year-old Hetmyer turned the complexion of the game with his blitz that came at a strike rate of over 215. The knock was studded with two fours and five maximums, and came at a time when things looked uphill for the Sanju Samson-led side.
Pacers Mohammed Shami and Hardik Pandya had bowled well as Gujarat Titans made early inroads and pushed the Royals into a tight corner.
With 177 not looking like an imposing total to defend by any yardstick — against a team packed with batting stars like Buttler, Jaiswal, Samson and Devdutt Padikkal — the best option for Shami and Pandya was to make the ball talk.
Long after Shubman Gill (45) and Pandya (28) had come together to pull the Titans out of trouble with their 59-run partnership, the skipper bowled tirelessly in tandem with Mohammed Shami, whose searing pace and swing flummoxed the RR top-order batters.
Pandya induced Jaiswal to play an absurd short with the batter opening the face of the bat to a delivery outside the off stump to give Gill catching practice in slips.
With pressure mounting in powerplay — and with the high standards the Royals have set in those make-or-break six overs — Buttler committed himself tentatively to a stroke he would otherwise not play.
The England while-ball skipper shuffled across his stumps to a delivery seaming in toward off stump and missed an attempted scoop over fine leg, resulting in his off stump being uprooted from the ground.
It left the pair of Padikkal and Samson with the unenviable task of rebuilding the house from scratch. The 26 runs the Royals scored in powerplay was a testament to the nagging length Pandya and Shami bowled.
But then the rebuilding work stated in true earnest, with Samson and Padikkal (26) involved in a 43-run partnership and then the skipper forging a 59-run stand with Riyan Parag (5). The Hetmyer and Dhruv Jurel partnership then blossomed towards the business end with the West Indian doing the bulk of the scoring.
There were some anxious moments when both Jurel and Ashwin fell in quick succession, but Hetmyel completed the task with another massive six.
Earlier, Gill’s cool demeanour in the face of adversity and skipper Hardik Pandya’s quick understanding of the situation again came to the fore as their half-century stand helped Gujarat Titans post 177 for seven.
South African left-handed batter David Miller (46 off 30 balls) and Abhinav Manohar (27 off 13) provided the final flourish, with a 45-run partnership that was studded with three boundaries and five maximums.
Gill (45) and Pandya (28) came together at a time when the powerplay score seemed far from ideal. And, with two players back in the dugout, the defending champions seemed vulnerable. The 59-run partnership, not just infused life into the match, it also helped the defending champions launch a full-scale onslaught in the death overs.

With 42 for 2 at the end of powerplay and Wriddhiman Saha (4) and young Sai Sudarshan (20) going cheaply, it was left to the captain and one of his most trusted team-mates to turn things around for the Titans.\

Initially, Gill played the waiting game, getting off the mark off the last ball of the third over, by smashing an effortless boundary through extra cover off a length delivery from New Zealand pace bowler Trent Boult.

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Pandya and Gill picked the seventh and eighth overs, bowled by Adam Zampa and Ravichandran Ashwin, for some special treatment, with the Titans skipper spanking a six and a four off the Australian in the seventh, and the pair milking 17 off the eight over bowled by Ashwin.
(With inputs from PTI)

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