Krunal Pandya bowled an economical spell of 2/16 while Marcus Stoinis took two wickets in the final over and Naveen-ul-Haq shined with brilliant pace-off bowling to help Lucknow Super Giants restrict Gujarat Titans to a modest 135/6 in an IPL 2023 match at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium, here on Saturday.
On a slow pitch where spinners and slower deliveries from the fast bowlers ruled the roost, Gujarat's batters found it difficult to find their timing, barring captain Hardik Pandya's 66 off 50 balls and Wriddhiman Saha hitting 47 off 37 balls. Such was the difficulty in stroke play that Hardik was the only batter from Gujarat to hit all of their sixes in their innings.
Electing to bat first, Gujarat suffered a huge blow in the second over when Shubman Gill fell for a two-ball duck after holing out to long-off against Krunal Pandya. Saha took three quick fours off Krunal, Naveen and Avesh Khan, before cutting on consecutive deliveries off Ravi Bishnoi for boundaries in the last over of power-play.
Post power-play, Saha nailed another cut off Stoinis for four, before Hardik, promoting himself to number three, made great use of fuller balls from Bishnoi to smash over extra cover for four and hit a six over long-off.
The 68-run partnership between Saha and Hardik came to an end in the 11th over when the former danced down the pitch to chip aerially off Krunal, but gave a simple catch to long-on.
In the next over, Abhinav Manohar fell cheaply to Mishra after his lofted drive on a flighted delivery was caught by deep cover running and diving to his right. Vijay Shankar was next to depart in the 15th over, castled easily by Naveen on an attempted slog, giving the fast-bowler his first IPL wicket.
Hardik ended 4.2 overs of boundary drought by pulling Bishnoi for four through square leg, followed by powerful sixes over deep mid-wicket and long-on, first of which fetched him his fifty in 44 balls in a 19-run over.
Skipper Hardik began the final over by pulling Stoinis for a flat six over deep mid-wicket. On the very next ball, Stoinis had the last laugh as Hardik pulled a slower ball straight to long-on. The Australian all-rounder ended the innings with a wicket as David Miller holed out to long-on.
Brief Scores: Gujarat Titans 135/6 in 20 overs (Hardik Pandya 66, Wriddhiman Saha 47; Krunal Pandya 2/16, Marcus Stoinis 2/20) against Lucknow Super Giants