Royals score an exciting victory following the Hetmyer assault
Sanju Samson (32-ball 60) and Shimron Hetmyer (26-ball 56*) scored quick half-centuries to help Rajasthan Royals escape a hazardous situation and secure their fourth victory in five games on Sunday in Ahmedabad, defeating Gujarat Titans by three wickets with four balls remaining.
True, with only four runs on the board when Samson came out to bat in the third over, Rajasthan Royals had lost both of their openers, Yashasvi Jaiswal and Jos Buttler. Mohammad Shami and Hardik Pandya maneuvered in tight spaces to worry the RR hitters while there was plenty of movement available. The Impact Replacement, Devdutt Padikkal, made a few attempts to remove the chains, but other than one six off Shami, he was mainly ineffective. The visitors only managed a 26 for 2 powerplay.
Furthermore, with Royals still chugging along at just over 5 runs per over, Padikkal was bowled by Rashid Khan in the ninth over, just as it appeared the batters had calmed down and the bowlers didn't have much help. After falling two more overs later, the side was reduced to 55 for 4 in 10.3 overs.
How did Samson and Hetmyer counter the challenge?
The two batters entered the game at different times. The batters were still having a difficult time connecting with the ball when Samson left. Despite the poor scoring rate, the early damage had further diminished the justifications for going on the attack. Samson was cautious at first but was fast to seize scoring opportunities without taking shots with a high chance of failure. A check drive for a boundary and a swipe over a deep square leg for a six.
Immediately following Parag's demise in the second half of RR's innings, Samson concluded Rashid's over with a pull over deep mid wicket boundary for a six, signaling the first true desire to attack.
Was that when RR went on the offensive?
Yes, in a sense. Samson struck three consecutive sixes off the back foot in Rashid's subsequent over to make his intentions known. In the following over, Hetmyer launched his assault against Alzarri Joseph's pace with a six over square leg and a boundary past deep mid wicket.
The RR captain also hit Noor Ahmed, who was added as an Impact Replacement in the 15th over, for a boundary and a six, but Noor Ahmed was ultimately successful in getting Samson to take a poor shot, which led to Noor Ahmed having Samson caught at long off.
What happened in the death overs?
Hetmyer kept up the onslaught against his West Indian opponent by hitting Alzarri for a couple of sixes and a boundary. Hetmyer also caught Rashid, who was having a rough day, in the final over of his session, and Rashid ended up giving up 46 runs in his four-over stint.
Shami was brought back to bowl the penultimate over after bowling three tight overs during the powerplay. Despite getting rid of R Ashwin and Dhruv Jurel, he still gave up 16 runs from the over, leaving just 7 for the final over to defend.
Hardik had a several possibilities, but he decided to rely on Noor, a debutante, to perform under duress. Hetmyer, however, helped his side cross the finish line by completing the formalities in only two balls.
How did Gujarat Titans began with the bat?
Really terribly. Trent Boult made a really amusing first-over strike. Wriddhiman Saha's flick, which soared high in the air, had a top edge. Samson, Jurel, and Hetmyer, the three fielders who converged beneath it, ended up colliding. The ball, however, flew out of Samson's gloves and fell to Boult, who was only a few steps from the triumvirate.
On the powerplay, Sai Sudarshan and Shubman Gill struggled to get going, as the former was run out on a 19-ball 20 before Hardik saved his team's innings.
Revived the innings?
The GT captain, who has had a very bad batting record in IPL 2023 thus far, smacked Zampa for successive deliveries for a boundary and a six down the ground. With a boundary, he even reached his 2000th IPL run, albeit on a streaky edge off Ashwin's carrom ball. Before succumbing to Chahal on a 19-ball 28, which gave his team much-needed momentum, he added 59 runs with Gill in just 33 balls.
With the help of a superb catch from Jos Buttler, Gill, who had increased his scoring rate during the partnership, was eventually removed by Sandeep Sharma.
What happened in the death
There were only five bowlers on the Rajasthan Royals' staff, and three of them were spinners. Despite not having the most efficient numbers, they prevented the GT batters from breaking away as much as they would have liked. David Miller and Abhinav Manohar built together a quick 45 run partnership in 3.4 overs, but Sandeep Sharma's excellent bowling in the dying overs ensured they were held to a slightly under par score.
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