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IPL 2022: Kagiso Rabada, Shikhar Dhawan Star in Punjab Kings’ 8-wicket Win Over Gujarat Titans

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Kagiso Rabada, Shikhar Dhawan powered Punjab Kings to a crucial 8-wicket win over table-toppers Gujarat Titans on Monday at Dr DY Patil Sports Academy, Mumbai. Rabada returned to his best with a four-fer which dismantled Gujarat’s batting line-up and restricted them to a below-par 143/8 in 20 overs.

Chasing the target, Dhawan slammed a fine half-century to set up the platform for an emphatic victory. He smashed an unbeaten 62 runs off 53 balls which was laced with a six and 8 fours. Liam Livingstone (30*) smashed Mohammed Shami all around the park in the 16th over to help Punjab chase down the target with 24 balls to spare. It was the second defeat for Gujarat Titans this season who are on the brink to seal a place in the playoffs. While the victory kept Mayank Agarwal and Co. alive in the playoffs contention.

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It was not an ideal start for PBKS in the chase as they lost opener Jonny Bairstow early for 1 as Shami gave Gujarat some hopes with an early wicket. However, the 87-run stand for the second wicket between Dhawan and Bhanuka Rajapaksa took the game away from the Titans’ reach. Rajapaksa scored 40 runs in 28 balls to release some pressure off Dhawan’s shoulders.

Captain Mayank demoted him in the batting order in the crucial clash as the stylish opener didn’t get the chance to bat as Livingstone came down to bat at number 4 and scored 30 off just 10 balls to take his team to the victory line alongside Dhawan. He smashed a monstrous 117-meter six off Shami’s delivery to lit up the stadium.

Earlier, after opting to bat first, Gujarat lost their opener Shubman Gill early on 9 courtesy of a sensational direct hit from Rishi Dhawan. Wriddhiman Saha who looked in decent touch failed to convert the start into a big score and became the first victim of Rabada on 21.

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In-form skipper Hardik failed to score big runs on the occasion and was dismissed on just 1 by Rishi Dhawan. 20-year-old Sai Sudharsan fought hard for Gujarat with an unbeaten 65-run knock but he didn’t get ample support from the other batters. The young southpaw failed to switch gears as Gujarat kept losing wickets at regular intervals which made him a bit cautious to protect his scalp to guide his team to a fighting total.

Rabada further pegged back Gujarat by removing Rahul Tewatia (11) and Rashid Khan (0) in successive deliveries in the 17th over with Gujarat reeling at 112/6.

Rabada capped off a memorable spell by dismissing Lockie Ferguson (5). He finished with the match with exemplary figures of 4/33.

For Punjab, Sandeep Sharma (0/17), Arshdeep Singh (1/35), Rahul Chahar (0/11) and Livingstone also played their parts to perfection.

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