David Miller, Hardik Pandya Take Gujarat Titans Into IPL 2022 Final

Gujarat Titans, led by inspiring captain Hardik Pandya, beat Rajasthan Royals by seven wickets to reach the IPL-15 final.

Royals rode Jos Buttler’s 56-ball-89 to post 188 for six in 20 overs on a two-paced surface, which appeared like a winning total given the pressure of the occasion.

However, Pandya (40 not out off 27 balls) and Miller (68 not out off 38 balls) contributed 101 runs in exactly 10 overs to secure the deal with three balls to spare.

For a team that many predicted would come last due to some out-of-the-box selections, they turned out to be the most consistent and will now play in front of their home crowd at the Narendra Modi Stadium, where over 100,000 people will be cheering them on.

New ‘Captain Cool’ Pandya deserves special mention for his calm demeanor, even when things didn’t seem to be going his way.

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One of the most accurate batters, Pandya dragged the game deep with some well-placed boundaries, allowing Miller to take his time before launching five massive sixes, three of which came off Prasidh Krishna’s final over, when the spinner completely lost his nerve.

Pandya’s captaincy was highlighted by his decision not to take any risks against the opposition’s greatest bowler, Yuzvendra Chahal (0/32 in 4 overs), instead of relying on his partner, who smashed two enormous sixes to relieve the burden.

After Trent Boult (1/38 in 4 overs) and Chahal finished, it was up to Obed McCoy (1/40 in 4 overs), the day’s weakest performer, to bowl a decent 19th over with the Titans needing 23 off 12 balls.

Only seven runs came off the over, leaving Krishna with 16 runs to defend, but it took Miller three balls to nail it, all in the length slots.

Wriddhiman Saha (0) was all at sea against Boult at the start of the chase and edged one that moved in and then straightened after pitching. Matthew Wade (35 off 30 balls) and Shubman Gill (35 off 21 balls) kept the chase on track by adding 72 for the second wicket.

Gill got off to a sluggish start before launching himself into Ravichandran Ashwin with a six-over-long-off and two boundaries on both sides of the square.

Wade was likewise moving quickly before a significant mix-up resulted in Gill’s exit.

Pandya began with a square cut-off McCoy before getting Wade in the next over when Buttler took a well-judged catch at deep midwicket.

Buttler had a lot of luck and guts throughout his 89-run innings, which helped Rajasthan Royals reach a challenging target after being put in to bat.

Buttler, who had struggled in the second part of the season, got off to a poor start but made the most of a pair of dropped catches during a knock that included 12 fours and two sixes.

Buttler, who has 718 runs in 15 games, hit 39 runs off his first 38 deliveries before smashing another 50 of his next 18 deliveries.

Buttler also got two reprieves, the first on 43 when Hardik Pandya fell to drop a sitter and the second on 69 when Rashid Khan grassed him.

He then faced Alzarri Joseph, who smashed three boundaries in an over to speed up his scoring before being run out in the last over.

Sanju Samson’s confidence was on full display first, as the Royals skipper answered in style with a 26-ball 47, obviously wounded by the latest India selection setback (5×4, 3×6).

Buttler delivered boundaries in his exciting powerplay display when he was struggling to get going.

Buttler and Samson shared a 68-run partnership, with 47 coming off the former’s blade, encapsulating the Royals skipper’s dominance after they were sent in.

From the opening ball, when he lofted Dayal over long-on for an easy six, he looked ominous.

Mohammed Shami and Alzarri Joseph, the Titans’ pace duo, struggled with line and length, which Sanju exploited to lift the score to 55/1 in six overs.

Coming into the bowl after the power-play, none other than the crafty Afghan spinner slapped the brakes on them just as they were about to lose control.

Rashid expertly used his variations against his ‘bunny’ Buttler as the Englishman battled to rotate the strike as the ball gripped the dry surface.

He only gave up two runs in the second over, putting pressure on Sanju to face Sai Kishore in the next over, where a flighted delivery bowled him