Gujarat Titans captain Hardik Pandya admitted that they were not even close to a par score against Punjab Kings after they lost badly by eight wickets at the Dr. DY Patil Sports Academy, Mumbai on Tuesday. Gujarat Titans could only post a below-par score of 143 runs on the board after Hardik Pandya won the toss and decided to bat first.
Except for Sai Sudharsan, who scored his maiden IPL fifty (65 off 50 balls), none of the Gujarat Titans batters could get going. Shubman Gill was dismissed early and Wriddhiman Saha also followed suit.
Subsequently, Hardik Pandya and David Miller were dismissed cheaply and the Titans had their backs against the wall at 67-4. Gujarat, who are at the top of the points table, kept losing wickets at regular intervals and thus they could not get the impetus in their batting innings.
Kagiso Rabada was the chief destroyer of Gujarat Titans innings as the Proteas gun fast bowler returned with impressive figures of 4-33.
On the other hand, Shikhar Dhawan played a mature knock as he scored 62 runs from 53 balls whereas Bhanuka Rajapaksa added 40 runs in the run-chase. Liam Livingstone launched the fireworks towards the end of the innings as he raced to 30 runs off just 10 balls. Mohammed Shami was smacked for 28 runs in the 16th over of the innings by Livingstone, who hit a monstrous hit of 117 meters in that over.
Hardik Pandya said in the post-match presentation, “We weren’t even close to a par score. 170 would have been ideal, but we kept losing wickets regularly and never came anywhere near it. I backed ourselves with the bat, batting first wasn’t a wrong call, we needed to come out of our comfort zone (which was chasing targets). We have chased well in this tournament, if required (later on in the tournament), we had to know how to set targets. This is part of a learning curve, but this is all about learning to come out of our own comfort zone. We were always talking about getting better even when we were winning, we would talk about things that didn’t go our way (today) and would look to come back better in the coming games. We have another game in a couple of days, we need to regroup, winning and losing are a part of the sport.”
Gujarat Titans had an off-day with the bat and they will look to bounce back stronger in the upcoming matches. The Titans have been amazing throughout the tournament and they will look to put this loss behind them.
Gujarat Titans will next face Mumbai Indians at the Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai on Friday.