Punjab Kings comprehensively defeated mighty Gujarat Titans by 8 wickets at the DY Patil Sports Academy in Mumbai. Match number 48 saw yet another brilliant batting display from Shikhar Dhawan, who played a mature knock of 62 in 53 balls and was well complemented by Bhanuka Rajapaksa's 40 off 28 and blistering 30 from Liam Livingstone in just ten balls to chase down 143 in 20 overs of the game.
Earlier, Gujarat Titans won the toss and opted to bat first, but an early breakthrough for Punjab in the form of Shubman Gill put the Titans in danger situation. Except for Sai Sudharshan's valiant effort of 65 in 50 balls, none of the batters had a good day as the second-best highest score was 21 from Wriddhiman Saha.
Kagiso Rabada had a perfect day as he clinched four wickets in the game and dismissed the likes of Saha, Rahul Tewatia (11 off 13), Rashid Khan (0 off 1), and Lockie Ferguson (5 off 13). Rabada was rewarded Player of the Match for his brilliant bowling spell in the game.
Let's take a look at the points table after game number 48.
Changes in Points Table
With Punjab Kings winning their 5th game of the season, they have now ten points after playing ten matches. Kings have a net run rate of -0.229, due to which they are placed at fifth position in the points table. Meanwhile, Gujarat Titans, due to their past performances, are well stationed at the top of the helm with eight wins out of ten games and a net run rate of +0.158
What did the captain say?
Winning captain Mayank Agarwal was delighted with the team's performance and expressed happiness over the implementation of bowlers, which eventually choked Titans at a low score of 143. "I thought we bowled exceedingly well; we got early wickets and choked them in the middle. That really helped us to restrict them to a below-par score," said Mayank Agarwal. He also congratulated Shikhar Dhawan and Bhanuka Rajapaksa for building such a crucial partnership and said Liam did his job perfectly.
On the other hand, Hardik Pandya admitted that opting to bat first was an experiment he wanted to try as he wanted the team to defend a total, but believes "players will bounce back stronger." "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," he said.
On Wednesday evening, Royal Challengers Bangalore will take on defending champions Chennai Super Kings to keep their chances alive for the playoffs. A thrilling battle is expected at the MCA, Pune, as the match will bring a few quality players up against each other.