Debutant team Gujarat Titans lift IPL 2022

By Kersi Meher-Homji

It was a Final to remember for Gujarat Titan’s captain Hardik Pandya. He took three vital wickets and scored 34 runs in a low scoring match as he led his team to a comfortable win. He was the worthy Person of the Match.

The Final at Ahmedabad was a tussle between a team playing IPL for the first time (Gujarat Titans) and a team which had won the first ever IPL in 2008 (Rajasthan Royals).

Winning the toss, Rajasthan Royals could score only 9 for 130, Jos Buttler scoring 39 runs, skipper Hardik Pandya claiming 3 for 17.

Supported by a huge home crowd, Gujarat Titans hit 3 for 133 in 18.1 overs to win the Final by 7 wickets with 11 balls in hand. Opener Shubnam Gill top scored with an unbeaten 45 while Hardik made 34 and David Miller 32 not out.

A delighted captain and Player of the Final Hardik Pandya said at the presentation, “The kind of support the support staff has shown for the players is wonderful. This is the right example for every team in the world that if you can play as a team, you can do wonders. I and Ashu pa are similar in terms of thinking. We like to have proper bowlers who can win matches on their own.

“T20s may be a batters’ game but bowlers win you the games. From Ashish [Nehra], Ashish Kapoor, Gary, to logistic staff, the credit goes to the support staff. This title is going to be a special one because we talked about creating a legacy. The coming generations will talk about it.”

Player of the Series Jos Buttler said, “Exceeded all my expectation for the season apart from today. A big congratulations to Hardik and his team, they are the deserving champions. My goal is to play for my time and try reacting to the situation. I had huge trust in everyone in the team even though who came up short today. It’s talking to myself as well. I have lost plenty of finals in my career but today has been a fantastic occasion. It has been an absolute privilege to play in front of a big crowd. I would ask my team-mates to use this hurt to achieve more in future.”

Fast bowler Umran Malik was the deserving Emerging Player of the Season.”

What has most impressed me most about the current IPL is the promise young Indian cricketers (whose names I had not heard before) are showing. For instance Umran bowls at 145 kmh regularly, at times exceeding 150 kmh. Also some of the unknowns outplay Test batsmen, namely Rajat Patidar outshining Kohli and other Test greats regularly. And the unknown batsmen just don’t sky sixes, they cover drive too.

I predict that India has a big future in the T20 World Cup.

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