Indian T20 League 2022: David Miller’s 94* lifts Gujarat to win against Chennai
By Devarchit Varma April 18, 2022
The four-time title winners and defending champions Chennai were subjected to their 5th loss in 6 matches in the Indian T20 Cricket League 2022 tournament so far when David Miller stood tall with 94 not out to help Gujarat clinch a narrow 3-wicket victory in the Match No 29 played in Pune on Sunday night.
Chennai opening batsman Ruturaj Gaikwad returned to form with his first half-century of the season, scoring 73 from 48 balls with 5 sixes and as many fours, whereas Ambati Rayudu made a fluent 46 to lift Chennai to a competitive total of 169/5 in their 20 overs at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium.
In their reply, Gujarat were reduced to 48/4 after 8 overs with their in-form batsman Shubman Gill and all-rounder Vijay Shankar dismissed for nought. Gujarat middle-order batsman Abhinav Manohar also had a rare failure with the bat in the tournament, being dismissed for a run-a-ball 12 but David Miller took the attack to the opposition.
The veteran left-handed batsman David Miller scored 94 not out from 51 balls with the help of 6 boundaries and 8 sixes to defy Chennai single-handedly, while being involved into vital partnerships with Abhinav Manohar and Rashid Khan.
The Afghanistan right-arm spin bowler Rashid Khan was the stand-in captain for Gujarat in the clash against Chennai since their regular captain Hardik Pandya was forced to sit out due to a groin strain that he suffered in the clash against Rajasthan a few nights ago.
After Rashid Khan won the toss and invited Chennai to bat, Gujarat bowlers were able to make early inroads by dismissing the dangerous Robin Uthappa for 3 and Moeen Ali for 1, reducing Chennai to 32/2 in 5.2 overs.
This was when the pair of Ruturaj Gaikwad and Ambati Rayudu got together, adding 92 runs from 56 balls for the third wicket to strengthen the team's position in the contest.
The in-form Chennai batsman Shivam Dubai could manage 19 from 17 balls with the help of 2 boundaries before being run-out whereas Chennai captain Ravindra Jadeja hammered 2 sixes to make 22 not out from just 12 balls late in their innings.
For Gujarat, the debutant Caribbean fast bowler Alzarri Joseph returned with impressive numbers of 4-0-34-2 whereas the other Indian fast bowlers Mohammed Shami and Yash Dayal took one wicket each. Both Lockie Ferguson and Rashid Khan were expensive on Sunday.
Gujarat made a shaky start to their chase when Shubman Gill was dismissed for a first-ball duck by left-arm fast bowler Mukesh Choudhary, who had the aggressive batsman caught by Robin Uthappa.
The new team on the block Gujarat were rocked once again in the second over of the innings when all-rounder Vijay Shankar was caught behind by M Dhonii off Sri Lankan spinner Maheesh Theekshana for a second-ball duck.
Abhinav Manohar could not last long where as Wriddhiman Saha, playing his first match of the season in there place of Matthew Wade, could manage only 11 off 18 balls.
David Miller took it upon himself to see Gujarat through as the left-handed batsman forged vital partnerships along the way to keep his side on track of what seemed to be a tough chase.
After adding 32 runs for the fourth wicket with Wriddhiman Saha, David Miller added another 39 runs with Rahul Tewatia, who was dismissed for 6.
However, the association for the 7th wicket between the stand-in Gujarat captain Rashid Khan and David Miller proved to be a match-winning one as the two batsmen added 70 runs from only 37 balls to snatch victory from Chennai and deliver it to Gujarat.
Rashid Khan came good with the bat scoring 40 from 27 balls with 3 sixes and 2 fours.
However, there was some late drama in store as Gujarat were required to score 13 runs from the final over from Chris Jordan and the Englishman was hit for a six on the third ball of the over which was a on a fuller ball outside the leg stump — put away by David Miller over the fine leg region.
Chris Jordan followed one bad delivery with another as he erred by bowling a full toss about the waist-high to David Miller, which was adjudged a no-ball and Gujarat got a free-hit.
David Miller put away the free hit delivery for a boundary on the left side and completed the formalities of a win for Gujarat on the second last ball by taking 2 runs.
The win helped Gujarat move back to the top spot in the points table for the Indian T20 Cricket League 2022 tournament, since they now have 10 points from 6 matches with 5 victories and 1 defeat along with a healthy net run rate of 0.395.
On the other hand, Chennai were stuck at the second last spot with five defeats and a solitary victory in six matches so far giving them two points and a NRR of -0.638.
Chennai will be desperate to get their campaign in order by recording a win over Mumbai in their next match on April 21, whereas Gujarat will next be seen in action on Saturday when they take on Kolkata in the afternoon match on April 23.
Devarchit Varma is a cricket writer and journalist with an experience of more than a decade, having worked at Hindustan Times (newspaper) and CricketCountry (website). Along with covering international and domestic cricket, he has also interviewed several current and former top players such as Rohit Sharma, Steve Smith, Dale Steyn, Michael Hussey, Jacques Kallis, Brendon McCullum, Shane Watson, Lasith Malinga and many more. He has also worked in other beats as a journalist in Bollywood (Reliance BigOye) and IT (SiliconIndia) industries.
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