IPL 2022, Final, GT vs RR, Top Performances: Hardik Pandya's 3-17 & 34, Shubman Gill's 45* and Trent Boult's 1-14 are top three performances. Gujarat Titans win the TATA IPL 2022.
Brief Scores: Rajasthan Royals 130/9 (Buttler 39, Jaiswal 22, Pandya 3/17) lost to Gujarat Titans 133/3 (Gill 45*, Pandya 34, Boult 1/14) by 7 wickets
Player of the Match: Hardik Pandya (3-17 and 30-ball 34)
Player of the Tournament & Orange Cap: Jos Buttler (863 runs in 17 innings at a strike rate of 149.05)
Purple Cap: Yuzvendra Chahal (27 wickets in 17 innings; ER – 7.75)
After 64 days and 73 matches, debutant franchise Gujarat Titans (GT) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) met on Sunday night in the final of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022. The largest cricket stadium in the world, Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, welcomed one lakh 20 thousand spectators for the big match. Head to head, Gujarat had won on both occasions they faced Rajasthan in this season.
For a change, RR skipper Sanju Samson won back-to-back tosses, probably the most important one in his captaincy career, and decided to bat first in the final. Gujarat had won 7 out of their 8 matches chasing. Whereas Rajasthan had won 6 out of their 8 matches defending and the spectators had their plates full with the prospect of an interesting match. Rajasthan went with an unchanged eleven whereas Gujarat brought in Lockie Ferguson for Alzarri Joseph.
Gujarat Titans lift IPL 2022 trophy in first attempt
The Rajdhani express of Rajasthan Royals were derailed on Sunday, courtesy some brilliant red signal bowling from the Gujarat bowlers. Yashasvi Jaiswal was dismissed inside the powerplay by Yash Dayal. GT captain Hardik Pandya took it upon himself on the big occasion and dismissed the three best batters of Rajasthan – Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson and Shimron Hetmyer.
Once Rajasthan had lost their best batters, it was just a matter of time before they were curt down short in this important final. Rajasthan were struggling at 94/5 at the end of the 15th over, and needed a strong finish. The Gujarat bowlers didn’t put their hands off the breaks as Hardik and Sai Kishore kept taking regular wickets and reduced the inaugural champions of IPL to just 130/9 after 20 overs.
Gujarat were given a life on the fourth delivery of the run chase by the Purple Cap holder, Yuzvendra Chahal, where Shubman Gill was dropped when he was yet to open his account. It was rather as if Chahal had dropped the cup more than the catch. Rajasthan were experimental in taking two quick wickets, as Wriddhiman Saha and Matthew Wade were dismissed inside the first five overs by the Rajasthan pacers who were good in the initial overs.
Hardik and Gill combined for a 63-run match-winning partnership which ensured that Rajasthan were never back in the match. This was rather a disappointing final as per the IPL standards, as Gujarat chased the target with very little threat from one of the best bowling units of IPL. Gujarat also set the record straight with Rajasthan as they beat the latter for the third time this season and won their maiden IPL trophy in their first ever season. Hardik also became the youngest captain and equaled Mumbai Indians (MI) skipper Rohit Sharma’s record of lowest number of matches (16) to win an IPL trophy.
Top Three Performances from the final between GT and RR, TATA IPL 2022:
Captain Hardik Pandya leading from the front
When a team is batting at 59/1 after eight overs, it needs a special bowling performance to cut the batting team short. Then came GT captain Hardik Pandya with the ball in his hand and with the responsibility to dismiss RR batters. Hardik changed the course of this match with his accurate bowling. More than the accuracy, Hardik adapted to the wicket well, bowling 83 per cent off his deliveries at a good length or short of good length. Hardik, with his smart bowling, gave no pace whatsoever to the batters, and mixed his off-cutters brilliantly with the surprise sharp bouncers. Pandya picked up the top three run-scorers of Rajasthan – Buttler, Samson and Hetmyer.
Hardik’s match-up against Sanju was an equivalent one, where Sanju had scored 37 runs off 21 balls faced from the India all-rounder. However, with Samson’s dismissal, Hardik had the Kerala batter’s wicket for the second time in IPL. On the other hand, Hardik had never dismissed Buttler in his T20 career, and the England batter had scored 47 runs off the 26 deliveries faced against Hardik. However, Hardik dismissed the Orange Cap holder when it mattered the most for GT. In fact, this was the first time ever that Hardik had dismissed Hetmyer too.
These three batters were the life-support ventilators for Rajasthan this season and Hardik pulled the oxygen plug from the support system with his three-wicket spell giving just 17 runs off his quota of four overs. Hardik’s 3/17 was also the second-best bowling performance by a captain in the final, second to Kumble’s 4/16 against Deccan Chargers in 2009. This bowling performance ensured Rajasthan were restricted to the second-lowest total in an IPL final.
Hardik came to bat inside the powerplay during GT’s innings. This was not too different a situation from what Hardik faced during the entire season. Just needing to put in a stable captain’s knock, Hardik’s 30-ball 34 was critical with regard to the game situation, as his wicket in the next two to three overs would have made the chase difficult for the Titans. Hardik also became the second cricketer to pick 3+ wickets and score 30+ runs in the night of the finals with the first being Yusuf Pathan.
Trent Boult’s economical spell of 1/14 brought life to the dead run chase
Trent Boult needed to deliver inside the powerplay for the Royals to make a match of this small defence. The Kiwi seamer delivered with the wicket of Australia wicketkeeper-batter Matthew Wade. Boult bowled on the stumps and Wade played a nothing shot, chipping it to Riyan Parag who marshaled at short mid-wicket.
Rajasthan came in with a plan to defend this low score. However, the RR fielders didn’t support the cause as they dropped a catch of Shubman Gill off the fourth ball of the run chase. Of all the Rajasthan bowlers, it was only Boult who looked threatening and brought some life in this dead run chase. A match where the rest of the Rajasthan bowlers were smacked for 5+ runs in an over, Trent Boult just conceded 14 runs in his quota of four overs picking one crucial wicket.
Shubman gives the “Gills” to Gujarat with a solid 45 off just 43 balls
A run chase in the finals requires nerves of steel and Gujarat’s third retention, Shubman Gill delivered when it mattered the most for the Titans. Chasing a mediocre score of just 130 runs to win in the finals, Gujarat needed someone to just bat through and anchor the innings. Even though wickets fell at regular intervals at the other end and Gujarat were in some sort of trouble, Gill with his solid knock eased the nerves of the debutant franchise’s fans.
The pressure of the finals brings out the A-game of Gill as he played zero-risk shots but ensured the scoreboard was ticking for the Titans. Shubman played his match-up Yuzvendra Chahal well, against whom he had scored just 30 runs off 29 deliveries whereas, Chahal had dismissed Gill once already. Once Chahal was dealt with, Gill was in cruise mode as he hit the winning six and finished it off in style for the debutants of IPL, Gujarat Titans, with a 43-ball 45 in the most important night for the Titans. Gill’s 63-run partnership for the third wicket with Hardik ensured that the debutants didn’t disappoint the 1.2 lakhs supporters present at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, who were egging on their team.