The tale of two skippers at the DY Patil Stadium saw Kane Williamson upstage Hardik Pandya after the former, for the fourth successive time, decided to chase down a target. SRH finished the match at 168/2 to complement the fine work of their bowlers, who restricted the Titans to 162/7.
The first four overs of the Powerplay yielded just 11 but Williamson put Sunrisers on course by taking on Mohammed Shami. Abhishek Sharma clattered Lockie Ferguson for 17 in his first over to give their innings a move on. The opening wicket partnership of 64 runs (53b) set it up nicely before they had to contend with the wily Rashid Khan.
They handled Rashid well and pared down the target to 87 runs in the last 10 and 47 in the last five, with Williamson the fulcrum around which the rest batted. Williamson’s calculated assault ended in the 17th over at 57 (4×2, 6×4) with his opposite number bagging the wicket. But Nicholas Pooran (34; 18b, 4×2, 6×2), who sealed the issue with a six, and Aiden Markram (12; 8b) completed a good outing for SRH, even if the start was anything but good.
Gujarat Titans made capital of Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s wayward first over to rattle up 17 before a stunning one-handed catch by Rahul Tripathi, diving to his left at extra cover, got rid of Shubman Gill. Four different bowlers meant Titans were 51/2 in the Powerplay. The launchpad was set with Matthew Wade finding a semblance of form while Pandya (50; 42b, 4×4, 6×1) carted Umran Malik around after being struck on the helmet by the pacer’s first delivery.
To his credit, the young pacer stuck to his task and got rid of a crease-tied Wade with a searing delivery that would’ve cannoned into middle stump. His extra pace, however, was to Pandya’s liking. From 80/3 at the halfway stage, Pandya prepared ground and Abhinav Manohar launched the final assault. The 27-year-old Karnataka lad made the most of dropped catches by Aiden Markram and Tripathi to take his team past the 150-mark.
If the Sunrisers were happy to restrict Titans to 118 for four in 15 overs, they conceded 44 in the last five as Pandya added 50 (32b) with Abhinav (35; 21b, 4×5, 6×1) for the fifth wicket.