With 12 runs needed off the final over for Lucknow Super Giants to win, Mohit Sharma was tasked with taking Gujarat Titans to an incredible victory. What happened next was magnificent as the veteran pacer mixed his yorkers and slower balls to perfection to concede only four runs and script a seven-run win for his team in Match No 30 of the IPL 2023, here on Saturday.
Mohit took out KL Rahul and Marcus Stoinis in an over which included two run-outs to take Gujarat to a spectacular victory.
Titans skipper Hardik Pandya was in tremendous praise of Mohit, saying the fast-bowler made his life easy by backing his plans and executing them well.
"The way every bowler contributed, as a captain I couldn't have asked for. The amount of cricket he (Mohit Sharma) has played, I don't have to interfere. He made my life easy, he backed his plans and executed it. Shami and Mohit were tremendous, special mention to Jayant who was playing after a long time. Noor has some talent as well," Hardik said in the post-match presentation ceremony.
Hardik admitted to thinking Gujarat were out of the game for a large period till he thought they could eke out a win only when the last four overs were left.
"During the strategic timeout we spoke about the set batter going for it towards the end. We were always chasing them, and never in it," he said.
"When they needed 30 runs in 30 balls, I thought they were ahead. But when they required 27 in 4 overs, I thought they were under pressure. That's where I thought we could be in the game," he added.
The GT skipper credited his team for getting their first win of IPL 2023 in defence of a total, while conceding his batters struggled to get their rhythm while making a modest 135/6, where the skipper himself top-scored with 66 off 50 balls.
"Credit to the boys. We are a champion side, we won last year. You have to be satisfied with your results. The spirit and the atmosphere changed after getting wickets, that's a very great feeling. A win like this can boost your confidence. The way the wicket was playing, we could have got 10 more runs. There was uncertainty. They bowled well and made our life difficult. Batters couldn't get rhythm because of the wicket," he said.
Mohit, who finished with figures of 2/17 from three overs, was given the Player of the Match award and stated sticking to the basics coupled with not thinking much helped him execute his plans during the match.
"Nothing special, everything's normal, as usual. I think I have been consistent. You need to focus and prepare in the same manner each and every time, that helps. You need to keep practising, just stick to the basics and try not to overthink, " the pacer said.
That belief factor was always there. Nehra advised us to stick to our plans honestly. I tried to focus on executing my plans. Also tried that the batters couldn't read what I was trying to bowl," he added.
Spinner Noor Ahmad, who took 2/18, said his focus was to keep things as simple as possible in his spell.
"I did what I had to do, we wanted to take the game deep. My first ball was a bit loose, but I then got the ball in the right areas and bowled with good rhythm. I just kept it simple, and wanted to hit the right areas," Noor said.
Gujarat's next game in IPL 2023 will be against five-time winners Mumbai Indians at their home ground Narendra Modi Stadium on Tuesday.
( 640 Words)