Punjab beats Gujarat to boost hopes for IPL playoffs

Kagiso Rabada with teammates | PTI

Mumbai: Kagiso Rabada took 4-33 as the Punjab Kings beat the first-place Gujarat Titans by eight wickets on Tuesday in the Indian Premier League.

Rabada’s spell ensured Gujarat produced a sub-par batting performance on a two-paced DY Patil Stadium pitch. The Titans finished with only 143-8 in 20 overs.

In reply, Shikhar Dhawan scored 62 not out off 53 balls as he anchored Punjab to a comfortable win to keep its playoff hopes alive.

Chasing 144, Punjab lost Jonny Bairstow cheaply. He was out for just one run after being promoted to open the batting as skipper Mayank Agarwal held himself back.

Dhawan and Bhanuka Rajpaksa didn’t let the Titans' attack make further inroads and put on 87 runs off 58 balls.

Rajpaksa scored 40 off 28 balls, including five fours and a six, while Dhawan anchored the innings. The left-handed opener hit eight fours and a six.

Lockie Ferguson (1-29) dismissed Rajpaksa in the 12th over but it was no respite for Gujarat.

Liam Livingstone arrived at the crease to hit three tall sixes and two fours, scoring 30 not out off only 10 balls.

The game finished in a hurry as Punjab won with four overs to spare.

Earlier, the Titans had opted to bat first but their innings were soon in disarray. Shubman Gill was run out for nine and Hardik Pandya was caught behind for one run.

At the other end, Rabada worked his swing, dismissing Wriddhiman Saha (21).

Livingstone chipped in with David Miller’s wicket as Gujarat was reduced to 67-4 in 11.2 overs without recovery in sight.

When Rahul Tewatia was caught off Rabada for just 11 runs off 13 balls, the writing was on the wall for the Titans.

Punjab now has 10 points from as many games and has climbed into fifth place. Gujarat is still leading the points’ table with 16, despite suffering only its second loss in 10 matches. AP

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