David Miller played his finisher role to perfection in the Gujarat Titans’ six-wicket win over the Royal Challengers Bangalore on Saturday.
Needing 171 to win, Gujarat were in trouble at 95-4 in the 13th over before David Miller (39* off 24 balls) and Rahul Tewatia (43* off 25) put on an unbeaten stand of 79 to power their team home with three balls to spare.
The left-handed batting pair took on the Bangalore bowlers with a flurry of boundaries and Tewatia, called ‘Ice-man’ by the commentators for his finishing abilities, hit the winning six at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium.
Gujarat, one of the two new teams to join the world’s most valuable cricket tournament, consolidated their position at the top of the 10-team table with eight wins from nine matches.
“We started well with the ball but they played really well under pressure as they have throughout the tournament,” Bangalore skipper Faf du Plessis said after the loss.
Earlier, Virat Kohli found form with his first half-century of this IPL season. After a string of low scores including two golden ducks, he hit 58 off 53 balls to guide Bangalore to 170-6.
Du Plessis called Kohli’s performance “a huge step in the right direction to get a solid fifty”.
Kohli opened Bangalore’s innings for the second time and got going with two boundaries off fast bowler Mohammed Shami after Du Plessis elected to bat first due to the intense summer heat.
Du Plessis was dismissed for a duck but Kohli then got going with Rajat Patidar, who made 52, to put on 99 runs for the second wicket and take the attack to the opposition.
He hit a six and four before reaching his fifty as he raised his bat amid a standing ovation from the crowd that included his wife, Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma.
Kohli, who had previous scores of 41*, 12, 5, 48, 1, 12, 0, 0 and 9, looked assured in his shot-making as he hit six fours and one six before being bowled by a yorker from Shami.
Patidar scored his maiden IPL fifty in 29 balls.
© Agence France-Presse