IPL 2024: ‘Shashank Redemption’ steals the show as Punjab Kings steals three-wicket win against Gujarat Titans

Shashank Singh and Ashutosh Sharma helped Punjab Kings seal a three-wicket win against Gujarat Titans which looked out of reach for most parts of the match. This broke PBKS’ string of losses.

Published : Apr 05, 2024 00:04 IST , AHMEDABAD - 2 MINS READ

In last December’s IPL auction, Punjab Kings bought Shashank Singh under confusing circumstances. There were two Shashanks in the pool and for a fleeting moment, PBKS thought it had bought the wrong player, tried to take back the bid before accepting him as one of its own.

On Thursday at the Narendra Modi Stadium, the 32-year-old Chhattisgarh batter showed why it was a prudent decision. He scored a swashbuckling unbeaten 61 (29b, 6x4, 4x6) as PBKS chased down a 200-run target against Gujarat Titans with three wickets and a ball to spare.

Also read | Highlights: Gujarat Titans vs Punjab Kings - As it happened

Shashank was helped in no small measure by Impact Player Ashutosh Sharma (31, 17b, 3x4, 1x6) and Jitesh Sharma (16, 8b, 2x6). GT didn’t aid itself as Umesh Yadav dropped Ashutosh at deep square-leg when he was on three.

Shashank, who came in at 70 for four, started by smashing Umesh for two fours and a six in the 11th over, before scooping Mohit Sharma over the ’keeper and lofting him over mid-off.

It was, in fact, Mohit who kept GT in the hunt, conceding seven runs in the 15th over and six in the 17th.

ALSO READ | IPL 2024: Who is Ashutosh Sharma, Punjab Kings impact-sub who starred in win vs Gujarat Titans

Frenetic in final five

But with 62 needed from 30, Jitesh carted Rashid Khan for two maximums over long-on and long-off; in the 18th over, Ashutosh hit Azmatullah Omarzai for three fours.

Eventually Mohit, too, wilted under pressure, conceding 18 in the penultimate over. Seven runs were too little for Darshan Nalkande to defend.

Earlier, after being asked to bat, Shubman Gill was at his sublime best (89 n.o., 48b, 6x4, 4x6), and was assisted by B. Sai Sudharsan (33, 19b, 6x4) and Rahul Tewatia (23 n.o., 8b, 3x4, 1x6).

Slow approach

GT was initially hampered by slow approaches from Wriddhiman Saha (11, 13b) and Kane Williamson (26, 22b, 4x4), who replaced the injured David Miller.

But Sai Sudharsan produced a breezy knock, peppering the entire arc on the leg-side with fours.

When the left-hander fell at 122 in the 14th over, GT was on the ascendency.

Vijay Shankar sucked out some of the momentum (8, 10b) but Gill combined with Tewatia for a manic 35-run partnership off just 14 deliveries.

The duo had seemingly knocked PBKS out, only for the away side to rise from the dead.

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