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GT prevail over Mumbai under new captain Gill

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Ahmedabad, March 24: An inexplicable batting strategy by Mumbai Indians at the death saw Shubman Gill make an auspicious debut as Gujarat Titans captain with a thrilling six-run victory in their opening IPL game here on Sunday.
Jasprit Bumrah (3/14) was at his absolute best in his first IPL game in two years, firing in his express yorkers at will to help Mumbai Indians restrict Gujarat Titans to 168/6.
But Bumrah’s effort was not enough as batters like Tilak Varma and skipper Hardik Pandya failed to complement his brilliance.
MI ended at 162/9 as things went downhill when all they needed was 43 runs off last five overs with seven wickets in hand.
MI thus failed to break their opening game jinx. The last time they won their IPL opener was against Chennai Super Kings way back in 2012.
While spinners Rashid Khan (0/23 in 4 overs) and R Sai Kishore (1/24) gave very little with the ball despite the dew setting in, veteran Mohit Sharma (2/32) used his variations with different types of slower deliveries to turn the course of the match.
Spencer Joshnson (2/25) and Umesh Yadav (2/32) were brilliant bowling the 19th and 20th over as Hardik Pandya relegating himself to No. 7 in batting order is something that would need explanation. He did hit a six and four in the last over but Umesh had the last laugh.
Even Tilak Varma refusing a single to Tim David also beggars belief.
MI lost their first wicket without a run on the board after Ishan Kishan failed to open his account, nicking an Azmatullah Omarzai (2/27) delivery to Wriddhiman Saha as the pacer set him up with some excellent swing bowling. After testing Kishan with inswingers, Omarzai got one to move away and the batter could only edge it to the keeper.
New face Naman Dhir began with a flurry of boundaries, leaving the likes of Ravi Shastri excited in the commentary box as the experts discussed the best possible combination for India in the upcoming T20 World Cup.
Having being hit for three fours and a six by Dhir, Omarzai had the last laugh as the batter was adjudged lbw after the Afghan had opted for a review after the on-field umpire thought otherwise.
Meanwhile, Rohit Sharma (43 off 29 balls) found one on the slot and flicked Umesh Yadav over mid-wicket for a maximum as MI reached 52/2 at the end of powerplay.
Dewald Brevis (46 off 38 balls) also was in fettle as the South African struck sixes off Rashid Khan, Spencer Johnson and Sai Kishore as MI inched closer to the target of 169.
However, Sai Kishore trapped Rohit and Impact Sub Mohit had Brevis caught and bowled to bring GT back into the contest.
Earlier, left-hander B Sai Sudharsan top-scored with a 45 off 39 balls for GT, while Rahul Tewatia made 22 off 15 balls down the order. (PTI)

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