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Shashank overshadows Gill’s knock to hand PBKS win over GT

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Ahmedabad, April 4: Gujarat Titans skipper Shubman Gill’s unblemished unbeaten half-century was overshadowed by uncapped Shashank Singh’s fiery knock as Punjab Kings registered a thrilling three-wicket win in an Indian Premier League match here on Thursday.
Gill made 89 off 48 balls, the highest individual score this season so far, and in the process hit six fours and four maximums to guide GT to an imposing 199 for four.
He was also helped generously by B Sai Sudharsan’s 19-ball 33 and Rahul Tewatia’s eight-ball unbeaten 23.
But there was a heartbreak in store for GT as Shashank played the knock of his life, remaining unbeaten on 61 off 29 balls during which he hit six boundaries and four sixes to guide PBKS home with a ball to spare.
He was ably supported by Ashutosh Sharma (31 off 17) as the duo shared 43 runs off just 22 balls to raise PBKS’ hopes, which eventually came true.
Chasing a big total, PBKS suffered an early jolt in the form of captain Shikhar Dhawan, who played on to an Umesh Yadav delivery while going for a shot through the cover region.
Jonny Bairstow (22 off 13), not in the best of form, was then cleaned up by Afghanistan left-arm wrist spinner Noor Ahmad.
PBKS kept on losing wickets at regular intervals as the next to follow was Prabhsimran Singh (35 off 24; 5x4s, 1×6), caught by Mohit Sharma at third-man as the batter went for a heave against a tossed-up delivery from Ahmad only to get a top edge as PBKS slid to 64 for three by the end of the eighth over.Sikandar Raza was dropped twice in Umesh Yadav’s 11th over, albeit both were difficult chances.
But it was Shashank who capitalised on the lives, clobbering Umesh for two boundaries and a six to pick up 17 runs in the 11th over.
Raza, however, didn’t last long as he edged a Mohit hard-length delivery to Wriddhiman Saha behind the stumps.Shashank kept on using his long handle, picking up a few boundaries and sixes to keep PBKS in the hunt.
Shashank held on to one end and brought up his 50 off just 25 balls with the help of five boundaries and three hits over the fence.
Shashank single-handedly kept PBKS in the fray with his pyrotechnics. He was ably supported by Ashutosh as the duo snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.
Earlier sent in to bat, opener Gill made a rousing start to the innings as he clobbered spinner Harpreet Brar straight over his head for the first six of the match.
Runs flowed for GT till the third over before Kagiso Rabada (2/44) ousted Wriddhiman Saha, latched by PBKS skipper Shikhar Dhawan at mid-off.
Kane Williamson (26 off 22), who replaced injured David Miller, looked in great touch as he hit Sam Curran and Rabada for a few boundaries to keep GT scoreboard ticking.But Williamson’s knock was cut short by Brar’s extra bounce, caught at backward point by Jonny Bairstow in the ninth over.
Zimbabwe all-rounder Raza was taken to task by Gill and new man Sudharsan as the duo picked up 14 runs off the 12th over, courtesy three hits to the fence. (PTI)

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