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Titans pull-off last ball thriller to beat Rajasthan Royals at home

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Jaipur, April 10: Gujarat Titans came back from nowhere to pull off a thrilling three-wicket win against Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League here on Wednesday, ending the hosts’ unbeaten run in the tournament.
Sanju Samson (68 not out off 38) and Riyan Parag (76 off 48) continued their red hot form in the competition with disdainful half-centuries as Rajasthan Roylals reached 196 for three after being put in to bat.
Shubman Gill (72 off 44) fought a lonely battle for the major part of Titans’ innings before Rahul Tewatia (22 off 11) and Rashid Khan pulled the rabbit out of the hat in a last-ball finish.
Titans needed as much as 73 runs off the last 30 balls but managed to bring the equation down to 15 off the last six.
Avesh Khan, who has proved his worth in the death overs, was again tasked with bowling the 20th over. In the end, it came down to two off one ball and Rashid’s rasping cut for four sealed the deal for Titans.
Playing his first game of the season, Royals pacer Kuldeep Sen struck thrice in a searing spell before crumbling under pressure in the death overs.
Opener Sai Sudharsan (35 off 29) was playing well until he got trapped lbw while going for a lap shot.
Matthew Wade was Sen’s second victim as he played a wide ball on to his stumps. Abhinav Manohar misread the line and was also beaten for pace, becoming Sen’s third scalp.
The decision to give R Ashwin the 17th over proved expensive as the veteran spinner conceded 17 runs, bringing the equation down a gettable 42 off 18 balls.
15 were needed off the final over and an over rate penalty forced Royals to keep one extra fielder inside the circle.
Earlier, Titans had it all under control in the powerplay before skipper Samson and Parag combined to snatch the momentum from the visitors. Royals smashed as many as 123 runs in the last 10 overs.Parag, who has taken his game to the next level and is thriving in his new batting position of number 4, was at his disdainful best on way to his third half-century in five innings.
He shared a 130-run stand off 78 balls with Samson, who has also been in sublime touch since the start of the tournament.
Wade dropping Parag on 0 and 6 off star spinner Rashid also cost Titans dearly as the in-form batter found the big hits at will afterwards.
The 22-year-old hammered five sixes with three of them coming against left-arm spinner Noor Ahmed via the sweep shot.
Parag brought up his fifty with a flat six over long-on off pacer Mohit Sharma.
Samson, on the other hand, started with back-to-back fours off Umesh Yadav before taking a backseat to watch Parag go about his business.
Besides catching, GT’s ground fielding was equally poor.
Samson reached his third half-century with a straight boundary off a Mohit full toss that should have been caught by Tewatia at long-on.Frustrated at the turn of events, Titans captain Gill could not hold back his emotions over a wide call that eventually stayed wide. (PTI)

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