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Sai Kishore stars in Titans’ comfortable win over Punjab

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MATCH TODAY: MUMBAI INDIANS vs rajasthan royals

Mullanpur, April 21: R Sai Kishore starred on a dominant day for the spinners as Gujarat Titans tamed Punjab Kings by three wickets for their fourth win in the 2024 IPL here on Sunday.
The spin trio of Sai Kishore (4/33), Rashid Khan (1/15) and Noor Ahmed (2/20) exposed an ill-equipped Punjab Kings with their guile to dismiss them for a below-par 142.
Liam Livingstone, who juggles between leg-break and off-spin, struck twice in the middle overs to keep Punjab Kings alive in the game. However, he did not get much support from fellow spinner Harpreet Brar, who leaked 35 in his four overs in a low-scoring affair.
With 42 runs to get off 30 balls, Titans eventually recorded a comfortable win in 19.1 overs courtesy a pressure releasing cameo from Rahul Tewatia (36 not out off 16).
It was Gujarat Titans’ fourth win in eight games while Punjab Kings suffered their sixth loss in eight matches.
Shubman Gill (35 off 29) got tough runs at the top of the order before falling to a mistimed aerial hit off Livingstone. Sai Sudharsan (31 off 33) also found stroke making hard while the dangerous David Miller was Livingstone’s second victim.Punjab Kings were able to apply the pressure in the middle overs but Tewatia defused their threat with a timely onslaught comprising six boundaries.
Earlier, there was enough help for the spinners and Punjab Kings’ surrender against Sai Kishore and Co made the visitors’ task easier.
Punjab Kings, who have been among the worst performing batting teams in the powerplay this season, made brisk start to reach 45 for no loss in five overs.
However, their innings went downhill thereafter as the spin trio of Sai Kishore, Rashid and Noor exposed the opposition with their guile.
Struggling up till now, Prabhsimran Singh (35 off 21) found some much needed rhythm before he fell in the sixth over, triggering a dramatic collapse.
Soon after guiding Mohit Sharma (2/32) for a six over third man, Prabhsimran charged down the wicket only to be caught behind.
The spin trio then broke the backbone of Punjab batting. Left-arm spinner Sai Kishore, who led Tamil Nadu to the Ranji Trophy semi-final this season, varied his pace effectively to trouble the opposition batters.
Pressure was maintained from other end as well via Noor and Rashid.
Noor’s first victim was Rilee Rossouw (9 off 7), who was trapped lbw while attempting a sweep shot. Skipper Sam Curran (20 off 19) departed in the following over from Rashid and the DRS call that ruled him lbw left him and his opponents surprised.
Livingstone (6 off 9) tried to work a Noor googly towards mid-wicket but leading edge went to Rahul Tewatia stationed at the first slip.
Sai Kishore also got rid of an out of sorts Jitesh Sharma (13 off 12) to make it 86 for five in 12th over. (PTI)

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