IPL: Gill ton scripts Mumbai's exit as Gujarat set up final with Chennai

NEW DELHI: A belligerent Shubman Gill ton lit up the Narendra Modi Stadium as the defending champions Gujarat Titans stormed into a second straight IPL final, brushing aside five-time champions Mumbai Indians in a lop-sided Qualifier 2 in Ahmedabad.
Firing his third century of the season, Gill’s explosive 60-ball 129 proved to be too much for Mumbai as the Titans became the third team in the history of the tournament to make it to two successive finals after Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai.

The win for Titans means they will once again face four-time champions CSK in the finale on Sunday to whom they lost in Qualifier 1.

After Gill’s scintillating effort with the bat powered Titans to a massive 234 for three, pacer Mohit Sharma mopped up Mumbai chase, registering impressive figures of 5 for 10 as Rohit Sharna and co were bundled out for 171 in 18.2 overs.

After Gill blitz that included 7 fours and 10 sixes powered Titans to a massive total, Mumbai, struck by a string of injuries, went down fighting in Qualifier 2 with Suryakumar Yadav (61) and Tilak Varma (43) providing the resistance.
Mohit, introduced in the 15th over, finished with figures of 2.2-0-10-5, triggering a collapse as MI collapsed from 149/4 in 14 overs to 171 all-out.

The 23-year-old Gill scored his third century in the last four innings, recorded the highest score of the season for any batter and took his tally to 851 runs in yet another sensational knock.
Gill’s whirlwind knock made him only the second Indian batter after Virat Kohli (2016) and overall fourth in the history, after Jos Buttler (2022) and David Warner (2016), to score more than 800 runs in an IPL season.

Chasing 234, MI were forced to rejig their batting line-up with Ishan Kishan being substituted after he ran into Chris Jordan during change of overs in the first innings and hurt his eye.
Rohit Sharma also copped a blow to his hand while fielding and Cameron Green had to retire hurt for a bit, after being smacked on his left forearm by Hardik Pandya.
Mohammad Shami caused early troubles for Mumbai, getting rid of makeshift opener Nehal Wadhera (4) and Rohit (8), but Varma took on the India and GT pace spearhead, hitting four fours and a six to collect 24 runs off the fifth over.
However, Varma’s blitz did not last long as Rashid Khan cleaned him up after a 14-ball 43 (5x4s, 3x6s). MI reached 72 for three after the powerplay.
Suryakumar and Green kept the scoreboard ticking with their fourth wicket stand that took MI past the 100-run mark in the 10th over, but in the 12th, Josh Little ended their resistance by cleaning up the Australian.
Green struck four fours and two sixes in his 20-ball 30.
Suryakumar tried to take the game deep with 61 from 38 balls with seven fours and two sixes, but lost his leg stump while attempting to hit Mohit Sharma in the fine leg region.

Mohit struck again to remove Vishnu Vinod (5) in the same over and Rashid shut the doors on MI with the wicket of Tim David (2) in the 16th.
Earlier, Gill began sturdily and turned brutal in the second half of the innings, adding 138 runs for the second wicket with B Sai Sudharsan, who happily played second fiddle with a 31-ball 43 before he was retired out.
Gill hit three sixes off MI’s hero of the last game, Akash Madhwal (1/53), in the 12th over to cross the 800-run mark.
He brought up his fifty off 32 balls with two sixes and three fours and unleashed a flurry of sixes against seamers and spinners alike here at the Narendra Modi Stadium.
Gill also surpassed Yashasvi Jaiswal’s 62-ball 124 to record the highest individual score this season, with Mumbai Indians being on the receiving end on both the occasions.
In the process, the 23-year-old also went past RCB’s Faf du Plessis (730 runs) to claim the Orange Cap.
Additionally, Gill’s 129 bettered Virender Sehwag’s 122 against Chennai Super Kings in the 2014 season as the highest score for a batter in the IPL playoffs.
After a 30-minute delay to the start due to rain, GT had made a sedate start.
A vital moment had come at the end of the sixth over when Tim David at mid-on dropped a catch to provide Gill with a lifeline, with GT finishing the powerplay at 50/0.
Gill certainly had luck on his side as twice in as many balls he managed to survive, off Kumar Kartikeya.

After Kishan could not run-out the batter who had gone down the track and had an inside edge deflecting the ball into his pads, Gill hit the next delivery in the air only to find the ball dropping very close to the fielder at deep midwicket.
(With inputs from PTI)

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