Cricket-Miller blitz sends Gujarat to IPL final in debut season


  • Cricket
  • Wednesday, 25 May 2022

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Gujarat Titans stormed into the final of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in their debut season after David Miller's blistering half-century secured a seven-wicket victory against Rajasthan Royals in Tuesday's qualifier in Kolkata.

Needing 16 off the final over from Prasidh Krishna, Miller smashed three sixes in a row to book their place in Sunday's final on their home ground in Ahmedabad.

South African Miller's unbeaten 68 off 38 balls earned him the man-of-the-match award.

Inaugural champions Rajasthan can still make the final by beating the winners of Wednesday's eliminator between Lucknow Super Giants and Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Rajasthan posted a strong 188-6 after being put into bat at Eden Gardens.

Jos Buttler, the tournament's leading scorer, had gone five innings without a fifty and the Englishman bounced back with a breezy 89.

Buttler initially scored at a run-a-ball rate while skipper Sanju Samson smashed 47 off 26 balls at the other end.

Buttler was on 43 when Gujarat captain Hardik Pandya slipped at long off trying to take a regulation catch.

Buttler milked 46 off the subsequent 17 balls he faced and was eventually run out in the final delivery of the innings.

Gujarat lost opener Wriddhiman Saha in the first over but Shubman Gill and Matthew Wade scored 35 each to keep their chase on track.

Gill and Wade fell in quick succession but Pandya, who made an unbeaten 40, and Miller saw Gujarat home with a century stand for the unbroken fourth wicket.

"We wanted us to finish the game, that was the conversation in the middle," Pandya said after the win.

"When we started the tournament, I obviously wanted to win the tournament, it's a dream."

Rajasthan captain Samson said batting got easy in the second innings.

"We'll come back stronger," Samson said.

"I think we've been playing some really good cricket throughout the tournament... we'll try to come back and play some good cricket."

(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Toby Davis)

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