IPL 2024: Shashank, Ashutosh help Punjab Kings pull off a heist

Shashank Singh
Shashank Singh plays one on the leg side. Photo: PTI/Vijay Verma

Ahmedabad: Gujarat Titans (GT) skipper Shubman Gill's unblemished unbeaten half-century was overshadowed by uncapped Shashank Singh's fiery knock as Punjab Kings (PBKS) registered a thrilling three-wicket win in an Indian Premier League match here on Thursday.

Gill made 89 not out 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 199/4.

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 Impact Player Ashutosh Sharma (31 off 17) as the duo shared 43 runs off just 22 balls to raise PBKS' hopes.

Ashuthosh Sharma
Punjab Kings' Ashutosh Sharma plays a big shot. Photo: PTI/Vijay Verma

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 regulr intervals as the next to follow was Prabhsimran Singh (35 off 24; 5x4s, 1x6). He was 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 64/3 by the end of the eighth over.

Sikandar Raza was dropped twice in Umesh's 11th over, albeit both were difficult chances.

Shashank clobbered 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.

 Shubman Gill
Gujarat Titans captain Shubman Gill in action. Photo: PTI/Vijay Verma

Runs flowed for GT till the third over before Kagiso Rabada (2/44) ousted Saha, caught by 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 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.

Gill led from the front and clobbered Rabada for a maximum before Sudharsan struck the bowler to the mid-off boundary to keep up the tempo.

Sudharsan went about his business in style, picking up boundaries at will while Gill was happy to play second fiddle.

Sudharsan's cameo came to an end when Harshal Patel snared him, caught by wicketkeeper Jitesh Sharma as the batter went for an upper cut off a slower delivery.

Gill brought up his fifty off 31 balls with a boundary behind deep square leg in the 15th over.

Gill was at his imperious best as he dispatched Harshal over long-on for a maximum in the 17th over.

While Gill was going all guns blazing from one end, Vijay Shankar was flat and was caught by a diving Brar at long-off off Rabada.

In his second spell, Harshal was wayward with his lengths and Tewatia made good use of it as the penultimate over yielded 20 runs.

Tewatia played a blinder, including two boundaries off pacer Arshdeep Singh in the last two balls.

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