Ahmedabad, May 26 (IANS): Shubman Gill slammed a sensational 129 off 60 balls, his third century of IPL 2023 and powered Gujarat Titans to a mammoth 233/3 against Mumbai Indians in the Qualifier 2 match of the ongoing season at the Narendra Modi Stadium, here on Friday.
After rain delayed the start of play by 30 minutes, Gill put on a six-hitting exhibition in Ahmedabad. His timing and stroke play was silky smooth while hitting ten sixes and seven fours in taking Mumbai's bowlers to cleaners all over the park.
On his way of leaving scores of fans in awe of his belligerent form by picking gaps and finding elevation beautifully, Gill also became the leading run-getter of the competition in the season, which will always be remembered for him.
His first 30 balls saw him make 48 runs, before switching gears in thrilling fashion to slam 79 runs in his next 30 balls. Gill also had luck on his side -- being dropped on 30 by Tim David, which proved to be a very costly drop as he made 99 runs off 40 balls post that.
Pushed into batting first, Gill got going by flicking off Cameron Green for four, followed by Wriddhiman Saha using the same shot of Jason Behrendorff for a boundary. After being hit on the helmet by a skiddy bouncer from Akash Madhwal, Saha danced down the pitch to slash the pacer over point for four.
Post the duo taking a leg-side boundary each off Behrendorff, Gill welcomed Chris Jordan in the last over of power-play with a well-timed pull over deep square leg for six, followed by a ferocious cut through cover for four. He also got a life in the same over on 30 when Tim David shelled a tough diving catch at mid-on.
Gujarat lost their first wicket when Piyush Chawla had Saha stumped down leg in the seventh over. After surviving a stumping scare on 36, Gill danced down the pitch to loft Chawla down the ground for six.
From the other end, Sai Sudharsan flicked off the veteran leg-spinner for four, followed by cover-driving and lofting off Green and Jordan for four and six respectively.
After Gill reached his fifty in 32 balls, he picked length early in sweeping Kartikeya for six. He welcomed a returning Madhwal by picking up a flick beautifully and muscled a pull for back-to-back sixes, and followed it up with a flick off the wrists to collect third six of 21-run 12th over.
When Chawla came back, Gill was quick to dance down the pitch and loft beautifully over bowler's head for six, followed by picking a four off a paddle-sweep. Gill again danced down the pitch to smack Chawla over wide long-on for another six as 20 runs came off the 13th over.
After Gill reached his century in 49 balls, he launched Green for a massive six down the ground and pulled twice to pick four and six (via a stunning forehand jab) through the leg-side. Gill opened bat-face late to square-drive Jordan for four, followed by Sudharsan hitting back-to-back boundaries to take 17 runs off 16th over.
Gill carted Madhwal over extra cover for four, but holed out to David at deep mid-wicket in the 17th over. Sudharsan and Hardik Pandya hit three boundaries between themselves before the former was retired out ahead of the final over. Hardik and Rashid Khan hit a four each in the final over, before the former slammed Jordan for six on the last ball to take Gujarat above 230.
Brief Scores: Gujarat Titans 233/3 in 20 overs (Shubman Gill 129, B Sai Sudharsan 43; Piyush Chawla 1/45) against Mumbai Indians