Sensational Shubman Gill’s 129 off 60 balls — his third hundred plus knock of the season — propelled Gujarat Titans to a daunting 233/3 against Mumbai Indians here in Qualifier 2 of the IPL on Friday. Gill began sturdily and turned brutal in the second half of the innings to smash an overall seven fours and 10 sixes in his breathtaking knock. In the process, Gill added 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’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.
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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, continuing his form to single-handedly lead Gujarat Titans’ charge.
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 nearly-packed Narendra Modi Stadium here.
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 surpassed 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.
The first breakthrough for MI came in the seventh over when Piyush Chawla had Wriddhiman Saha (18) stumped on a delivery down the leg.
Gill certainly had luck on his side as twice in as many balls he managed to survive, off Kumar Kartikeya.
After Ishan 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.
[ At the halfway mark, GT reached 91 for one with Gill bringing up his fifth half-century. But courtesy Gill’s onslaught, the defending champions managed 142 runs in the second half.
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