It’s been quite a ride for IPL debutants Gujarat Titans. No matter the result on Sunday, the Hardik Pandya-led outfit has made quite an impression in their first ever season, putting to bed doubts surrounding their ability to compete let alone with the title. Different players have stepped up on different occasions to see the team over the line against seasoned opponents. They were the first team to make it to the playoffs and fittingly, finished at the top of the standings in the first round of the tourney.
Here’s a look at how the Titans stormed into the final of IPL 2022
A hat-trick of Wins Courtesy Tewatia’s Last-ball Six
GT faced fellow debutants Lucknow Super Giants in their first ever IPL match and started their campaign with a thrilling five-wicket win. Chasing 159, the contest headed into the final over with 11 runs needed. Abhinav Manohar wasted no time by hitting the first two deliveries for fours before Rahul Tewatia sealed it with a boundary of his own. After a regulation 14-run win against Delhi Capitals, GT pulled off a nerve-shredding win against Punjab Kings. With 19 runs to win in the last over, the equation whittled down to 12 off two. A cool-headed Tewatia blasted back-to-back sixes to seal a win for the ages.
A Minor Bump Before Order Restored
GT’s dream start encountered it’s first speed-breaker in Sunrisers Hyderabad as they suffered an eight-wicket defeat. However, it turned out to be a minor inconvenience as they bounced back against Rajasthan Royals for a 37-run win before David Miller and Rashid Khan combined to stun Chennai Super Kings. Needing 48 runs from the final three overs, Rashid hammered three sixes and a four in an over of Chris Jordan while Miller applied the finishing touches to remain unbeaten on 94 off 51 – anchoring and guiding them to their fifth win in six matches. GT went on to win five matches in a row that included a win over their vanquisher SRH.
Punjab Kings produced a dominating batting display as they sprinted to the target of 144 in just 16 overs to hand GT their second defeat. And then Mumbai Indians gave Titans a taste of their own medicine by pulling off a last-over heist by defending 9 runs in the final over thanks to Daniel Sams.
IPL Playoffs Spot and Top-two Finish Sealed
For the second time in the season, GT defeated LSG and this time by a hefty margin of 62 runs, a win that sealed their passage to the IPL playoffs. And they also completed a double over four-time champion CSK as well which ensured they will finish among the top-two giving them two shots at making it to the final. They though ended the league stage with an eight-wicket defeat to Royal Challengers Bangalore.
GT Enter Maiden Final
They faced second spot holder RR in the first qualifier. Powered by Jos Buttler’s 89 and Sanju Samson’s 47, a challenging target of 189 was set. GT were ready. They stitched together a combined batting display with David Miller (68*) and captain Pandya (40*) sealing a seven-wicket win in an another last-over finish.