Rahul Tewatia on Friday night conjured a magical finish in IPL 2022 when he blasted consecutive sixes off the final two deliveries of Gujarat Titan’s chase of 190 against Punjab Kings to seal a nerve-shredding win at the Brabourne Stadium. Needing 12 runs to win off two deliveries, a cool-headed Tewatia solidified his credentials as one of the finest finishers in T20 cricket by completing the job.
Naturally, the reactions to his exploits were equally entertaining, especially that of GT captain Hardik Pandya who could be seen sitting in the team’s dug-out with a wry smile as he tried processing what Tewatia had just done a few seconds ago even as others celebrated and congratulated him on the victory.
As soon as Tewatia smoked Odean Smith for that last-ball six, GT players rushed towards their teammate while disappointed PBKS players couldn’t believe victory had been snatched from their grasp. Their captain Mayank Agarwal was seen consoling Smith who looked dejected and exhausted.
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“He is a hard-working guy and has a lot of courage,” Pandya said of Tewatia after the match. “With the skill set he possesses; he backs himself and we have seen multiple times how he takes the game away from other teams – it shows a lot of character. Kudos to him for the way he finished the game and the previous game as well where he contributed a lot. As cricketers we all work hard but I’m very happy it’s coming for him.”
This isn’t the first time that Tewatia has poured cold water on PBKS’ hopes so late in the match. During IPL 2022, when representing Rajasthan Royals, the lefty smoked Sheldon Cottrell of PBKS for five sixes in an over to turn the contest on its head, guiding his team to a thrilling win.
The six-wicket win was GT’s third straight of the season as they continued their impressive start in maiden IPL season. The team will return to action on Monday when they take on Sunrisers Hyderabad.