Mumbai: The joke doing the rounds in cricketing circles is that Gujarat Titans’ Rahul Tewatia should be left with 36 to get off one over to win a game, after the 28-year-old leg-spinner and left-hand batter smashed consecutive sixes off the last two deliveries of the match to earn the newbies a thrilling victory over Punjab Kings (PBKS) on Friday night.
The hard-hitter has already smashed five sixes in an over in that amazing match for Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2020, completing the IPL’s highest-ever run chase against Kings XI Punjab.
Tewatia had then hit the ball over the fence seven times as he made 53 off 31 balls as Steve Smith’s Rajasthan Royals — set 224 to win — reached 226 with four wickets and three balls to spare in Sharjah.
Tewatia had walked out with just five balls remaining in the game on Friday, off which Gujarat Titans needed 18 to win. He had replaced Hardik Pandya, who was run out. Tewatia faced three of those five balls. And, those three balls were enough for him to deal a hammer blow to PBKS’ aspirations to win the game.
The three deliveries that demoralised PBKS:
Tewatia is given room outside off stump and he slashes to deep point. While he connects well, the ball goes straight to the fielder and he manages to take just one run. But all the while knowing that taking only one run when 18 were needed off five balls meant an impossible task just got harder.
Tewatia is back on strike due to an overthrow. Academically, the overthrow means the Titans have a shot at victory with 12 needed off two balls. Tewatia’s bat swing meets the ball at the sweet spot. And though it was a less-than-perfect connection, it had enough power to send the ball over the boundary, just about eluding the fielder diving over the rope.
Tewatia judges that Odean Smith will try to bowl wide again. Even as the West Indian is entering his delivery stride, Tewatia moves across his stumps. Smith bowls wide and Tewatia goes for the big hit.