Mohammed Shami hasn’t played white-ball cricket for India post the team’s disastrous T20 World Cup campaign in November last year. However, featuring in his first game for Gujarat Titans at the Wankhede Stadium on Monday, Shami had a dream opening spell (3-25), picking up three Lucknow Super Giants wickets inside the first five overs in an Indian Premier League fixture.
While his fiery spell reduced Lucknow to 29-4, half-centuries by Deepak Hooda (55, 41b; 6×4, 2×6) and Ayush Badoni (54, 41b; 4×4, 3×6) helped the team rebuild and post 158-6.
But in the end, it was not enough for Lucknow as Rahul Tewatia (40 not out, 24b) and Abhinav Manohar (15 not out, 7b) forged a 23-run stand for the sixth wicket to guide Gujarat Titans to a five-wicket win.
Chasing a tricky total, Sri Lankan pacer Dushmantha Chameera sent Titans’ Shubman Gill (0) and Vijay Shankar (0) packing inside the first three overs. With the Lucknow openers breathing fire, Gujarat captain Hardik Pandya (33, 28b), who hasn’t played competitive cricket since last year’s T20 World Cup, stitched a 57-run stand with Matthew Wade (30) to steady the ship before getting caught at long-off by Manish Pandey off Krunal Pandya.
Hardik, aiming to hit a tossed up delivery over the bowler’s head, ended up offering a simple catch. A few moments later, Hooda cleaned up Wade to put the pressure back on Gujarat.
But Tewatia stitched a 60-run stand for the fifth wicket with David Miller. The South African scored 30 off 21 before being sent back to the pavilion by Avesh Khan. In the final over, Titans needed 11 runs but Manohar hammered two boundaries off Avesh, while Tewatia sealed the deal with a boundary. Lucknow, however, will be disappointed to let it slip after an incredible batting show by Hooda and Badoni, who made his IPL debut.
Hooda went after Varun Aaron and Hardik and stitched an 87-run stand for the fifth wicket. By the time Hooda was trapped leg before by Rashid Khan, the Lucknow outfit was already back in the game. After Hooda’s exit, Krunal Pandya (21 not out, 13b) and Badoni forged 40 runs.
Opting to bowl, Shami sent Lucknow captain KL Rahul back for a golden duck on the first ball. He followed it up with Quinton de Kock’s (7, 9b) dismissal. Shami claimed his third wicket in Manish Pandey for just six.