Gujarat Titans (GT) beat Rajasthan Royals (RR) in a high-scoring encounter by seven wickets on Tuesday to become the first team to qualify for the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 final.
By doing so, the Gujarat-based franchise has become the first team to reach the final of IPL on their debut.
The Titans now have just one more encounter to get their hands on the title, when they take the field at their home in the Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad on May 29.
Gujarat Titans have displayed a dominant performance throughout the season so far, winning 10 out of the 14 matches in the group stage and becoming the first team to qualify for the playoffs.
The Titans topped the IPL points table with 20 points. The Royals were placed second with 18 points and a net run rate of +0.298. Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) also finished with 18 points, but had a net run rate of +0.251, sitting at the third spot. RCB took the fourth position with 16 points.
Playing the Qualifier 1 at Eden Gardens, Kolkata, Gujarat Titans won the toss and put Rajasthan Royals to bat first. RR put up a massive score of 188/6 in 20 overs, anchored by 89 (56) from Jos Buttler and 47 (26) from captain Sanju Samson.
In response, GT overhauled RR with a final score of 191/3, with David Miller’s 68* (38) and captain Hardik Pandya’s 40* (27) paving the way for their win. Miller’s hat-trick of sixes in the final over, when the team needed 16 of it, was particularly thrilling.
After the match, Pandya addressed the media, saying, “It's all about making sure we respect this game. Rashid has been fantastic throughout the season and throughout his cricketing journey. But I'm proud of Miller - the way we have played.”
He further added about his own batting this season, saying, “Wherever my team requires me to play, I don't generally demand where I want to bat. That's not how I've got success. I've got success by playing for the team, no matter how scratchy I look, how good I look, it is irrelevant for me.”
While the Titans have booked a final berth, Rajasthan Royals will get another shot at it in Qualifier 2, where they will meet the winner of the eliminator between the Royal Challengers Bangalore and Lucknow Super Giants.