Shubman Gill rates 129 against MI in Qualifier 2 as his finest IPL knock

Gujarat Titans opener Shubman Gill rated his blazing 129 off 60 balls against Mumbai Indians on Friday as his best knock in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

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Gill tore the Mumbai attack to shreds, smashing 10 sixes and seven fours to power Gujarat to a humongous score of 233/3 after they were asked to bat. MI, in reply, were shot out for 171 with Mohit Sharma collecting his career-best limited-overs figures of 5/10 to power GT to a second consecutive final since making their debut last season.

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The Punjab batter had not crossed the three-figure mark in 86 IPL matches since making his debut with the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in 2018, but now has three to his name in his last four outings, all of which have resulted in victories for Gujarat.

“I think this was probably my best innings so far in the IPL,” Gill said during the post-match presentation.

Read | Gill hailed by Kohli, ABD after blistering 129 against MI in Qualifier 2

Gill pointed to the over in which he carted Akash Madhwal, hero of MI’s 81-run victory over Lucknow Super Giants in the Eliminator with a haul of 5/5, for three sixes that instilled belief in him that it was his day.

“For me, it is playing ball to ball, over to over. The over where I hit three sixes gave me the momentum to go big. That’s when I realised it could be my day.

“It was a good wicket to bat on as well. Not a conscious decision, you keep inventing as a batter but for me the belief is more important. I am coming off a good international season as well. Had a good season last time as well. When I start well, I feel confident I can score well,” Gill added.

Hope Gill continues that form: Rohit

Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma heaped praise on the 23-year-old, viewed by many as the next Indian batting superstar and the heir-apparent to Virat Kohli, after the game.

According to ‘Hitman’, Gill’s 129 proved to be the difference between the two sides in the penultimate match of the season and ultimately helped Gujarat add another “20-25 extra runs” on the board. He also hoped Gill would continue this form for the Indian team as well with the ODI World Cup set to take place in India later this year.

“Shubman batted well, wicket was good. They got 20-25 extra. We were positive after the first-half. We have to credit Shubman. I hope he continues that form,” Rohit said after the game.

In Photos: All-round GT trounce MI to setup final against CSK

Rohit credited Suryakumar Yadav (61) and Cameron Green (30) for reviving Mumbai’s hopes after a poor start to their chase, but felt they needed someone to take the game deep like Gill did for them to pull off the chase successfully, which they ultimately failed to accomplish.

“Greeny and Surya batted well but we lost our way. We wanted to give it a good crack, be positive. We couldn’t get going in the powerplay. We wanted one batter, like Gujarat did, and take the game deep where anything can happen on a good pitch and a ground with a small boundary. But credit to GT, who played well,” added the MI skipper.

GT skipper Hardik Pandya, meanwhile, couldn’t be more proud of the way Gill conducted himself at the Narendra Modi Stadium on the big occasion.

“I think the clarity and confidence he is carrying is amazing. Today’s innings was one of the finest, he never looked rushed. It felt like someone was throwing balls and he was hitting. He will be a superstar in international and franchise cricket,” Pandya added after the game.

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