Rahul Tewatia smashed sixes off the last two balls to give Gujarat Lions its third straight win in the Indian Premier League, beating Punjab Kings by six wickets in IPL 2022.
Punjab had the game in the bag but bowler Odean Smith conceded an overthrow off the fourth ball of the final over before Tewatia powered new franchise Gujarat to 190-4 by twice clearing the mid-wicket fence.
Earlier, Liam Livingstone’s 64 runs off 27 balls and a breezy 27 off the last 13 balls between tailenders Rahul Chahar (22 not out) and Arshdeep Singh (10 not out) had lifted Punjab’s total to 189-9 after Gujarat chose to bowl.
“Amazing feeling,” Tewatia said after scoring 13 runs off the three balls which the left-hander faced. “There was nothing to think (about), just go there and hit sixes … the last ball was off the middle of the bat, and I knew it was a six.”
Gujarat was pushed into a tight corner after Shubman Gill missed out on his first IPL hundred and fell for 96 in the penultimate over.
Smith failed to hold onto a tough return catch before Gill completed his half century and then Jonny Bairstow missed out on a wide legside stumping chance when the Gujarat opener was in the 90s.
But with 20 still needed off the last eight deliveries, Gill played a low wide full toss from Kagiso Rabada and was caught in the covers. He hit 11 fours and a six in his 59-ball knock.
Captain Hardik Pandya was run out off the first legitimate ball from Smith in the final over after scoring 27 off 18 before Tewatia saw Gujarat making it three wins from three games with his two brilliant hits off the final two deliveries.
“It was a tough game, but we fought hard and were 5-7 runs short,” Punjab skipper Mayank Agarwal said. “We did really well to get ourselves to that score … last over could have been anybody’s game. We totally back Odean, it’s all right, it’s just a game of cricket.”
Earlier, Gujarat should have got Livingstone on 20 but replays showed Pandya had touched the boundary mark off leg-spinner Rashid Khan in the ninth over. Livingstone smashed 44 more runs off the next 20 deliveries he faced before Rashid returned in the 16th and eventually had the Englishman caught at deep square leg by David Miller.
Rashid finished with 3-22 when he also trapped Shahrukh Khan (15) leg before wicket in the same over as Gujarat came back strongly in the second half of the innings by claiming wickets at regular intervals. Punjab have now lost two of its four games.