David Miller's hat-trick of sixes sends Gujarat Titans into IPL 2022 final

Captain Hardik Pandya contributes with bat and ball to seal victory in first qualifier against Rajasthan Royals in Kolkata

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David Miller blasted three consecutive sixes in the last over against Rajasthan Royals to guide Gujarat Titans to the IPL 2022 final on Friday.

Chasing an imposing 189, Miller hit 68 from just 38 balls with three fours and five sixes to seal victory with seven wickets in hand. Giving him company at the other end was captain Hardik Pandya, who had an excellent outing, picking up 1-14 and then smashing 40 off 27 balls at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

It continued a remarkable debut season for the Gujarat franchise, while Rajasthan will get another chance to make it to the final in the second qualifier – where they will take on the winners of the eliminator between Lucknow Super Giants and Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Rajasthan seemed on their way to victory when left-arm seamer Trent Boult had in-form opener Wriddhiman Saha caught behind off the second ball. But Matthew Wade and Shubman Gill steadied the ship with knocks of 35 before Miller and Pandya took over.

Left-arm seamer Obed McCoy bowled a great penultimate over, giving away just seven. That meant the Titans needed 16 for victory in the last over. Rajasthan quick Prasidh Krishna was given the difficult task, and he faltered under pressure as Miller smashed two length deliveries over the on-side fence before depositing a slower ball over midwicket to seal an emotional win.

Earlier, Jos Buttler took his time to get going but then got into his groove as the Englishman cracked 89 from 56 balls to take Rajasthan's total to 188-6. Captain Sanju Samson played his part with a quick 47 from 26 balls.

After the win, captain Pandya hoped his team's form continues in the final.

"When we started the tournament, obviously I wanted to win. It is a dream. The four times I have reached an IPL final, I have won the tournament. I was just telling the boys," Pandya said.

Rajasthan skipper Samson remained upbeat, stating: "We have been playing some really good cricket throughout the tournament. Couple of overs here and there, couple of extra runs ... we will try to come back and play some good cricket."

Updated: May 24, 2022, 6:51 PM
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