Gujarat Titans create history after storming to IPL 2022 title in debut season

Rajasthan Royals thoroughly beaten by seven wickets in Sunday's final

Gujarat Titans celebrate with the trophy after winning the 2022 Indian Premier League. Photo: IPL
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Hardik Pandya said coming generations will talk about Gujarat Titans' Indian Premier League triumph in their debut season after they hammered Rajasthan Royals in front of almost 105,000 home fans.

Titans captain Pandya returned figures of 3-17 to restrict Rajasthan to 130-9 in the lop-sided final at the world's biggest cricket stadium in Ahmedabad.

He then made 34 with the bat before Shubman Gill (45) and David Miller (32) steered the team home in 18.1 overs to win by seven wickets and bring the house down at the 132,000 capacity stadium.

It was a fairytale finish for a team that entered the world's richest domestic cricket tournament alongside Lucknow Super Giants in the expanded 10-team IPL this year.

"This title is going to be a special one because we talked about creating a legacy," said Pandya, who has won five IPL titles including four with Mumbai Indians. "The coming generations will talk about it."

Gujarat defied critics, who slammed their squad after the February auction, to become the first team to enter the play-offs and then storm into the final.

Pandya set up victory with his key wickets including Jos Buttler's prized scalp for 39 after Rajasthan, led by Sanju Samson, elected to bat first.

Buttler, who hit an unbeaten 106 in Rajasthan's win in the second qualifier, finished this season as the leading batsman with 863 runs and his wicket raised the roof at a stadium bigger than the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Buttler, who equalled Virat Kohli's record of four centuries in one IPL season, was named player of the tournament.

"Exceeded all my expectations apart from today - the trophy we really wanted," said Buttler who got the orange cap. "Disappointed with that. Big congratulations to Hardik and team. Deserving champions."

Afghanistan's Rashid Khan returned impressive figures of 1-18 from his four overs of leg-spin to keep down the opposition scoring.

Pandya, who sent back his opposite number Samson for 14, kept up the pressure and got the big-hitting Shimron Hetmyer out for 11 with a caught and bowled.

"Wanted to show at the right time what I've worked hard for," Pandya said after being named man of the match. "Today was the day from the bowling point of view I saved the best for the best."

Fast bowlers Mohammed Shami and Yash Dayal, who got opener Yashasvi Jaiswal for 22, worked up good pace to keep Rajasthan on the backfoot from the start.

In reply, Gujarat lost Wriddhiman Saha for five and Matthew Wade for eight before Gill and Pandya put the chase back on track.

The pair put on 63 runs for the third wicket to put the pressure back on the bowling side as Pandya smashed Ravichandran Ashwin for a four and six in the 12th over.

Yuzvendra Chahal got Pandya out with his leg spin to overtake Wanindu Hasaranga of Royal Challengers Bangalore as the leading wicket-taker of the tournament and finished with 27 scalps.

But Gill, who was dropped on nought by Chahal, stood firm to put on an unbeaten 47-run stand with left-handed South African batsman Miller, who made 32 off 19.

Gill's 45 came from 43 balls and ended with a six that secured the victory. The two batsmen hugged and, as the fireworks erupted, the Gujarat players came running on to the pitch to celebrate.

Rajasthan go back dejected after their first final appearance since they won the inaugural edition in 2008 under late Australian hero Shane Warne.

The tournament threw up many surprises including five-time winners Mumbai, led by India captain Rohit Sharma, ending bottom of the table and last year's winners Chennai finishing ninth.

Updated: May 30, 2022, 6:30 AM
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