Shashank Singh's half-century earns Punjab thrilling 3-wicket win over Gujarat in IPL

AHMEDABAD, India (AP) — Little-known Shashank Singh smashed a 25-ball half-century and led Punjab Kings to a three-wicket win over Gujarat Titans in the Indian Premier League on Thursday.

Singh clubbed four sixes and six boundaries in his unbeaten 61 off 29 balls as Punjab roared back to reach 200-7 for its second win in four games and hand Gujarat its first loss at home in three games.

Captain Shubman Gill had earlier anchored Gujarat to 199-4 after Punjab had won the toss and elected to field at a sprawling Narendra Modi Stadium.

Punjab lost both its openers — captain Shikhar Dhawan (1) and Jonny Bairstow (22) — inside the batting power play with Dhawan chopping Umesh Yadav’s first ball back onto his stumps while Bairstow was outdone by Afghan spinner Noor Ahmad and was clean bowled.

Sam Curran’s (5) promotion didn’t work out for Punjab as the Englishman offered a tame catch to Kane Williamson but Singh’s arrival at the wicket in the ninth over kept Punjab in the hunt as the right-handed batter showed plenty of aggression.

Jitesh Sharma struck back-to-back sixes to Rashid Khan (1-40) before missing out on a full toss and gave Afghanistan’s star spinner his 50th IPL wicket with Punjab still needing 50 off the final 27 balls.

Impact player Ashutosh Sharma then capitalized on two early dropped catches and smashed 31 off 17 balls as Yadav and Sai Sudharsan missed out catching opportunities in the deep, but Singh continued to hold one end up.

Earlier, Gill upped the ante in the death overs with Rahul Tewatia smashing unbeaten 23 off just eight balls which featured three boundaries and a six.

Williamson made a quiet start to the season in his first game for his new franchise as the New Zealand skipper made 26 off 22 balls before he was caught at backward point in the ninth over.

Gill pushed the scoring rate by adding 53 runs with Sudharsan, who made 33 off 19 balls, before dominating the pace of Kagiso Rabada (2-44) and Harshal Patel (1-44) in the death overs.


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