The usual buzz associated with the Indian Premier League matches at the Wankhede was missing on Monday. The second match at Wankhede Stadium in this year’s edition between the two new franchises, Gujarat Titans (GT) and Lucknow Super Giants (LSG), had many vacant seats among the permissible 25% of the stands despite having two of the crowd pullers in Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul, leading their respective sides.
Sent in to bat, LSG put up a fight through their fifth-wicket pair of Deepak Hooda, who has a vast IPL experience of 80 matches before this game playing for three different franchises, and IPL debutant, Ayush Badoni from Delhi. Their 87-run partnership in 68 deliveries helped LSG reach 158 for six. From a dismal 29 for four in the fifth over, Hooda (55, 41b, 6x4, 2x6) and Badoni (54) scored fine half-centuries to give some respectability to the LSG total.
In the end, their partnership was overshadowed by Gujarat Titans’ fifth-wicket pair of left-handers David Miller (30, 21b, 1x4, 2x6) and Rahul Tewatia (40 not out, 24b, 5x4, 2x6) and their 60-run stand in 34 balls as Gujarat Titans’ hit big in the back end to win by five wickets with two balls in hand.