Punjab Kings were back to winning ways as they beat table-toppers Gujarat Titans by eight wickets at the DY Patil stadium. All credits go to Shikhar Dhawan and Bhanuka Rajapaksa for stitching a crucial 87-run partnership in a 144-runs chase. Dhawan led from the front and smacked an unbeaten 62. Earlier, Kagiso Rabada was in top form for PBKS with a four-wicket haul.
To surprise everyone, Hardik Pandya decided to bat first after winning the toss. Gujarat Titans had a poor and shaky start as they lost three wickets in quick succession. Rishi Dhawan was excellent on the field to run out Shubman Gill (9). Dhawan then dismissed the in-form GT skipper to put his side on the back foot.
GT batters never found their rhythm and kept losing wickets. Rabada struck twice in successive deliveries to scalp Rahul Tewatia (11) and Rashid Khan (0). Sai Sudharsan fought a lone battle to keep GT alive in the contest. He took the responsibility and batted beautifully to score an unbeaten 65-run. PBKS bowlers used their variations to good effect and restricted GT to 143/8 in 20 overs.
In reply, Punjab Kings had a slow start. Opener Jonny Bairstow, who struggled to play shots, was dismissed by Mohammed Shami for just 1. Dhawan and Rajapaksa play solid to steady their innings. Later on, Rajapaksa (40) started to counter-attack GT bowlers and scored quick runs. Liam Livingstone played a blistering knock of 30 runs off just 10 deliveries. The all-rounder hit three sixes and two fours in an over to secure the win for Punjab Kings.