|2022 Indian Premier League Final, Ahmedabad|
|Rajasthan Royals 130-9: butter 39; Hardik 3-17|
|Gujarat Titans 133-3: Gill 45*; Bolt 1-14|
|Gujarat Titans win by seven wickets|
Hardik Pandya produced a stunning all round display as Gujarat Titans won the Indian Premier League in their inaugural season with a seven-wicket victory over Rajasthan Royals.
Titans captain Pandya took 3-17, including England’s Jos Buttler’s top prize for 39 to cap Royals to 130-9, then hit 34 from 30 balls.
Shubman Gill scored the highest score with 45 not out and the Indian batter skipped the first pitch of the 18th for six to win the game in front of a record crowd of nearly 105,000 in Ahmedabad.
All-rounder Pandya leads Gujarat to glory
The Titans’ triumph was based on good design: Mohammed Shami, Rashid Khan, Lockie Ferguson and Pandya put together an excellent bowling attack, with punching power from Gill, David Miller and Matthew Wade.
But assembling a group of talented players doesn’t automatically lead to success, and Pandya has expertly led them from the front despite being the captain of the IPL for the first time.
In the final, on the biggest podium, he took Buttler’s three prize wickets against captain Sanju Samson and Shimron Hetmyer and made his bowlers spin perfectly.
He was well supported by one of the world’s best white ball bowlers, Afghan Rashid Khan, who won 1-18.
And when the striker faltered at 23-2, he stopped any threat of a full-blown collapse by calmly ignoring the Royals’ bowling attack alongside Gill.
Buttler’s magnificent IPL ends in defeat
While his side may not have secured the trophy, England’s Buttler ends up winning the Orange Cap awarded to the highest points scorer.
He hit four centuries in amassing 863 runs in 17 innings, putting him second behind Indian superstar Virat Kohli’s 973 on the list of most runs scored in a single IPL campaign.
While he was unable to replicate the fluency of his match-winning 106 not out that propelled his side to this final, his reputation as one of the world’s most destructive T20 hitters has grown significantly.
Rajasthan leg spinner Yuzvendra Chahal also finishes with the purple cap, awarded to the leading wicket taker – a poignant tribute to the late great Shane Warne, who led the Royals to the IPL title in the inaugural edition in 2008.