Despite a loss, GT skipper Hardik Pandya achieves rare IPL feat; Becomes only 2nd Indian to join the elite list
The 23rd match of the 2023 Indian Premier League saw the two finalists of the 2022 season face each other at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahemdabad. Finally, it was RR who broke the jinx and beat the defending champion for the first time in four attempts.
GT won all three previous games against RR in the last edition, but this time Sanju Samson and his team came out on top. RR registered a three-wicket win and has climbed to the top of the points table. Though GT lost the game, skipper Hardik Pandya achieved a special feat on Sunday night.
Hardik completed his 2000 IPL runs and became only the sixth player in history to complete the double of 2000 runs and 50 wickets in the IPL. Ahead of the game, he needed 16 runs to reach the 2000-run mark.
He made 28 off 19 with three fours and one six in his inning to reach this landmark. Hardik made his IPL debut in 2015, and this is his ninth season. In his IPL career, he has played 111 games and scored 2012 runs at an average and strike rate of 29.16 and 146.33, with 8 half-centuries.
He has also taken 51 wickets at an economy rate of 8.66 and a best of 3/17. Shane Watson, Andre Russell, Kieron Pollard, Ravindra Jadeja, and Jacques Kallis are the other five to achieve this feat, while Hardik is only the second Indian to do so.
Speaking of the game, GT posted a challenging total of 177/7 in the first inning, with good innings from Shubman Gill (45 off 34) and David Miller (46 off 30). Chasing the target, RR had a poor start. They lost Jos Buttler (0) and Yashasvi Jaiswal (1) in the first three overs.
Skipper Sanju Samson played a crucial knock and made 60 off 32 with three fours and six maximums to keep RR in the chase. In the end, a brilliant cameo from Shimron Hetmyer (56* off 26) sealed the deal for Rajasthan.