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IPL 2023: Half-century from Hardik Pandya guides GT to respectable 135/6 against LSG

Lucknow: A half-century from skipper Hardik Pandya guided Gujarat Titans to a respectable total of 135/6 in 20 overs of their Indian Premier League (IPL) match against Lucknow Super Giants at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow on Saturday.
Opting to bat first, Gujarat Titans was off to a poor start. Shubman Gill was dismissed for a two-ball duck by Krunal Pandya after he handed an easy catch to Ravi Bishnoi. GT was at 4/1 in 1.2 overs. Following this early hiccup, Wriddhiman Saha and skipper Hardik Pandya started to build a partnership.
At the end of the powerplay, GT was at 40/1 in six overs, with Saha (34*) and Pandya (6*) unbeaten at the crease.
GT crossed the 50-run mark in 8 overs.
The ninth over was an expensive one for LSG, as Bishnoi was hit for 14 runs, including a four and six by Pandya.
At the end of 10 overs, GT was at 71/1, with Saha (47*) and Hardik (24*) unbeaten at the crease.
Krunal got his second wicket, dismissing Saha for 47 off 37 balls. His knock consisted of six boundaries. Deepak Hooda took a fine catch at long-on. GT was 72/2 in 10.3 overs. The 72-run stand between the batters was over.
Pacer Naveen-ul-Haq and Amit Mishra's spin helped LSG solidify their hold on the match. Abhinav Manohar was dismissed for just three runs by Mishra after being caught by Naveen at extra cover. Three overs later, Naveen got his first-ever IPL wicket. He castled Vijay Shankar for 10 off 12 balls.
GT had sunk to 92/4 in 15 overs, with Pandya (32*) unbeaten.
The defending champions crossed the 100-run mark in 16.5 overs.
At the start of the 18th over, LSG activated their impact substitution - Prerak Mankad who replaced Amit Mishra.
Bishnoi was smashed for 19 runs in the 18th over, including a four and two sixes by Hardik. The GT skipper reached his half-century in just 44 balls.
Pandya started the final over bowled by Marcus Stoinis with a six over deep midwicket. But he was caught very next ball by Rahul at long on for 66 off 50 balls. His knock consisted of two fours and four sixes. Half of the GT line-up was inside the hut for 132 runs.
GT finished their innings at 135/6, with Stoinis getting his second wicket on the final ball of the innings. David Miller was dismissed for six runs off 12 balls after being caught by Hooda.
Krunal was the leading bowler for LSG, with a spell of 2/16 in four overs. Marcus Stoinis took 2/20 in his three overs. Naveen and Amit took a wicket each.
Brief Scores: GT: 135/6 (Hardik Pandya 66, Wriddhiman Saha 47, Krunal Pandya 2/16). (ANI)

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