(MENAFN- Colombo Gazette)
Shubman Gill scored a stunning 129 from 60 balls as holders Gujarat Titans beat Mumbai Indians to reach the Indian Premier League final.
After being dropped on 30, the Gujarat opener took the Mumbai attack apart with seven fours and 10 sixes.
The century was his third in four innings as the Titans posted 233-3, before Mumbai tumbled to 171, with Mohit Sharma taking 5-10.
Gujarat will now play Chennai Super Kings in Sunday's final in Ahmedabad.
After rain delayed the start of Qualifier 2 by half an hour, Gujarat were asked to bat first.
While there were signs of the supreme timing that was to follow, Gill should have gone in the last over of the powerplay.
England seamer Chris Jordan forced a miscue but Tim David could not cling on, despite getting both hands to the ball after diving forward from mid-on.
David did eventually take the catch to dismiss Gill – some 99 runs later.
The 23-year-old was imperious and reached 50 from 32 balls, but that was just the start.
Gill needed just 17 balls to go from 50 to 100 with a staggering display of hitting that was as elegant as it was explosive.
Akash Madhwal was dispatched for three sixes in an over and Piyush Chawla swatted over the ropes twice more in the next. Having reached three figures, Gill took down Cameron Green as well.
The India batter is just the third player to score three or more hundreds in an IPL season after Virat Kohli and Jos Buttler, who made four in 2016 and 2022 respectively.
Even when Gill holed out in the 17th over, there was no respite for Mumbai as Titans skipper Hardik Pandya came in and continued the onslaught.
Mumbai lost openers Rohit Sharma and Nehal Wadhera inside three overs of the reply, while Green had to retire hurt in between those two dismissals after being hit on the elbow by a Pandya bumper.
The five-time winners had already had to sub Ishan Kishan due to concussion, following an accidental collision with team-mate Jordan, but managed to stay in contention thanks to the impressive hitting of Tilak Varma.
The left-hander thumped five fours and three sixes before he was castled by Rashid Khan to end his 14-ball knock for 43.
Green was able to return and put on 52 with Suryakumar Yadav, whose presence alone meant Gujarat's win was far from assured.
But Ireland left-armer Josh Little bowled Green and Yadav was bowled by Mohit soon after bringing up a 33-ball half-century to end the Mumbai charge.
Mohit ran through the lower order to claim career-best T20 figures and send Gujarat, in just their second IPL campaign, back to the final. (BBC)