The 15th edition of the Indian Premier League ended on the 29th of May 2022, with Gujrat Titans winning their maiden IPL title. This edition was based on a different format because of the addition of two more teams, taking the team count to 10. One of those two teams, Gujrat Titans won the title in their inaugural season. The other newly introduced team, Lucknow Super Giants also qualified for the play-offs. Surprisingly enough, the most successful teams like Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings couldn’t even qualify for the play-offs. The final of the tournament was played between the Gujrat Titans & Rajasthan Royals.
Gujrat Titans performed exceptionally well and were undoubtedly the best team of IPL 2022. Captain Hardik Pandya led the team from the front and was also brilliant with his all-round performances. Titans topped the points table in the group stage of the season and were ruthless in the play-offs as well. Except for their captain Hardik Pandya, their star players like Rashid Khan, Mohammad Shami, Matthew Wade & David Miller played a key role in Titan’s victory.
The other finalists, Rajasthan Royals, were also magnificent in their journey towards the final. The orange cap for the highest run-scorer and the purple cap for the highest wicket-taker was shared by the Rajasthan Royal players. Their English opening batsman, Jos Buttler, was the highest run-getter of the 2022 IPL season with 863 runs in the tournament with 4 hundreds and 4 fifties. The purple cap holder, Yuzvendra Chahal, took 27 wickets in the tournament. Both these players were instrumental in making sure that the Rajasthan Royals reach the finals of IPL. Other key players like Trent Boult, Ravichandran Ashwin, Prasidh Krishna & Yashasvi Jaiswal also played important roles in the victories of their team.
With the form that both the teams were displaying during the tournament, the final of the IPL 2022 was expected to be a mouthwatering and high-scoring contest. Instead, it turned out to be a rather low-scoring and one-sided contest. Rajasthan Royals opted to bat first but couldn’t get going & ended up scoring only 130 runs for the loss of 9 wickets. The bowling from the Gujrat Titans was exceptional, with their captain taking 3 wickets for 17 runs, an economy rate of only 4.25 per over. Their star spinner Rashid Khan only took one wicket, but he conceded only 18 runs in his 4 overs, making sure that the Rajasthan Royals couldn’t get off the blocks and get even a par score. Buttler tried his best and he again was the top scorer of the Royals, but his 35 balls 39 couldn’t make a huge impact on the game.
When Royal’s stuttering innings ended, they only managed to score 130 runs which were never going to be enough considering the batting lineup of Gujrat Titans. The start for the Titans wasn’t that good either, they only scored 31 runs in the power play and lost two big wickets of Saha and Wade. Trent Boult was bowling beautifully and for a moment Rajasthan thought that they can make a game out of it. But Shubman Gill stayed calm with his captain Hardik Pandya and steered the Titans towards a small target. After Pandya was dismissed by Chahal on 34, David Miller came to the crease, and he literally killed the game with his 19-ball 32. Shubman Gill finished it off with a six and Gujrat Titans secured a 7 wicket win to earn their maiden IPL title.
An exceptional all-round performance from the captain Hardik Pandya earned him the player of the match, whereas Jos Buttler was rightfully honoured with the player of the tournament trophy. Appearing in their first-ever IPL season & then going on to win it, it’s a huge achievement from Gujrat Titans and it paves the way for more exciting cricket in the upcoming IPL seasons from the Titans.
Author- Waqas Mustafa, Sky247 Team