Hardik Pandya top-scored with a 50-ball 66 but slow batting in the middle overs meant that Gujarat Titans could post only a modest 135 for six against Lucknow Super Giants in their IPL match in Lucknow on Saturday. (More Cricket News) | (Scorecard)
Wriddhiman Saha made 47 off 37 balls to lay the foundation, but Hardik couldn't get going for most part of his innings, although he somewhat made up for the slow batting with some big hits in the end.
With the pitch a tad slow and aiding the spinners, stroke-making was difficult and Krunal Pandya emerged Lucknow's best bowler as he snapped two wickets, giving away just 16 runs after coming to bowl in the second over.
Pacer Naveen-ul-Haq (1/19) and Marcus Stoinis (2/20) also did the job, but Ravi Bishnoi had a forgettable outing as he conceded 49 off his quota of four overs.
The black soil pitch didn't offer much bounce and pace, but Naveen-ul-Haq used the conditions well, not allowing the batters to break free as he conceded just 12 in his first two overs.
Krunal drew first blood, dismissing Shubhman Gill for a duck in just his second delivery with the opener holing out to Ravi Bishnoi at long-off.
Saha looked proactive as he managed to pick up boundaries against each of the bowlers, especially Bishnoi, who was punished twice on the off-side as GT scored 40 for 1 in the Powerplay overs.
Hardik, who promoted himself to No. 3, found the going tough initially, but Saha was in good nick as he dispatched Stoinis across backward point for another boundary.
Hardik finally broke free, sending Bishnoi across extra cover to bring up the 50-run partnership and then depositing him over long-off as the 9th over yielded 14 runs.
After 12 for 1 in his first three overs, Krunal returned to deceive a well-set Saha with his flight and the opener was caught by Deepak Hooda.
Soon it was 77 for 3 as Amit Mishra set up Abhinav Manohar (3) with a loopy ball outside off and Naveen-ul-Haq took a stunning catch at deep cover with a full stretch dive.
Pandya and newman Vijay Shankar couldn't push the score and Naveen-ul-Haq returned to clean up the latter as GT reached 92 for 4 in 15 overs.
The 16th and 17th overs slowed down the Titans, but with Mishra subbed out, Bishnoi bowled the 18th and Pandya slammed two sixes and a four to bring up his fifty in 44 balls. The over yielded 19 runs.
Naveen-ul-Haq bowled another good over as David Miller just couldn't get going.
Hardik clubbed Stoinis for a maximum before holing out to KL Rahul.