South Africa’s David Miller scored an unbeaten 32 off 19 balls as the Gujarat Titans beat Rajasthan Royals in Sunday’s Indian Premier League final in Ahmedabad.
Cape Town — David Miller powered the Gujarat Titans to the Indian Premier League title over the Rajasthan Royals at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Sunday evening.
Miller took the Titans, who were playing in their first ever IPL, home with 11 balls and seven wickets to spare in front of over 100,000 rousing spectators — the biggest crowd to ever watch a white-ball match on the subcontinent.
The Proteas southpaw finished on 32 not out off 19 balls (3×4, 1×6). He was joined by opener Shubman Gill (45 not out off 43 balls) as the pair put together an unbroken match-winning partnership of 47 for the fourth wicket.
The Royals’ 130/9 was below par on a surface that had plenty of pace and bounce. Titans skipper Hardik Pandya delivered a brilliant bowling performance with 3/17 from his four overs. Pandya claimed the big scalp of Royals opener Jos Buttler, who finished the tournament as the leading run-scorer with 837 runs at an average of 57.53, for 39.
The 2008 champions lost their way after Buttler’s demise and could not post a total that would trouble the Titans. Even the early loss of Wriddhiman Saha (5) and Matthew Wade (8) could not deter the Titans with Pandya delivering a brilliant all-round captain’s performance with 34 off 34 balls.
However, the finishing touches were left to Miller and Gill as the pair comfortably took the Titans over the victory line to set off emotional celebrations.
The Titans also have former Proteas coach Gary Kirsten as part of their support staff.
Miller has been playing in the IPL since 2012, but it’s the first time he has won the championship.
“It’s been a phenomenal journey, finishing it at the back end was a special feeling, but it has been a collective effort, everyone has stuck up their hand and performed well,” Miller said.
“(On Pandya) He’s been very relaxed, we’ve had a very good bond with Ashish (Nehra) and Hardik. He’s got better and better as the competition has gone on, tactically he’s been brilliant. Just grown from strength to strength.”