IPL

Miller sends Titans to IPL final with stunning effort against Royals

By Sports Desk May 24, 2022

A sensational innings of 68 from David Miller took Gujarat Titans to the IPL final after they beat Rajasthan Royals by seven wickets in Tuesday's qualifier.

This was just the second meeting between the Titans and the Royals in the Indian Premier League, with Gujarat also winning by 37 runs last month.

Jos Buttler had blasted 89 to help the Royals set a target of 189 in Kolkata, but despite an early setback, the Titans built their reply well before fireworks from Miller finished it off.

Yashasvi Jaiswal fell for just three early in the Royals' innings, but Buttler and captain Sanju Samson put on a partnership of 68 to recover, with Samson hitting 47 off just 26 balls.

Buttler was unusually cautious until putting his foot down later in the innings, particularly once Devdutt Padikkal (28) had departed, with the England international hitting two late sixes to add to his 12 fours, before being run out in the final over.

The Titans lost Wriddhiman Saha for a second ball duck off the bowling of Trent Boult (1-38), but their batting was steady from there, with Shubman Gill and Matthew Wade both adding 35 each, before Hardik Pandya and Miller came to the crease.

Pandya played a captain's innings of 40 from 27 balls, but it was Miller who claimed the highlights, especially near the end of the chase as the nerves ratcheted up.

Needing 16 off the last over, Miller only took three balls to do the job as he smashed three sixes to send the Titans to the final in style.

The Royals have now played 10 games at Eden Gardens in the IPL, losing eight. Only at their home stadium in Jaipur (15) and at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai (nine) have they lost more.

They will now have to play the winner of Wednesday's eliminator between Lucknow Super Giants and Royal Challengers Bangalore to make it to the final.

Killer Miller

Although they had plenty of wickets in hand, it did look at one stage like Gujarat had given themselves a bit too much to do, until Miller stepped up.

The South African took just 38 balls to knock 68 in Kolkata, with three fours and five sixes.

Khan puts Royals in a spin

It was hardly a great day in the field for the Titans, except for Rashid Khan, who had an economy of 3.75 (15 runs), with none of the other three bowlers who bowled four overs having less than 10.75 (43 runs).

The Afghanistan spinner did not take any wickets, but if it was not for his stinginess with the ball in hand, the total would likely have been too much for even Miller's ability.

Related items

  • ‘Slightly mad’ if England spin duo did not get county chances – Brendon McCullum ‘Slightly mad’ if England spin duo did not get county chances – Brendon McCullum

    Brendon McCullum admitted it would be “slightly mad” if the progress Tom Hartley and Shoaib Bashir have made on England’s tour of India was stymied by a lack of opportunities at county level.

    The spinning duo were uncapped at the start of the trip and held modest first-class records, albeit from small sample sizes, but Hartley is the series’ leading wicket-taker with 20 dismissals in four Tests and Bashir took a maiden professional five-for in Ranchi.

    But Lancashire signing Australia star Nathan Lyon this summer places a question mark over how much game time Hartley will get and Bashir is second choice at Somerset to Jack Leach, who will have surgery on a knee injury which ended his tour early and allowed the rookies to shine on the international stage.

    While McCullum acknowledged Lancashire and Somerset have their own interests to consider, England’s head coach hopes Hartley, 24, and Bashir, 20, will not fade away in the months ahead.

    “We’ve got to keep trying to get cricket into them,” McCullum said. “Whatever opportunity we can we’ll try and give it to them because there’s two guys there more than good enough for international cricket.

    “They’re tough characters. We’ve seen both of them have big hearts. It doesn’t get any harder than it is right now and they’ve both stood up and performed so we’ve just to keep giving both of them chances.

    “It will be a slight frustration of ours if they weren’t given opportunities at county level. There’s a very real possibility that might be the case.

    “But without wanting to dictate to counties because they have their own agendas, when you see performances like we have out of those two bowlers throughout the series, I think you’d be slightly mad if you didn’t give them more opportunities in county cricket.”

    England losing by five wickets in Ranchi leaves them 3-1 down with just the final Test in Dharamshala, starting Thursday week, with McCullum suffering the first series defeat of his reign.

    There have been just four wins in their last 11 Tests but McCullum is convinced England are a superior team than the one he inherited in May 2022, which had triumphed just once in their previous 17 matches.

    “We weren’t quite good enough when it mattered – or India were better, to be honest, than us being not quite good enough,” McCullum said.

    “We’ve lost this series and we didn’t win the Ashes (last year) but we’re a better cricket team than we were 18 months ago and we’ve got opportunity in the next 18 months to do some pretty special s***.

    “Time on the tools, experience and just keep chiselling away at any of those rough edges which creep up every now and then, which is natural, and we’ll get there eventually.”

    McCullum confirmed Jonny Bairstow will play in his 100th Test next week, despite not reaching 40 in the series, but there is scrutiny over seamer Ollie Robinson following a disappointing return to action.

    Robinson registered an important fifty in his first competitive appearance since July last year but while pace has never been his biggest asset, he struggled to reach 80mph on the speed gun and sent down six no-balls – taking his career tally to 77, which is one more than his haul of wickets in 20 Tests.

    His drop of Dhruv Jurel was a key moment, allowing India to move to within 46 of England’s total after the first innings, while Robinson was not called upon to bowl as the hosts chased 192 to win by five wickets on Monday.

    McCullum explained Robinson, who has an impressive Test average of 22.92, felt a twinge in his back, which he has struggled with in the past.

    “Everything he did leading into the Test match suggested we’d see not just the Ollie Robinson we’d seen previously but a better version of it,” McCullum added.

    “He’s not just as disappointed as everyone else, he’s the most disappointed out of everyone. It’s just sport right? You have great expectations and sometimes you’re not quite able to deliver.”

  • Unbeaten Windward Islands Volcanoes enjoy 16.6-point lead after round three Unbeaten Windward Islands Volcanoes enjoy 16.6-point lead after round three

    Three dominant wins in the first three rounds have the Windward Islands Volcanoes holding a comfortable lead atop the points table of the 2024 West Indies Championship as the teams gear up for the season’s resumption after a week off.

    The Volcanoes have racked up an impressive 62.2 points (36 match points and 26.2 bonus points) courtesy of a pair of nine-wicket wins over the Jamaica Scorpions and the Barbados Pride in the first two rounds followed by an eight-wicket win over the Combined Campuses and Colleges in round three.

    The Leeward Islands Hurricanes sit second with 45.6 points (24 match points and 21.6 bonus points) after two wins and a draw in their first three outings.

    The Barbados Pride are third with 43.6 points (24 match points and 19.8 bonus points) after also recording a pair of wins and a draw in their first three games.

    The Jamaica Scorpions, who finished at the foot of the table last season, have a win and two losses but sit fourth on the table with 29.6 points mainly due to getting 17.6 bonus points.

    The Trinidad and Tobago Red Force (27.6 points), defending champions Guyana Harpy Eagles (26.4), West Indies Academy (24) and the Combined Campuses and Colleges (14.6) round out the rest of the table after three rounds.

    Action resumes with the start of round four on Wednesday, March 13 with the Red Force taking on the Volcanoes at the Queen’s Park Oval, CCC facing the Leewards at the Sir Frank Worrell Memorial Ground in St. Augustine, the Scorpions hosting West Indies Academy at Sabina Park and the Harpy Eagles facing the Pride at Coolidge.

  • Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes’ England Test record since taking charge in 2022 Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes’ England Test record since taking charge in 2022

    England’s fourth-Test defeat to India condemned them to a first series loss under the leadership of coach Brendon McCullum and captain Ben Stokes.

    Here, the PA news agency looks at the pair’s record since taking charge in 2022.

    First setback

    The Stokes-McCullum era began with a spectacular series win over New Zealand in June 2022, England chasing down fourth-innings targets of 277, 299 and 296 to win all three Tests.

    They lost the first Test against South Africa later that summer by an innings but responded in kind in the second en route to a 2-1 series win.

    A first-innings total of 657 in less than four sessions set the tone for a 3-0 win away to Pakistan in the winter and they then shared a series in New Zealand 1-1.

    Last summer’s Ashes were also drawn, 2-2, with Australia retaining the urn but both teams emerging with pride and credit from a thrilling series.

    Stokes and McCullum’s side also won a rearranged fifth Test against India in July 2022, which completed the previous summer’s series as a 2-2 draw, and beat Ireland in a one-off Test ahead of the Ashes.

    Captain marvel

    Stokes still has a 60.9 per cent winning record in Test matches as captain, behind only WG Grace (61.5 per cent) among Englishmen with at least 10 Tests in the role.

    He has won 14, lost eight and drawn one of 23 Tests, including one while deputising as captain for Joe Root in 2020.

    His personal contributions have been impressive, with 1,342 runs as skipper at an average of 36.27 and a strike rate of 65.62 – up on the respective marks of 35.77 and 57.54 when not captaining the side.

    That ranks him fourth among England run-scorers under his captaincy, behind Root (1,737), Zak Crawley (1,531) and Ollie Pope (1,413).

    While his bowling has been limited by injuries, his 29 wickets as captain have come at an average of 28.17 – far below his prior rate of 32.74.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.