Given the kind of player Sanju Samson has been for the Rajasthan Royals, the opposition team would usually be thrilled with his dismissal. However, perhaps Hardik Pandya doesn’t think so. At least that’s what his celebrations showed. Hardik hardly showed any emotions as he dismissed his counterpart and played a huge role in leading Gujarat Titans to their maiden IPL title with a seven-wicket-win over Rajasthan Royals in the final.

Also Read: GT vs RR Live Score, IPL Final 2022

Pandya, who did not bowl in the final few league matches of the season, and went wicketless for three games, delivered the second breakthrough for the Titans. Back to bowling full-throttle, Hardik foxed the Samson with a quick short delivery – hard length and banged in short – and the RR captain, trying to go big, top-edged the ball for Sai Kishore to take the catch at point. While Kishore and the rest of his teammates celebrated, Hardik showed no emotions, almost acing the poker face. Here is how he reacted.

Pandya finished with 3/17. If the wicket of Samson wasn’t good enough for the Titans, Hardik picked up the key wicket of the dangerman Jos Buttler. Buttler had gotten off to a sedate start, reaching 39 off 35 balls, probably setting himself up for a repeat of his knock against the Royal Challengers Bangalore before Hardik got the better of the man with the Orange Cap. Hardik bowled at a good length, forcing Buttler to poke at the delivery as the ball took the outside edge and landed straight into Wriddhiman Saha’s gloves.

Ever since Samson won the toss and opted to bat, nothing seems to have gone RR’s way. After getting off to a brisk start reaching 31 in 3.5 overs, Yash Dayal dismissed Yashasvi Jaiswal for the first wicket. Samson arrived and struck two fours to signal a positive start before he fell. Devdutt Padikkal, who scored over 400 runs in the last 2 season of the IPL, endured a painful stay scoring 2 off 10 balls.

It pretty much summed up RR’s evening. The Royals put up 130/9 on the board, which would require a herculean effort from them to defend. And although Prasidh Krishna and Trent Boult sent GT in early trouble with the wicket of Wriddhiman Saha and Matthew Wade, Hardik’s sedate 34 off 30 balls and nerves of steel from Shubman Gill (45 not out) and David Miller (32) gave the Titans their moment under the sun.

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