It was a memorable season for IPL debutants Gujarat Titans as the team won the title after beating Rajasthan Royals in the pinnacle clash. It was skipper Hardik Pandya who brought his A-game into the middle taking three wickets, including the key scalp of Jos Buttler. As Shubman Gill and David Miller took Gujarat over the line, it was Hardik’s composure that stood out the most. There were no flashy celebrations and he minded his business congratulating his players and coaching staff.
As the cricketing action was over, Hardik’s wife, Natasa Stankovic, also came down to the playing area and kissed Hardik. Natasa was visibly emotional after witnessing the victory of the Gujarat Titans.
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Speaking at the post-match conference after the IPL triumph, Hardik said: “She’s a very emotional person, she’s very happy when she sees me well. She saw me go through a lot she kinda saw me put in hard yards no matter what I worked hard I don’t talk about it much but she knows how much hard work goes in behind the scenes.
“My family has always been my strong pillar. My brother Krunal, my sister-in-law Pankhuri and my other brother Vaibhav. Many people who have been part of me and my wife and son, they have been fantastic in making sure that i stay in the best frame of mind and you know, whenever the critical situation arises and whenever i play it kind of helps me because i know my family is there to support me no matter what my brother also cried when I called him, my sister-in-law also cried, they are the tears of happiness, it is something fantastic, I live and I am nourished by the love that I continue to receive from my family,” he added.
Speaking of the final between GT and RR, the latter posted 130/9 in 20 overs. Jos Buttler scored the most with a shot of 39 while for Gujarat skipper Hardik came back with the numbers 3-17.
Chasing 131, Shubman Gill and David Miller went unbeaten on 45 and 34 respectively to send Gujarat over the line by seven wickets and 11 balls to spare.
For Rajasthan, Trent Boult, Prasidh Krishna and Yuzvendra Chahal returned with one wicket each.
Earlier in the tournament, Gujarat had topped the league stage with 20 points from 14 games and they entered the final after overcoming Rajasthan Royals in Qualifying 1.
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