Gujarat Titans (GT) won the battle of newbies against Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium on Monday. Fighting knocks from Deepak Hooda, and Ayush Badoni steered the Super Giants to 158/6 in their allotted 20 overs before their fellow Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 debutants Gujarat gunned down the target in a last-over thriller.

It was a remarkable victory for the new franchise as well as for Hardik Pandya, who was leading an IPL side for the first time in his career. No wonder Pandya expressed happiness after the match, stating he could not have asked for a better start. The 28-year-old mentioned that everybody in the team contributed to the win, which will boost confidence as they go ahead in the fifteenth season of the cash-rich league.

“This was the right game for us to be on either side and learn, but have learnt a lot by winning. Shami is known for his seam positions, and he got us to a great start. We would have any day taken 160 on this wicket. Mostly I’ll bat at number four because I want to take pressure with my experience so that the others can play freely. We want to win as a team, and nobody can take the contribution away from anyway,” said Hardik in the post-match presentation.

Hardik also reacted to his dismissal conducted by his brother Krunal Pandya. Notably, the right-handed batter was going along nicely on 33 from 28 balls before Krunal removed his younger brother during the 11th over of Gujarat’s chase. Hardik said the dismissal to his brother didn’t pinch him as Gujarat eventually ended up winning the contest.

“Getting out to Krunal would have pinched me more had we lost, but now the family is neutral and happy. He got me out, and we won the match,” Hardik added.

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