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Gujarat spins out Rajasthan to edge closer to IPL playoffs

JAIPUR, India (AP) — Gujarat Titans wrist spinners Rashid Khan and Noor Ahmad wreaked havoc as they routed Rajasthan Royals by nine wickets in the Indian Premier League on Friday.

The Afghanistan Twenty20 specialists shared five wickets for 39 runs in seven overs to help the defending champions and leaders edge closer to qualifying for the playoffs.

Gujarat consolidated its position atop the table, while Rajasthan remained fourth but suffered a serious dent to its net run-rate.

Khan picked up 3-14 in four overs and Ahmad took 2-25 in three overs in bamboozling Rajasthan to be all out for 118 runs in the 18th over at home.

In reply, Gujarat skipper Hardik Pandya smashed an unbeaten 39 off 15 balls as they reached 119-1 in only 13.5 overs.

After Rajasthan opted to bat, Jos Buttler was dismissed by Pandya for 8 and the in-form Yashaswi Jaiswal suffered in a mix up with skipper Sanju Samson. Samson didn’t last long either, chipping an easy catch after scoring 30 off 20 balls

Rajasthan was 60-3 in the seventh over and Khan and Ahmad spun out what was left of the batting lineup. Khan clean bowled Ravichandran Ashwin for 2, trapped Riyan Parag for 4, and Shimron Hetmyer for 7, breaking the middle order.

Ahmad collected Devdutt Padikkal on 12 and hard-hitting Dhruv Jurel for 9. Rajasthan lost five wickets for 36 runs across 44 deliveries. Trent Boult scored 15 off 11 balls to push the score past 100. It was never going to be enough.

Gujarat openers Shubman Gill, back again as an impact player, made 36 off 35 balls and Wriddhiman Saha made 41 not out off 34 balls. They put on 71 runs off 58 balls.

After Gill was stumped, Pandya hit three fours and three sixes to finish the game with 37 balls to spare.

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