David Miller steers Gujarat to top of IPL table

Gujarat Titans' David Miller reacts after his teams win in the Indian Premier League match between Delhi Capitals and Gujarat Titans at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi on 4 April 2023AFP

David Miller hit an unbeaten 31 to power holders Gujarat Titans to their second straight victory in the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Tuesday, hours after he flew in from South Africa for the Twenty20 tournament.

Miller put on an unbeaten stand of 56 with young Indian talent Sai Sudharsan (62) as Gujarat chased down a target of 163 to defeat hosts Delhi Capitals by six wickets.

Gujarat Titans' David Miller and teammate Sai Sudharsan run between the wickets

Gujarat were in early trouble after an excellent spell of fast bowling by South African Anrich Nortje, but Sudharsan anchored the innings and Miller provided the finishing touches with his 16-ball blitz.

“Didn’t have time to get jet-lagged,” said Miller, whose flight landed on Tuesday morning and who made the XI in place of the injured Kane Williamson.

“We were within range. It was a matter of three sixes or four fours.”

Miller was one of the South Africans to have joined the Indian Premier League after the recent ODI series against the Netherlands at home.

Gujarat Titans' David Miller plays a shot

But it was the 21-year-old Sudharsan who showed an ice cool temperament, holding firm after Gujarat slipped to 54-3 when skipper Hardik Pandya departed.

“He has been batting beautifully,” Pandya said of Sudharsan.

“You can see the fruit of his hard work. In two years he will do something big in franchise cricket and hopefully for India.”

Rashid makes his mark

Gujarat pace spearhead Mohammed Shami and leg-spinner Rashid Khan took three wickets each as they restricted the opposition to 162-8 before handing Delhi a second straight loss.

Gujarat did not have the best of starts as Nortje removed both openers, including bowling Shubman Gill for 14, and were in further trouble when left-arm quick Khaleel Ahmed got Pandya caught behind for five.

But Vijay Shankar replaced Ireland fast bowler Josh Little under the new “impact player” rule introduced this season and joined Sudharsan in the middle to revive the chase.

Mitchell Marsh broke the dangerous-looking stand of 53 after he trapped Shankar lbw for 29 but Sudharsan and Miller completed the job.

Delhi’s batsmen never really got going despite skipper David Warner’s 37 and a quickfire 36 from Axar Patel as they posted a below-par total.

Delhi Capitals' David Warner is bowled out

Shami struggled to control his line and length and gave away runs at the start before he found his groove with the two key wickets of Prithvi Shaw and Marsh.

Warner fell to Alzarri Joseph as he chopped on to his stumps.

Joseph bowled at a lively pace and dismissed Rilee Rossouw for a first-ball duck.

Rashid claimed the wicket of Sarfaraz Khan who struggled to a 34-ball 30.

Coming in at number seven, Axar took on the bowlers with three sixes and two fours in his 22-ball innings but could not haul Delhi to a big enough total.

Delhi’s Rishabh Pant was in attendance to cheer on his team he led last year. He is recovering after surgery to his leg following a car crash in December and will miss the season.