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Gujarat Titans' captain Shubman Gill celebrates with his teammate after winning the Indian Premier League Twenty20 cricket match against Mumbai Indians at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Sunday. Image Credit: AFP

Ahmedabad: Gujarat Titans edged out Mumbai Indians by six runs in an IPL thriller on Sunday as Hardik Pandya suffered a defeat as Mumbai captain after he controversially replaced Rohit Sharma.

Rohit (43) and Dewald Brevis (46) shone in Mumbai’s chase of their 169 target with a third-wicket stand of 77 but Gujarat’s bowlers hit back to keep the opposition down 162-9 in Ahmedabad.

Millions of Mumbai fans had slammed the franchise for the captaincy switch as Pandya made his IPL debut for Mumbai under Rohit and later led Gujarat to a title in their debut season in 2022 at the same venue.

But it was celebration at the world’s biggest cricket stadium, named after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, for new home team captain Shubman Gill who spoiled Pandya’s homecoming.

Commentators said close to 90,000 fans turned up at the 132,000 capacity arena.

Five-time champions Mumbai needed 48 from 36 balls with seven wickets in hand before going down to an opening loss.

“We backed ourselves to chase those 42 runs but it was one of those days where we lost the momentum,” said Pandya.

“It feels good to be back because this is one stadium you can enjoy, feel the atmosphere quite lively and obviously the crowd was full and they got a good game as well.”

Mohit Sharma took down Brevis, who came in as impact substitute, and then Tim David in successive overs before fellow quick Spencer Johnson struck twice in the 19th over to dent the chase further.

Rohit’s wicket in the 13th over off Sai Kishore also proved to be key for Gujarat.

Pandya attempted to go for the 19 runs needed in the last over with a six and a four off Umesh Yadav before being caught out on the third.

“I think the way the boys held their nerve, and the way we bowled in the death overs, especially with the dew coming in, I thought it was special,” said Gill.

Pandya, who has returned to competitive cricket after an ankle injury, bowled with the new ball and sent down three overs for 30 runs.

Pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah came in first change to bowled Wriddhiman Saha with a trademark toe-crushing yorker and finished with figures of 3-14 in four overs to keep down Gujarat to 168-6.

His other two wickets included Sai Sudarshan, who top-scored with 45, and David Miller, who made 12.

Bumrah was ably supported by IPL debutant and South African quick Gerald Coetzee, who took two wickets after joining the franchise for $602,000 in the auction last year.