Gujarat Titans deny Royal Challengers Bangalore a spot in the playoffs with a thumping run-chase

Gujarat Titans recorded a six-wicket win over Gujarat Titans

Hardik Pandya helped his team former team Mumbai Indians reach the second of the 16th season of the Indian Premier League as Gujarat Titans defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore by six wickets. It was an easy win for the defending champions as they ended the league round on a good note with five balls to spare. 

Despite making good efforts, Royal Challengers Bangalore was knocked out of the playoff race in the 2023 edition of the Indian Premier League on Sunday in the last league match of the season. The M.Chinnaswamy Stadium witnessed two centuries, one by Virat Kohli and the other by Shubman Gill and it would not be wrong to say that the Prince managed to upstage the King.

The visiting skipper Hardik was the one to win the toss and he elected to bowl first at a relatively flatter surface of the M.Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. There were a lot of hopes pinned on the opening pair of Virat Kohli and Faf du Plessis and they looked good in the beginning. The duo put up an opening stand of 67 runs in 7 overs. However, du Plessis was cleaned by Noor Ahmed on the very first ball of the eighth over when he was playing at a score of 28 runs off 19 balls.

The hard-hitter Glenn Maxwell also failed to do his magic in the do-or-die match for the Royal Challengers as he walked back to the pavilion after scoring only 11 runs off five balls. Mahipal Lomror also failed to do justice to his place in the team as he faced only three balls and added one run before being dismissed by Noor.

Michael Bracewell started on a good note but perished in the 14th over after scoring 26 runs off 16 balls as he fell prey to the veteran Indian seamer Mohammed Shami. Dinesh Karthik continued his poor form in the last league match of the season as well by bagging a golden duck. This time, the wicketkeeper-batter gifted his wicket to Yash Dayal.

Virat Kohli recorded a second-consecutive hundred in IPL 2023

While the wickets kept falling at one hand, there was one batter who kept Bangalore there in the race by consistently scoring runs. It was Virat Kohli who played a vintage knock to take his franchise to a score of 197 runs in the allotted 20 overs. The opening batter remained not out and broke a lot of personal records as well by recording his seventh hundred in the Indian Premier League. 

Virat scored a total of 101 runs in the middle with the help of 13 boundaries and one maximum after facing 61 balls. He found an ally in the form of Anuj Rawat at the end of the first innings as the youngster hit a four and six each to score 23 runs off 15 balls.

Chasing the target in the second innings, Gujarat Titans had a turbulent start. They lost their opening batter Wriddhiman Saha in the third over at a score of only 12 runs. However, the team had nothing to worry about as the other opening batter Shubman Gill and the number three player Vijay Shankar stitched a crucial partnership of 123 after playing almost 12 overs together.

Shankar looked like a reinvented figure in the middle of the crease since his infamous failure to shine at the 2019 ICC ODI World Cup in England. The all-rounder allowed Gill to open his arms in the initial phase of the innings whilst bursting into flames during the latter part of his innings ending with 53 runs off 35 balls.

On the last ball of the 15th over, Vijaykumar Vyshak gave the much-needed breakthrough to the hosts by dismissing Shankar. However, it was too late as Gill was already set in the middle and he left no stone unturned to take his team to victory in their last league match.

The young opener also smacked an unbeaten century as the 23-year-old hammered 104 runs including five boundaries and eight maximums off 52 balls. As far as other GT batters are concerned, Dasun Shanaka lost his wicket to Harshal Patel and bagged a three-ball duck while David Miller was also unimpressive with a knock of six runs off seven balls. 

With a six-wicket win, Gujarat Titans ensured qualification for Mumbai Indians for the playoffs. With only 14 points, RCB slipped to sixth place while Mumbai won their game against Sunrisers Hyderabad earlier in the day by eight wickets to set up a clash with Lucknow Supergiants.