Gujarat Titans record third consecutive win in IPL 2023 with a win against Kolkata Knight Riders
This was the second time that the two teams collided in IPL 2023 and Hardik Pandya & Men were successful in taking revenge for their previous loss. The seven-wicket victory has pushed the Titans to the top of the table while the Knight Riders languish in seventh place.
The high-profile battle of cricket between the Kolkata Knight Riders and Gujarat Titans kick-started with the visitors winning the toss and opting to bowl first. It was a good decision by the skipper Hardik Pandya as the GT bowlers were successful in restricting the Knight Riders to a score of 179 runs in the allotted 20 overs.
The wicketkeeper-batter Rahmanullah Gurbaz started the innings for the host team alongside N Jagadeesan. The opening duo was expected to make the most out of the batting-friendly conditions, but Jagadeesan ended up giving his wicket to the seamer Mohammed Shami in the penultimate ball of the third over. He walked back to the pavilion after scoring only 19 runs off 15 balls.
Following the first dismissal, the skipper Nitish Rana and KKR management tried to do something extraordinary as Shardul Thakur came to bat at number three. The move did not reap good results for the franchise as the seam all-rounder bagged a four-ball duck.
Venkatesh Iyer also failed to work his charm as he has dismissed for 11 runs. It was Shami who gave the second breakthrough in the form of Thakur while Joshua Little picked the crucial wicket of KKR’s top run-scorer in the league, Iyer.
Then came in the middle, the skipper Nitish Rana to bat at number five. It was a bad day at the office for the captain as well as has sent back to the pavilion by Little. While the wickets kept falling at one end, Gurbaz continued scoring runs from the other side to keep the scoreboard running.
His fight in the middle finally ended in the 16th over as Noor Ahmed took his third wicket and put an end to Gurbaz’s brilliant knock of 81 runs off 39 balls. After the wicket-keeper batter, Andre Russell was the one who showcased his batting mettle. The Caribbean powerhouse hammered 34 runs off 19 balls to help KKR achieve a score of 179 runs.
Meanwhile, the standout performer of KKR in IPL 2023, Rinku Singh, could not do much against the Titans, as he scored only 19 runs off 20 balls before being dismissed by Ahmad. Notably, on the last ball of the first innings, Shami took the most important wicket of Russell to complete his three-wicket haul.
Chasing the score, Gujarat Titans also witnessed a similar fate as the Kolkata Knight Riders with their opening pair. The wicketkeeper-batter Wriddhiman Saha lost his wicket on the first ball of the fifth over, after adding ten runs to the scoreboard and facing as many balls. Meanwhile, the other opening player, Shubman Gill, dished out a headline performance by smacking 49 runs off 35 balls.
The skipper Hardik Pandya also made a good contribution by playing a knock of 26 runs off 20 balls. The all-rounder Andre Russell was the one who picked the first wicket for the Knight Riders by sending Saha back to the pavilion while Harshit Rana dismissed Pandya. It was another West Indies player, Sunil Narine, who took the crucial wicket of Gill.
As far as Gujarat Titans batters are concerned, Vijay Shankar was the one who delivered a match-defining performance. He steered the defending champions to the win by hammering 51 runs off just 24 balls. The Indian all-rounder found an ally in South Africa’s David Miller as the 33-year-old smacked 32 runs after facing only 18 balls.
The unbeaten partnership of 87 runs between Shankar and Miller helped the Titans in reaching a win in only 17.5 overs and with seven wickets in hand. Though the batters had a great role in taking the team to victory, it was Little who took home the Player of the Match award. It was the third consecutive victory for GT and took them to the top of the table.
The Titans next face bottom-ranked Delhi Capitals at home on Tuesday while Rana’s men will enjoy a brief break before facing Sunrisers Hyderabad.