Gujarat Titans Vs Kolkata Knight Riders: Hardik Pandya chose to bat first against Kolkata Knight Riders under sunny skies, and despite a tough start and a seesaw finish, Gujarat Titans earned the two points they needed to reclaim their standing atop the IPL 2022 points table.
Titans needed early Knight Riders wickets after setting up 156, which seemed to be approximately 20 too few at the midway stage.
Despite Andre Russell’s late 25-ball 48, the Titans won by eight runs thanks to Mohammed Shami, Yash Dayal, and Lockie Ferguson’s four wickets in 6.1 overs.
Russell’s six sixes had taken Knight Riders to a situation where they required 18 runs off the final over, with Russell on strike to Alzarri Joseph. When he smacked a six off the first pitch, the Knight Riders had a chance to win.
Russell was sent back after a magnificent Ferguson catch at the deep square-leg boundary off a Joseph bouncer he couldn’t connect with, effectively ending the Knight Riders’ challenge.
Southee & Hardik impressed
Tim Southee was one of the Knight Riders’ three substitutions for the game, replacing the expensive Pat Cummins. In the second over, Shubman Gill edged a loosener down the leg side behind, and he struck with his first ball. Wriddhiman Saha struggled to find his rhythm as Hardik Pandya went in at No. 3, the highest position he had ever batted for the Titans.
Hardik Pandya led the charge from end to end in half-century stands with No. 4 David Miller, reaching his half-century in 36 balls and completing a hat-trick of fifty in the process, and appearing ready to alter gears for a grand flourish at the death. In the 18th over, he did, however, tumble.
In his return spell, Southee dismissed Hardik by delivering an off-cutter that Hardik dragged to the boundary rider Rinku Singh. Not long after, Rashid Khan was caught attempting to pull Southee as well, and the fast was completed with 3 for 24.
Varun Chakravarthy had better stats (one for 26 in three overs) than he had in previous games, but Shreyas Iyer did not select him for his fourth over. Instead, Shreyas turned to Russell with the Titans on 151 for 5 and the 20th to bowl.
Titans Bowler in a Row
Sam Billings opened with Sunil Narine, who replaced Aaron Finch [out with a niggle] as the fourth opening partnership for Knight Riders in IPL 2022. With his new-ball explosion, Shami, on the other hand, eliminated both openers.
Thanks to Shami’s bouncer, Billings only lasted four balls before slicing a catch to Saha in the first over of the chase.
Narine was terrified by a barrage of short-pitched deliveries, and when Shami offered him a length ball, he could only whip it to the fielder at short fine-leg.
The scoreboard read 34 for 4 when Ferguson’s around-the-wicket angle put Nitish Rana behind, and Knight Riders were looking at a hefty loss. The fourth man out, Shreyas Iyer, was caught behind once more, this time off Dayal’s left-arm angle, and the scoreboard read 34 for 4.
Rinku and Russell are on row
Venkatesh Iyer entered at No. 6, and they began to form a partnership in Rinku’s firm. Rashid’s opening spell was attentively watched, and Rinku found the odd boundary to reach 35 with four fours and a six.
Knight Riders needed 77 runs with eight overs to go, but Dayal had Rinku caught behind in his return spell, which was completely against the run of play. Russell was assigned to No. 7 and began by ending Dayal’s over with back-to-back sixes.
With 45 needed off four overs, the Titans had four-seamers, each with one over in hand. Hardik chose experience first, giving Shami the 16th and Ferguson the 17th innings, for a total of 16 runs. Dayal’s 19th went for 11 runs, and Joseph’s first ball of the 20th was a six, but Russell’s dismissal of the next ball meant Hardik’s toss decision delivered them the result they wanted.
Source: Hindustan Times