Hardik Pandya’s defeated Kolkata Knight Riders in a low scoring thriller at the DY Patil Sports Academy to register their seventh win of the ongoing Indian Premier League season. KKR’s form continued to dip, while Gujarat more or less sealed their place in the playoffs
GT won the toss and chose to bat, an incredibly rare event this season, as captains have generally chosen to chase keeping the dew factor in mind. The in-form Shubman Gill was dismissed early, as Kiwi veteran Tim Southee struck with what was a rather loose delivery. Pandya was at his best, playing an incredibly mature innings of 67, after walking in during a tricky situation for the Titans.
Saha headed back to the pavilion in the eleventh over, after failing to capitalise on a good start, before David Miller and Pandya pulled into top gear. The duo struck quite a few boundaries as the Titans looked set for a big score. However, Miller and Pandya were both dismissed in the 18th over, triggering a massive collapse. Andre Russell bowled a historic final over, picking up four wickets to restrict the Titans to 156/9.
The Knight Riders’ innings never got going after they lost four wickets in the first six overs. The experiment to have Sam Billings and Sunil Narine failed miserably before Nitish Rana and skipper Iyer’s wickets also bit the dust. Rinku Singh and Venkatesh Iyer tried to rescue the Kolkata innings and were moderately successful before both of them were dismissed in the most crucial time, bringing in Russell.
The West India international kept Kolkata in the game till the very end. He smashed a boundary and five sixes when the Knight Riders needed 18 off the last delivery. A six off the first delivery increased their hopes, but not for long. A well-directed bouncer from Alzarri Joseph got rid of the big man, as Gujarat returned to the top of the table and all but confirmed their place in the playoffs with their seventh win of the tournament.
Gujarat Titans 156/7 (Pandya 67; Miller 27; Russell 4/5) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 148/8 (Russell 48; Rinku Singh 35; Shami 2/20) by eight runs