Gujarat Survive Russell Scare To Pip Kolkata In Cliffhanger

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By: Navneet Mundhra
Updated: 23 April, 2022 7:44 pm IST

MUMBAI: Gujarat Titans on Saturday pipped Kolkata Knight Riders by 8 runs in the 35th match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 to register their sixth victory of the tournament. They are now at the top of the Points Table.

Gujarat captain Hardik Pandya won the toss and opted to bat first. But the opener Shubman Gill was dismissed in the second over as he tried to glance Tim Southee’s ball, which was drifting towards the leg side but was caught by the wicketkeeper. Pandya looked in cracking touch as he crunched Southee for a four through a point and then drove him over covers for another boundary.

Wriddhiman Saha was slightly restrained early on but later pulled pacer Umesh Yadav for a six and a four in the same over. Pandya clubbed the off-spinner Varun Chakaravarthy’s first ball over deep extra-cover for his first six and kept the scoreboard ticking.

In the 11th over, Saha tried to improvise but was caught at short third man off Yadav’s bowling. He made 25 off 25 balls and composed a 75-run partnership for the second wicket with Pandya.

David Miller started off in a streaky fashion and was lucky a couple of times. Once, the fielder caught him at long-off but couldn’t maintain his balance and went over the boundary line. In the same over, Narine induced an edge but the ball went over the first slip for a boundary. Later, Miller tonked Narine for a six over long-on.

Pandya continued to bat sensibly and brought up his fifty by punching Narine to long-on for a single. However, Miller and Pandya fell in quick succession which derailed Gujarat’s innings in death overs. Pandya was held out at deep square-leg for 67 runs in the 18th over. Southee bowled with appreciable control and chalked up three crucial wickets.

In the last over of the innings, Andre Russell snapped up four wickets – Abhinav Manohar, Lockie Ferguson, Rahul Tewatia, and Yash Dayal – to restrict Gujarat to 156-9 in 20 overs.

Chasing 157, Kolkata got off to an awful start as Mohammad Shami removed the openers – Sam Billings and Sunil Narine – in consecutive overs. Billings tried to hook Shami but got a top edge and the catch was easily pouched by Saha. Narine was also dismissed in a similar fashion. Nitish Rana was caught behind off Lockie Ferguson’s delivery which jagged back sharply and took a thin inside-edge. Captain Shreyas perished soon and Kolkata were reeling at 34-4.

Left-handers Rinku Singh and Venkatesh Iyer steadied the innings by adding 35 runs. Rinku, in particular, batted with exuberance and unsheathed a few attractive shots, including a whip for a six over fine leg. Yash Dayal broke the partnership as Rinku came down the track to smash the ball over mid-wicket but only managed an inside edge which was neatly caught by Saha.

Iyer was caught brilliantly by Abhinav Manohar off the leg-spinner Rashid Khan for 17. In his next over Rashid cleaned up Shivam Mavi to put Gujarat on top.

However, Russell – who had picked up four wickets in an over looked completely unfazed by the crisis and went berserk. He started by smoking Dayal for consecutive sixes in the 13th over. He then unfurled an upper-cut to send Shami into the stands and also smote Ferguson for a six.

Kolkata needed 18 runs off the last over and Russell clouted Alzarri Joseph for a six off the first ball but was dismissed on the next ball as Ferguson pulled off a stunning catch. Russell made 48 off just 25 balls.

In the end, Kolkata managed 148-8 in 20 overs and lost the match by 8 runs.

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