In the ongoing IPL, Gujarat Titans constantly find a way to win. If David Miller and Rashid Khan took them out of a hole against Chennai Super Kings in their last match, it was disciplined bowling that saw them defend a sub-par score of 156/9 and beat Kolkata Knight Riders by eight points at DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai on Saturday.
HOW IT HAPPENED | SCORECARD | POINT CHART
While the win kept GT firmly on course for a playoff spot, KKR was left searching for answers to get their campaign back on track.
Head coach Brendon McCullum made a number of changes – both to the KKR playing XI and also to the batting order – but an inept hitting display cost them a game they should have won after that their bowlers gave them a reasonable chance.
In photos, IPL 2022 Match 35: Hardik Pandya and bowlers help Gujarat Titans reclaim top spot
Hardik Pandya’s Gujarat Titans survived a late onslaught by Kolkata Knight Riders big hitter Andre Russell to win by eight runs and move back to the top of the IPL standings on Saturday. (Photo BCCI/IPL)
KKR’s innings never started as they lost wickets at regular intervals to eventually end up with 144/8. Indian pacer Mohammed Shami provided the Titans with the perfect start by picking up openers Sam Billings, replacing Aaron Finch and Sunil Narine in his opening two overs.
After Lockie Ferguson fired Nitish Rana in his first review after review, Yash Dayal picked up key man Shreyas Iyer, with the KKR skipper edging the left-arm playmaker for delivery to wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha.
Dayal came back to break the 45 run fifth wicket position between Rinku Singh and Venkatesh Iyer by having the former caught by Saha in the 13th. Things would have been over for KKR had Dayal not overstepped the delivery in which he took Andrew Russell in the same over.
However, it could have been the game for the West Indians had he managed to bring the team home after becoming the first bowler in the IPL to choose four wickets in a period of one. Of course, he owes a lot of his success to Rinku who he promised dinner as the latter took three catches in the final round of the innings by Russell. Coming in place of Sheldon Jackson, Rinku ended up taking four catches.
Russell kept KKR in the game until the end when they needed 18 points for the win. Russell got a six on Alzarri Joseph’s first ball but fell on the next delivery for an encore as Ferguson took a well-judged catch.
On a pitch where the ball grabbed a bit, the GT hitters struggled to get the big hits after becoming the first team this season to choose to strike first in winning the coin toss.
It was their skipper Hardik Pandya who once again led the way. Rising higher in the order at No. 3 for the first time this season, he led the foundation after Miller and Rashid Khan failed to start.
Pandya, still struggling with injury, earned her third straight fifty before falling for a 67-49 ball. GT, who got 78 runs in the first 10 overs, caved by getting the same number of runs but losing eight wickets in their last 10 overs.
But in the end, they managed to have the last laugh.
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