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IPL 2023: Shankar, Gill power Titans to 7-wicket convincing win over Knights IPL
Vijay Shankar (L) and Shubman Gill (R) | Image Credit: UNI

IPL 2023: Shankar, Gill power Titans to 7-wicket convincing win over Knights

Souvik Ghosh/IBNS | @indiablooms | 29 Apr 2023, 09:48 pm

Kolkata/IBNS: Kolkata Knight Riders' oscillating journey in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 continued at the Eden Gardens with the hosts suffering a seven-wicket defeat battling Gujarat Titans on Saturday.

Ignoring the brief middle over upsets, Gujarat stormed into the winning score (180/3) in 17.5 overs, courtesy Vijay Shankar's explosive unbeaten 51 off 24 balls towards the end.

Shankar was supported by South African star cricketer David Miller, who stayed on the crease until the win was sealed scoring 32 off 18 balls.

The mission to chase down the target set by Kolkata in the evening was well on track in the powerplay with in-form Shubman Gill, who went out to bat alongside local man Wriddhiman Saha, charging the hosts.

Though Saha could only add 10 off 10 balls until he was sent back to the dugout by birthday boy Andre Russell in the fifth over, Gill partnered his skipper Hardik Pandya to deny any room for Kolkata to smell a return to the match.

Gill (49 off 35 balls) and Pandya (26 off 20 balls) stitched an important 50-run second-wicket partnership to consolidate Gujarat's good start until they were both dismissed in quick succession.

After Pandya was dismissed LBW by strike bowler Harshit Rana in the 11th over, Gill, who was poised to score big, was caught in the deep by Russell off his Windies colleague Sunil Narine in the following over.

When Kolkata found an ample scope to choke Gujarat, the hosts' plans were disrupted by Shankar and Miller who dampened the hope of the Kolkata supporters, who turned out in huge numbers at the Eden Gardens in purple jersey to watch the weekend match that had a delayed start due to rains.

After being sent out to bat first by Gujarat, Kolkata kept the run-rate upscale throughout the powerplay adding 61/2 in six overs.

Afghan batter Rahmanullah Gurbaz, who provided Kolkata a dream start, slammed 81 off just 39 balls despite not much support from the other end.

Gurbaz, who saw the return of players from the opposite end to the dugout at regular intervals, hit five fours and seven sixes until he was caught in the boundary line by Rashid Khan off Noor Ahmad in the 16th over.

Gurbaz's dismissal could have hurt Kolkata's run flow but that was thwarted by Russell, who slammed 34 off 19 balls on a day new batting sensation Rinku Singh fell flat.

Russell, who was neutralised by Gujarat's pace bowling leader Mohammed Shami (3/33 in 4 overs), slammed two fours and three shots worth half-a-dozen runs to help Kolkata reach 179/7  in 20 overs.

Brief Score

Kolkata Knight Riders: 179/7 in 20 overs (Gurbaz 81, Russell 34; Shami 3/33, Noor Ahmad 2/21)
Gujarat Titans: 180/3 in 17.5 overs (Shankar 51*, Gill 49; Narine 1/24, Harshit 1/25)

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