The IPL 2023 match between the Gujarat Titans (GT) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad was wonderfully devastating and awesomely dramatic. The final moments of KKR’s 205-run chase were at once cathartic and gut-wrenching.
Needing 29 to win off the last over, Rinku Singh got stuck into a hapless Yash Dayal and hit five consecutive sixes to seal a memorable three-wicket win for KKR. Dayal crumbled under pressure and dished out full tosses and short balls, which Rinku had no trouble depositing into the stands to leave the Titans dazed and bewildered.
Venkatesh Iyer’s breathtaking 40-ball 83 had brought the equation down to 50 off 24 for KKR. Rashid Khan, leading in the absence of Hardik Pandya, had gone for 35 in his first three overs without any success. But with Andre Russell at the crease, a batter he has got out four times in 38 balls in all T20 cricket with an average of 13.50, Rashid came on and claimed the first hat-trick of this IPL to reduce KKR to 155/7. Russell was the first to go, caught behind upon review. Sunil Narine and Shardul Thakur were caught and adjudged lbw off the next two balls as KKR’s spirited riposte threatened to fizzle into a meek surrender. But Rinku had other plans.
Earlier, Mohammad Shami and Josh Little – GT’s Impact Player – removed Rahmanullah Gurbaz and N. Jagadeesan to leave KKR two down for 28 in four overs. But Impact Player Iyer and captain Nitish Rana kept the Knight Riders alive with impressive boundary-hitting. While Iyer fed on Dayal’s short balls and hit him for a four and six in the seventh over, Rana punished similar lengths from Alzarri Joseph for two sixes.
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