IPL 2022, GT vs KKR, Top Performances: Russell's all-round blitz (4-5, 48) fruitless; GT back on top
Updated: Apr 24
IPL 2022, GT vs KKR, Top Performances: Andre Russell's (4-5, 48), Hardik Pandya's 67 and Rashid Khan's 2-22 are the top performances. GT beat KKR and move to top of the table.
Brief Scores: GT 156-9 (Hardik 67, Miller 27, Russell 4-5, Southee 3-24) beat KKR 148-8 (Russell 48, Rinku Singh 35, Shami 2-20, Rashid 2-22) by 8 runs
Player of the match: Rashid Khan for his match-turning spell of 2-22
Gujarat Titans (GT) skipper Hardik Pandya won the toss and went against this year’s pattern of chasing and opted to bat first against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at Dr DY Patil Sports Academy in Navi Mumbai. Given the heat and humidity and that it was an afternoon game, it seemed like a sensible decision by the GT management.
GT skipper Pandya, who missed the last game, was back for Gujarat Titans. He replaced all-rounder Vijay Shankar. For KKR, Tim Southee, Sam Billings and Rinku Singh replaced Aaron Finch, Pat Cummins and Sheldon Jackson. Having suffered three defeats in a row, two-time IPL winners Kolkata had slipped to the seventh position in the points table. Newbies Gujarat, on the other hand, have lost just one game so far in the 10-team tournament and they were perched on the second spot in the standings at the start of the game.
Gujarat edged out Kolkata, only just
Batting first, Gujarat Titans lost their in-form batter Shubman Gill to Tim Southee in the second over of the innings. The captain promoted himself to number three and started his counterattack along with Wriddhiman Saha. After the first powerplay, Gujarat were at 47-1, scoring just under eight runs per over.
Gujarat recovered brilliantly from 8-1 from the second over to 83-1 after the 10-over mark thanks to a crucial partnership of 75 runs between Hardik and Saha, with Hardik being the dominant one scoring 46 runs. Soon after the 10-over mark, Saha was dismissed for 25 and ‘Killer Miller’ along with Hardik were cruising at one stage with boundaries in every over and looked as if they will comfortably take Gujarat beyond 180 runs until Southee and Andre Russell applied the air brakes on Gujarat’s cruise ship. KKR who have the worst economy rate for pacers in death overs this year so far, leaking 13.62 runs per over, dismantled the cruising Gujarat Titans from 133-3 to 156-9 in the next 24 balls, thanks to smart bowling from Southee and a four-wicket 20th over by Russell.
KKR were off to a bad start in this run-chase, losing a wicket in the very first over. It went from bad to worse for KKR as they kept on losing wickets one after another and were reduced to 41-4 inside the first seven overs of the chase, thanks to some brilliant bowling from GT’s new ball bowlers, Mohammed Shami and Yash Dayal, which was complimented by some ordinary shot-making from KKR batters.
While two left handers, Venkatesh Iyer and Rinku Singh, tried to steady the sinking ship for KKR with a 45-run partnership for the fifth wicket, but the celebration was cut short by impressive Dayal, who was sharp on Saturday evening against KKR. The balance swung into GT’s favour with KKR at 99-6 after 14 overs. Knight Riders’ only hope of winning the match was lying in Russell’s hands who was taking the Gujarat bowlers to the cleaners with some clean hitting. The Jamaican’s innings again swung the match in KKR’s favour.
With 18 needed off the final over, Alzarri Joseph’s sharp bouncer was assisted by a screamer of a catch by Lockie Ferguson to dismiss Russell and also put the final nail in the coffin for KKR. The thriller between KKR and Gujarat was a thorough see-saw, with GT triumphing in the final over of the innings to go to 12 points and regain the top position in the points table. Let’s scan the top three performances from the game between GT and KKR, IPL 2022:
Kung fu Pandya scores hattrick of fifties
If there has been one captain who has been leading his side from the front, it has to be Gujarat captain Hardik Pandya who has contributed heavily with impactful performances with both bat and ball this season. Making a comeback after an injury, Hardik came into bat at number three, where he has failed terribly in the previous five innings in the IPL, with scores of 5, 9, 9, 2 and 10. But this time Hardik was up against KKR, against whom he had scored 299 runs in 13 matches at an unbelievable average and strike rate of 59.20 and 184.57, respectively, prior to this match. Hardik stamped his authority from the word go, nonchalantly dispatching Southee towards the backward point region for a boundary. Hardik took his time initially till the powerplays, scoring just 21 runs off the 17 deliveries faced. Pandya then took the responsibility upon himself to up the scoring rate by going after the inexperienced Shivam Mavi and the out-of-form mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy. GT captain first stitched a steady partnership of 75 runs with Saha, where he scored the bulk of runs (46) and then a quickfire 35-ball 50 run stand with Killer Miller.
Knocking a single off Sunil Narine, Pandya completed his third fifty in a row in this year’s IPL and it seemed pretty evident that captaincy is bringing the best out of the basher turned responsible Pandya version 2.0. GT skipper’s 49-ball 67 was completely risk-free with calculated shots which took the Titans from 8-1 to 138-3, which was the need of the hour for the Titans. By the time Pandya was dismissed, KKR bowlers looked exhausted, bowling under the 39-degree hot and humid conditions of Navi Mumbai.
Double-trouble from Dre Russ keeps KKR in the hunt
At the 16-over mark, GT were cruising at 132-2 and were all set to post a 180+ target for KKR which would have been difficult on this sticky wicket. KKR’s death over specialist Andre Russell, along with Tim Southee put a full stop to Titan’s run-flow. With Southee dismissing GT captain Hardik and vice-captain Rashid Khan in a span of four balls, the momentum shifted in KKR’s favour.
The real deal came when Andre Russell was brought on for his first over in the last over of the Gujarat innings. The score was 151-5 before the start of the 20th over. GT batters then collapsed like dominoes and were reduced to 156-9 by the time Russell finished his six balls. Russell utilized the long leg side boundary by digging it short and into the batter’s body and dismissed both Abhinav Manohar and Ferguson in similar fashion of consecutive deliveries.
The prolific all-rounder was denied a hattrick by Joseph but then went on to pick back-to-back wickets again off the final two deliveries, including a caught and bowled to dismiss Yash Dayal. Rinku Singh who was placed smartly at deep mid-wicket took three catches out of the four wickets that Russell picked in the last over. Russell ended with figures which looked like a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) - W W 1 4 W W.
Russell wasn’t done just yet, as when the match was almost done and dusted for KKR with them reeling at 79-5. Russell walked into bat and did what he does best, he wrecked carnage in typical Dre Russ style. With 78 runs needed off 54 balls, the big and hefty Andre bat swing deposited the ball into the crowd as he took the leather out of the white cricket ball with 6 humongous sixes and swung the match again in KKR’s favour.
Gujarat were attacking Russell with a barrage of short balls at his body and was even dismissed off a terrific bouncer from Dayal, which eventually turned out to be a no ball and made the match even more interesting. Russell was going all guns blazing after the no ball incident and was striking at 192. Being 7 wickets down and still needing over 14 runs per over, KKR were only in the game because of the Big Man – Dre Russ. Joseph finally managed to dismiss him with another short ball which was supported by a tremendous catch by Lockie Ferguson at fine leg.
Shami-Rashid bowling partnership wins it for Gujarat
Mohammed Shami dented the KKR chase with two wickets in two overs, dismissing both openers – Sam Billings and Narine. Shami bowled tight lines and lengths and troubled KKR batters with some sharp bouncers in between leveraging the long leg boundary. While Shami was breathing fire at one end, giving no room for error, the Afghanistan leggie Rashid Khan was bowling economically being wicketless until his second over in search of his 100th IPL wicket.
Coming into his third over, looking for a wicket, Rashid delivered when it mattered the most for Gujarat, breaking the crucial partnership between Venkatesh Iyer and Russell by dismissing the former through which he earned his much-awaited 100th IPL wicket. Rashid then brought smiles to the GT camp again as he dismissed Shivam Mavi of a classic Rashid fast wrong ‘un. Rashid and Shami not only bowled economically but also took crucial wickets whenever the match was swinging into KKR’s favour and gave no room whatsoever to the dangerous Russell to free his arms.
We often see batting partnerships winning it for the teams, but this time it was a bowling partnership between Rashid and Shami that helped GT bag the match in their kitty. While Rashid ended with figures of 4-0-22-2, Shami topped it up one better with figures of 4-0-20-2 and both gave around 5 runs per over, when the other bowlers where carted at over seven runs per over.
IPL 2022 Points Table
What’s to come
Lucknow Super Giants will take on the beleaguered Mumbai Indians at the latter’s home ground Wankhede Stadium on April 24 in the 36th game of IPL 2022.
Here are some of the top twitter reactions from GT vs KKR game, IPL 2022:
A very funny tweet from Wasim Jaffer on Hardik Pandya's all-round brilliance in GT vs KKR game.