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IPL 2023, GT vs KKR: Rinku Singh smashes 5 sixes in 5 balls in final over; KKR win

IPL 2023, Gujarat Titans (GT) vs Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), Top Performances: Rinku Singh's 48*, Vijay Shankar's 63* and Venkatesh Iyer-Nitish Rana's 100-run stand are top performances. KKR beat Gujarat Titans and move to 2nd place in points table.

IPL 2023, GT vs KKR, Top Performances_ KKR beat Gujarat titans and move to 2nd spot in the point table ; KKR beat GT _ Walking wicket (Images_ ©IPL_Twitter)
KKR beat GT and move to 2nd spot in the point table (Images: ©IPL/Twitter)

Brief Scores: KKR 207/7 (Iyer 83, Rinku 48, Rashid 3/37) beat GT 204/4 (Shankar 63*, Sudharsan 53, Narine 3/33) by 3 wickets.

Player of the Match: Rinku Singh (48 off 21)

The defending champions Gujarat Titans took on the Kolkata Knight Riders in the 1st game of Sunday’s doubleheader at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. While the home team is still unbeaten in the tournament after 2 games, KKR have won & lost a game each in this campaign.

It turned out to be the best game of the season as the Knight Riders won a humdinger in this high-scoring contest, courtesy of Rinku Singh.

KKR move to 2nd spot in points table with a thrilling win

On a typically hot afternoon at Ahmedabad, the home side skipper Rashid Khan won the toss and opted to bat first. Regular skipper Hardik Pandya sat out of the game due to an illness and his place was taken by Abhinav Manohar in the playing XI. KKR too made a couple of changes with Tim Southee leaving way for his fellow countrymen Lockie Ferguson and Narayan Jagadeesan making his KKR debut, with Mandeep Singh missing out.

The openers of GT Wriddhiman Saha and Shubman Gill were not at their usual free-flowing best but the arrival of in-form Sai Sudharsan saw momentum coming in the team’s way as they ended the powerplay at 54/1 with Saha back in the hut. The young duo of Gill and Sudharsan brought up the 50-run stand in 30 balls for the 2nd wicket with the former reaching 2000 IPL runs.

GT lost Gill and Manohar’s wicket in space of 11 balls but Sudharsan held one end up scoring his 2nd successive half-century of the season. At the time-out, GT were 144/4 in 16 overs with the TN duo of Vijay Shankar and Sudharsan batting at the crease. While the latter didn’t last long falling to Sunil Narine, Vijay Shankar took the initiative into his hands making 38 of the 45 runs GT scored in the last 2 overs. He ended up with an unbeaten 63 and propelled the score to 205/4.

IPL 2023, GT vs KKR, Top Performances_ Venkatesh Iyer-Nitish Rana added 100 runs for 3rd wicket; KKR beat GT _ Walking wicket (Images_ ©IPL_Twitter)
Iyer-Rana added 100 runs for 3rd wicket (Images: ©IPL/Twitter)

KKR chasing a daunting target lost their openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz for 15 and Narayan Jagadeesan for 6 inside the powerplays and Knight Riders managed to score only 43 in the first 6 overs. Just when the GT would have thought to run through the KKR’s misfiring middle-order skipper Rana joined forces along with Venkatesh Iyer to give them a tough fight.

Iyer reached his fifty off only 26 balls and the pair made 100 for the 3rd wicket in just 54 deliveries. Though Rana fell after making a useful 45, Iyer continued to score boundaries at will till he was snapped by Alzarri Joseph when on 83. His 43-ball knock kept the Knight Riders in the hunt.

But his wicket triggered a stunning collapse as Rashid Khan claimed a hat-trick in the very next over removing the dangerous trio of Andre Russell, Sunil Narine and Shardul Thakur. This diminished KKR’s hopes but then came the heroics of Rinku Singh who gave KKR an unlikely win. After being down and out when they needed 42 from the last 2. But Rinku smashed 6 sixes in space of 7 balls including 5 in the last over off Yash Dayal. This gave KKR an epic win and a strong momentum going deep into the season.

Talking Point: Russell’s form a cause of worry for KKR

The main talking point has to be the poor batting form of their main talisman Andre Russell. The hard-hitting batter scored a first-ball duck in the last game vs RCB and failed yet again in this match making just 1. With only 36 runs in 3 outings, KKR needs Russell to step up badly.

On the other Rinku Singh is having a dream tournament. His blistering 21-ball 48 has given KKR an emphatic win over the champions but in the last game as well, Rinku made 46 in a valuable partnership with Shardul. This should hold KKR in very good stead going forward.

Let’s scan the top three performances from the game between GT and KKR in IPL 2023.

IPL 2023, GT vs KKR, Top Performances_ Vijay Shankar scored 24-ball 62 against KKR; KKR beat GT _ Walking wicket (Images_ ©IPL_Twitter)
Vijay Shankar scored 24-ball 623 against KKR (Images: ©IPL/Twitter)

Vijay Shankar brings all his batting talent to the fore

If there is a cricketer who hasn’t played to his full potential in Indian cricket, it has to be the all-rounder from Tamil Nadu Vijay Shankar. Despite getting a lot of chances in the IPL, he squandered most of them but not in this particular game against KKR at home.

Coming ahead of David Miller after the fall of Abhinav Manohar’s wicket, Shankar was in his element from the start and gave good support to his state mate Sai Sudharsan who was in great tough. Just when GT had to accelerate to have a strong finish, Shankar stepped up the ante scoring 25 runs off pacer Lockie Ferguson in the penultimate over before smashing 3 consecutive sixes off Shardul Thakur in the last over. He ended with a stunning unbeaten score of 24-ball 63 with his half-century coming in just 21 balls.

Venkatesh Iyer and skipper Nitish Rana bring back KKR into contest

KKR skipper for the season Nitish Rana had a tough time in the first 2 games with the bat as did Venkatesh Iyer. But come this important game, the duo put on a show at Ahmedabad. Both the left-handers complemented each and took the attack to the opposition. Their stunning counterattack meant KKR brought up their 100 runs in 11 overs and the duo reached their 100-run stand in only 54 balls.

But Nitish Rana succumbed to the team’s cause almost immediately after making a fine 29-ball 45 that included 3 maximums.

Rinku Singh’s blitz gives KKR a morale-boosting victory

If at all there was a victory snatched from the jaws of defeat, it has to be this. KKR needed 50 runs off the last 4 with 6 wickets in hand but suddenly a hat-trick from Rashid Khan put breaks and only 8 runs came in the next 2 overs. With just 3 wickets in hand and 42 more runs needed, all thought it was a mere formality for GT from here on.

But Rinku Singh had other ideas as the left-hander smashed 6 sixes in his last 7 balls off Shami and Dayal (5 of them) to register a famous win for the Knight Riders. It has to go down as one of their finest wins in IPL and all credit to Rinku Singh.

Points Table Scenario & What’s Next

With this exciting finish, both GT (4th) and KKR (2nd) have 2 wins each from 3 games. While Gujarat travel to Mohali for their next on 13th April, KKR host Sunrisers the next day.

IPL 2023 Points Table

IPL 2023 Points Table
IPL 2023 Points Table

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