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IPL 2023, RCB vs GT: Gill's ton overpowers Kohli's century; MI qualify, title remain elusive for RCB

IPL 2023, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) vs Gujarat Titans (GT): Virat Kohli’s 101 off 61, Shubman Gill’s 104 and Rashid Khan-Noor Ahmed's combined 3-63 are top performances. Gujarat Titans beat RCB by 6 wickets. Mumbai Indians qualify for playoffs.

IPL 2023, RCB vs GT, Top Performances: Shubman Gill's 104 off 52 blow away RCB; GT beat RCB_ Walking wicket (Images_ ©IPL_Twitter)
Gill's 104 off 52 blows away RCB; GT beat RCB (Images: ©IPL/Twitter)

Brief Scores: RCB 197-5 (Kohli 101*, Bracewell 26; Noor 2-39) beat GT 198-4 (Gill 104*, Shankar 53; Siraj 2-32) by 6 wickets.

Player Of The Match: Shubman Gill (104 runs off 52)

As the hands were folded in despair waiting for the rain gods to stop the showering in Bengaluru as the final clash of the league stage was underway between Gujarat Titans and Royal Challengers Bangalore after a delayed start. A win in the previous game between Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad meant a do-or-die game for RCB to make it into the playoffs. Hardik Pandya won the toss and elected to bowl first against RCB. RCB dropped Karn Sharma from Subs and Himanshu Sharma replaced him while GT went ahead with the same team.

Gujrat's Splendid Win Takes Away The Playoff Hopes From Bangalore

In this crucial encounter, RCB had a brilliant opening partnership as both Faf Du Plessis and Virat Kohli began in sixth gear directly as they ended the powerplay with 62-0 on the board. Scoring at over 10 runs per over, RCB looked like they would end up with anything above 200, however the next nine overs, GT pulled back things. Especially Rashid Khan and Noor Ahmad brought GT back into the game as RCB lost five wickets for just 74 runs in the next nine overs. Kohli scored consecutive century and his 101* was the lone warrior for RCB scoring >50% of the team’s total runs with cameos from Bracewell and Rawat. This was also Kohli’s third consecutive fifty+ innings against GT (101*, 73, 58) as RCB reached 197-5 at the end of 20 overs.

GT didn’t have the best of starts with Saha back in the hut with just 25 runs on the board for GT. Then came the partnership of the league stages. 123 runs for the 2nd wicket between Shubman Gill and the impact player, Vijay Shankar change the momentum of the game. The balance of the game took a major u-turn and even though RCB could dismiss Shankar and Miller, Gill was standing tall at the other end and ensured his calmness and counter-attacking gameplay helped GT cross the line as they chased 198 runs with five balls to spare. GT had chased nothing above 196 and Gill did it in style for them with a six.

Talking Points: The Team Choice Makes The Difference

RCB gambled with a debutant Himanshu Sharma in a knock-out game and it backfired as the youngster went wicketless in his three overs giving 28. As always, Gujarat had a new match winner for them this time as well but a similar face in the name of Shubhman Gill who was the backbone of this run-chase for GT. The bowling partnership of Rashid-Noor was the biggest positive for Gujarat leading into the playoffs.

Top three performances from RCB vs GT

IPL 2023, RCB vs GT, Top Performances_ Virat Kohli scored his 7th IPL century (101 off 61); GT beat RCB_ Walking wicket (Images_ ©IPL_Twitter)
Virat Kohli scored his 7th IPL century (101 off 61) (Images: ©IPL/Twitter)
Virat the Run-Machine Kohli steps up on big occasion – Creates history with 7th IPL Century

Virat Kohli was off the mark again in this innings with a four and he looked full of intent from the word go. It looked like Kohli wasn’t over the century two days ago as he continued belting the GT bowlers where he left off the SRH bowlers. Kohli gave respect to the two most difficult bowlers on this pitch, Rashid Khan and Noor Ahmad, otherwise was on a rampage against the rest of the GT bowlers. In the 67 runs stand for the opening wicket, Kohli had scored 38 runs dominating the partnership. A flurry of wickets at the other end resulted in Kohli merging the innings as he brought up his half-century in 35 deliveries.

After slowing down a bit in the middle overs, he focused on singles and doubles when the boundaries were difficult to come by. However, how long can you contain a player like Kohli? It was just a matter of time, before Kohli unleashed and punished Yash Dayal and Mohit Sharma to bring up his 7th IPL century. His acceleration was brilliant to see as he brought his second fifty in just 25 deliveries. With this century, Kohli became the first player in IPL history to score 7 IPL centuries and joined Shikhar Dhawan and Jos Buttler to become the only players to score back-to-back IPL centuries. Kohli’s century also ensured he breached the 600+ runs mark for the third time in his IPL career (2013, 2016 & 2023*)

Gill-Shankar Partnership anchors GT’s innings

After losing Saha inside the first three overs GT were 25-1 when Shankar was swapped as the impact player for Yash Dayal. While Shubhman Gill was as positive and timed the ball as sweetly as he could, Shankar took his time initially. At the nine-over mark, GT were at 84-1 with Gill being the aggressor with 20 balls 40 runs and Shankar playing run a ball with 21 off just 20. In the next six overs, GT scored 64 to end the 14th over with 134 runs on the board – Courtesy a counterattack by Shubman gill on the spinners and Shankar attacking Vyashak for 14 runs in the 15th over to change the momentum into GT’s favor.

The duo took GT from 25 to 1 to 148-2 and their 123 runs partnership for the second wicket brought life back to the match and stole the breath of RCB supporters. Once Shankar was dismissed, Gill almost took the onus upon himself and did the impossible, changing gears to nitro mode and winning the game for GT with a fabulous 104* chasing the game. If Kohli can do it, Gill can do it better, two centuries in the same game, two back-to-back centuries for Shubhman Gill too, and became the fourth player to do so.

IPL 2023, RR vs GT, Top Performances_ Rashid Khan took 3-14 against Rajasthan Royals; GT beat RR _ Walking wicket (Images_ ©IPL_Twitter)
Rashid Khan took 1-24 against RCB (Images: ©IPL/Twitter)
The Afghanistan wrist spin duo of Noor-Rashid breaks RCB’s batting order

When RCB were going all guns blazing, Noor Ahmad produced an important dismissal with Faf being caught at second slip when the ball bounced of the boot of the wicketkeeper. Maxwell who was had always underperformed against Rashid Khan with a strike rate of just 113.69 was dismissed yet again to him for the second in 73 deliveries versus Rashid as Rashid produced an absolute Rashid wrong’un and clean bowled Glenn Maxwell who didn’t read him at all.

Noor Ahmad then went to outfox Mahipal Lomror down the legside and was stumped. Between overs 8 to 10, RCB lost three wickets in three overs all to the Afghanistan wrist spinner to which RCB batters had no answers too. The duo bowled eight overs between them for 63 runs and picked three important wickets in the middle overs.

Points Table Scenario & What's Next

With this, after almost about 2 months, IPL 2023 finally have their top four teams for the play-offs. Gujarat Titans, Chennai Super Kings, Lucknow Super Giants and Mumbai Indians became the top four. Gujarat Titans will take on Chennai Super Kings at the M.A Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai in the 1st Qualifier on 23rd May 7:30 PM.

IPL 2023 Points Table
IPL 2023 Points Table
IPL 2023 Points Table

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