Andre Russell was left fuming and Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Nitish Rana could nothing but stare blankly as Suyash Sharma squandered a massive chance to dismiss David Miller in their Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 encounter against Gujarat Titans on Saturday. The mistake came back to haunt the hosts as they were defeated by seven wickets. With the match precariously placed, Miller miscued a delivery from Russell and the ball went high up in the air. Suyash was able to take the perfect position but the youngster couldn’t hold on to the catch. Russell was expectedly frustrated by the blunder and Miller later played a massive role in guaranteeing GT’s victory at Eden Gardens.
— The Game Changer (@TheGame_26) April 29, 2023
It was sweet revenge for Titans, who lost their home game due to Rinku Singh’s heroics.
First it was the Titans pace duo of Mohammad Shami (3/33) and Josh Little (2/25) picked five wickets between them, while left-arm spinner Noor Ahmad (2/21) continued his fine run to restrict KKR to a below-par 179/7 after Hardik Pandya opted to bowl.
On a batting-friendly strip, Rahmanullah Gurbaz’s scintillating 39-ball 81 set the tempo, but KKR managed just 45 runs and lost three wickets in the final five overs to miss the 200-run mark.
In reply, GT raced to the target in 17.5 overs with Vijay Shankar remaining unbeaten on 51 off 24 balls (2×4, 5×6).
Defending the paltry totally, the home side had their moments when they dismissed a flawless Shubman Gill one run shy of fifty and almost had David Miller on 26.
But they made a harakiri of sorts as Miller’s skier, which would have been a straightforward catch by their wicketkeeper, which was attempted by Suyash Sharma from third man and he ended up grassing it.
GT at that time still needed 51 runs from 29 balls but it turned out to be a game-changing moment as Shankar and Miller (32 not out; 18b, 2×4, 2×6) sealed the issue in an unbroken 87-run unbroken partnership that came off 39 balls.
The win took GT to top spot in the table with 12 points from eight matches as they need to win two more matches to seal the playoff berth for a second time on the trot.
KKR on the other hand staring at early elimination after enduring their sixth defeat from nine matches as they now face must win all their remaining five matches.
(With PTI inputs)
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