Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Nitish Rana was extremely critical of his side and he lamented the lack of partnerships during the loss against Gujarat Titans in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 on Saturday. Rahmanullah Gurbaz was in sparkling form with an explosive 81 but the other batters were unable to play big knocks and as a result, KKR fell 10-20 runs short of a competitive total. Rana said that his side was ‘sloppy’ and pointed out that they will have to “do well in these little moments”.
“I think we were 20-25 runs short, up against top teams, we can’t be this sloppy with the bat. We didn’t get partnerships developing, other than Gurbaz and Russell, no one else, including me, scored. If we got a good partnership in the middle overs, we could have done better. In crucial games and against top oppositions, you need to do all the basics well in all the three departments of the game. The batting was ok today, but we didn’t bowl well. Need to do well in the small moments, bowl according to the plan and do the basics well,” Rana said at the post-match press conference.
Put to bat first by GT, KKR put up a competitive total of 179/7 in their 20 overs. Wickets kept falling for KKR, but Rahmanullah Gurbaz kept the other end steady with an explosive knock of 81 runs in 39 balls, which consisted of five fours and seven sixes. At the end, an entertaining cameo from Andre Russell (34 off 19 balls, with two fours and three sixes) pushed KKR to a competitive score.
Mohammed Shami was the pick of the bowlers for GT, taking 3/33 in his four overs. Joshua Little (2/25) and Noor Ahmed (2/21) also delivered economical four-over spells.
However, it was an off day for Rashid as he gave away 54 runs in four overs without any wickets, with an economy rate of 13.50.
In the chase of 180, Shubman Gil started really well. He played a knock of 49 in 35 balls, consisting of eight fours. He was supported well by skipper Hardik Pandya, who scored 26 off 20 balls, with two fours and a six and put on a 50-run stand for the second wicket. After they both were dismissed, GT was reduced to 93/3 in 11.2 overs.
The duo of Vijay Shankar (51* in 24 balls, with two fours and five sixes) and David Miller (32* in 18 balls with two fours and two sixes) helped GT seal a seven-wicket win with 13 balls to go.
Sunil Narine, Harshit Rana and Andre Russell got a wicket each.
Joshua Little was named as the ‘Player of the Match’ for his spell of 2/25.
With this win, GT are the new table-toppers with 12 points, having won six matches out of eight. KKR are at the seventh position with three wins and six losses.
(With ANI inputs)
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