Shubman Gill’s century helps GT seal win and knock RCB out of IPL 2023 despite Virat Kohli’s heroics
A dazzling century from Shubman Gill overshadowed a Virat Kohli ton as the Gujarat Titans pocketed a 6-wicket win, knocking RCB out of IPL 2023 in front of a packed home support.
RCB went into the contest needing a win to qualify for the playoffs, but the Gujarat batsmen were too good on the day, chasing down the 198-run target with five balls to spare.
Gujarat skipper Hardik Pandya won the toss and opted to put RCB into bat first with rain a constant threat and conditions well suited for pacers. Despite a late start due to drizzles, RCB commenced their batting effort in rollicking fashion, with the opening pair of Faf du Plessis and Kohli putting together 67 runs for the first wicket.
Faf was the first to depart, caught at slip off Noor Ahmad for 28 and in walked Glenn Maxwell, who took on the spinner for a four and a six to get his innings off to a flier. However, in the very next over, Rashid Khan’s googly knocked back Maxwell’s middle stump, turning the cauldron of noise into a sudden hush.
Mahipal Lomror (1) fell soon after, post which Michael Bracewell joined Kohli out in the middle. The Kiwi southpaw provided some thrill with five fours to his name, but a mishit off a full toss saw him skying the ball up in the air, and the offering was pouched safely by Shami to send him back for 26.
Dinesh Karthik’s woeful run in IPL 2023 continued as he departed for a first-ball duck, and it was down to Kohli and new man in Anuj Rawat to handle the slog overs.
Kohli (61-ball 101) was in the mood throughout the innings, scoring almost one boundary every over and got to his century on the first ball of the 20th over, and with Rawat too smashing a four and a six off Mohit Sharma, RCB got to 197/5.
GT were rocked early in the chase with Wriddhiman Saha removed by a belter of a catch from Wayne Parnell off Mohammad Siraj’s bowling, but a 123-run partnership between Gill and Vijay Shankar paved no way for RCB to make further inroads.
The pair kept rotating strike and found boundaries with relative ease too, barely allowing the RCB bowlers to even sniff a chance of picking up a slew of wickets. However, once Shankar departed after a well-constructed 53, Sri Lankan big-hitter Dasun Shanaka followed him in the next over, giving RCB some much-needed hope.
With 34 needed off 18 balls, Siraj was carted for a six but came back strong two balls later to remove the dangerous David Miller (6), further fuelling RCB fans’ hopes.
However, Gill and new man in Rahul Tewatia collected 11 runs off Harshal Patel’s 19th over, before a no-ball that resulted in a free hit was carted for six by the GT opener which got him to a second consecutive ton.
Gill got to the landmark in just 51 balls, leaving the RCB fans and the players dumbstruck on how they lost grasp of the game entirely and were knocked out of the tournament.