Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) won the match by 3 wickets against Gujarat Titans (GT) at Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad
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Unbeaten Gujarat Titans (GT) were all set to take on the mysterious Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at their home turf Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad for match number 13 of IPL 2023. It was the first match of Sunday’s doubleheader, where Gujarat won the toss and chose to bat first. Titans have started the IPL 2023 tournament from where they left it the last season and haven’t looked back since. They would be looking to keep their winning momentum, however, Kolkata Knight Riders have also won their previous match by a significant margin, and they would like to keep it that way by being on the winning side.
Rashid Khan would be the stand-in skipper for today’s match as their original captain Hardik Pandya is down with the flu and Khan said that the management doesn’t want to take risks by letting him play. So, the Titans have made 3 changes in total, Vijay Shankar, Lockie Ferguson, and N Jagadeesan got the chance in playing 11, replacing Hardik Pandya, Tim Southee, and Mandeep Singh respectively.
In the first innings when the Kolkata Knight Riders were bowling, Lockie Ferguson set the pitch on fire with his fastest delivery of the IPL 2023 season (154.1 kph). Titans on the other hand were a little slow in the start but later it was paced up by Wriddhiman Saha. He was hitting Umesh Yadav and Lockie Ferguson for boundaries but when Sunil Narine came he made a mistake and lost his wicket to him.
Sunil Narine took a total of 3 wickets for the Knight Riders and Suyash Sharma took 1 wicket. Then came the other Titan Shubhman Gill who showcased his class. But the Titans who took the match away to the whole next level were Sai Sudharsan and Vijay Shankar, they played a very classy and sophisticated inning and got their half-centuries which helped the Gujarat Titans to put up grand total of 204 runs on the board. However, Sudharsan showcased his playing tactics earlier too but Vijay Shanker’s blinder was out of the syllabus for KKR.
The second innings started with the advent of the Impact player from the Titans where Josh Little was brought in to replace Sai Sudharsan, also KS Bharat was kept as a wicketkeeper; Saha was injured while batting. GT started off on a dominant note and drew the first blood of KKR early on. Rahmanullah Gurbaz had to go back, courtesy of Md Shami. Early wicket falls made KKR send in their Impact player and Venkatesh Iyer walked in to replace Suyash Sharma.
As soon as Venkatesh Iyer walked in he started the fireworks from his bat and jolted 83 runs from just 40 balls with a strike rate of 207.50. Iyer and Nitish Rana kept the boat afloat for KKR but were soon dismissed by Alzarri Joseph. Then Rashid Khan’s magic happened and he took the first ever hat-trick of the IPL 2023 season. This was indeed a special moment for the bowler and the team as he was also the stand-in Caption for today’s match wherein he showed that he was leading from the front.
Rashid dismissed Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, and Shardul Thakur, all big names from the KKR team, in one go which indeed turned the whole stadium upside down. Joseph took 2 wickets, and Shami and Little took 1-1 wicket each. Although the big names got dismissed early, Rinku Singh took the stadium by storm in the last over by hitting 5 sixes. And this made Kolkata Knight Riders end up being on the winning side.