Gujarat Beat Kolkata By 7 Wickets To Go Top Of The Table
Kolkata Knight Riders were off to a shaky start against Gujarat Titans, KKR lost Narayan Jagadeesan early after he scored 19 runs, KKR were 23/2 after 3 overs, Mohammed Shami got the all important first breakthrough and Shardul Thakur promoted to number 3 comes out to partner Rahmanullah Gurbaaz.
Gujarat Titans skipper Hardik Pandya won the toss and elected to bowl against Kolkata Knight Riders at Eden Gardens in the overcast conditions. Gujarat decided to play with an unchanged XI while KKR made two forced changes as Jason Roy and Umesh Yadav missed out due to back spasm and niggle respectively. Hardik Pandya’s Titans have been putting up a solid show with their title defence this season and played quality cricket thus far. They are one of the favourites to reach the playoffs stage once again. The smart tactics of Ashish Nehra continue to work for GT as they are playing collective cricket and are not relying on individual brilliances to get over the line.
Hardik has been inspiring as the skipper and he has been able to defend below-par scores and at the same time, they crossed the 200-run mark on a couple of occasions.
Meanwhile, the defeat against Kolkata Knight Riders earlier this season was a tough pill to swallow for Titans as Rinku Singh took the cricketing world by storm as he smashed 35 runs in the final over. Rinku instantly become the superstar but it was a big setback for the Titans, however, they managed to bounce back soon and are currently placed at the third spot on the points table.
Meanwhile, KKR managed to return to winning ways with a win over Royal Challengers Bangalore. They still have to win at least five from their remaining six matches to seal a playoff berth.
“In terms of batting unit, the message that has gone across is play fearless cricket. It’s about taking the game on. It’s something that we have discussed,” Foster said on the eve of their match against Gujarat Titans here.
“At times it does not always go according to plan, but it actually takes the pressure off. There isn’t any pressure on the guys.” Foster further said that they have gone on to reach the final from a similar position in 2021 when they had lost four in a row in the first phase before they bounced back in the UAE leg.
“We really enjoy the challenge, it’s an exciting opportunity. We have been in this situation before and we managed to make the final,” he said.
“Quite a lot of players are still with the side. We are going to come here with a lot of confidence in this game.” Asked about the areas to improve, he said: “Nothing specific, we need to tighten up a little bit.
“At times we are bowling really tightly, at times we are getting big scores together. “It’s about putting all together, just bit more consistently. There are a few standout performances,” he said.
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