Andre Russell (4/5) and Tim Southee (3/24) picked seven wickets between themselves as Kolkata Knight Riders restricted Gujarat Titans to 156/9 in match 35 of IPL 2022 at the DY Patil Stadium on Saturday.
For Gujarat, it was a sensational crash in the death overs phase after captain Hardik Pandya elected to bat first, making it the first time a team went for batting first in the tournament.
Pandya, who missed last match against Chennai Super Kings due to groin injury, marked his return to the playing eleven with a 49-ball 67, his third successive fifty in IPL 2022. But Gujarat completely lost their way in the final five overs, losing seven wickets for just 29 runs, allowing Kolkata to make a brilliant comeback.
Southee provided the first breakthrough for Kolkata on his first ball in the second over. The right-arm pacer sent a ball angled down leg-stump which Shubman Gill (7) nicked behind to wicketkeeper.
Pandya promoted himself to three from his usual number four position and the decision began to pay off when he smacked Southee for back-to-back fours in the off-side. He got ample support from Wriddhiman Saha, who crunched Umesh Yadav for a six and four through the leg side.
Post power-play, Pandya continued to be the aggressor, ramping Shivam Mavi for a cheeky six over fine leg, followed by an extra cover drive for four and welcoming Varun Chakravarthy with a clean lofted six over long-off.
Pandya and Saha built an important stand of 75 off 56 balls for the second wicket, which was broken by Umesh in the eleventh over as Saha fell for run-a-ball 25, in an attempt to repeat the paddle scoop which got him a four on the previous ball.
David Miller had luck on his side when Venkatesh Iyer took a catch at long-off but his foot brushed with the boundary rope, gifting the left-hander a lucky six off Sunil Narine. Narine was further taken apart for a four and six by Miller after Pandya reached his fifty in 36 balls.
Just as Gujarat looked to cruise to a 180+ total, Miller was foxed by an off-cutter from Mavi in the 17th over, giving a simple catch to backward point. The ploy to reserve Southee for last five phase worked well as Pandya pulled straight to deep mid-wicket and three balls later, Rashid Khan fell for duck while trying to clear the same region.
Russell, who hadn’t bowled in the match, was brought on for the final over and dismissed Abhinav Manohar and Lockie Ferguson on successive deliveries, caught at deep mid-wicket. He closed the innings by having Rahul Tewatia caught at deep cover and completing an alert caught and bowled dismissal of Yash Dayal.
Brief Scores: Gujarat Titans 156/9 in 20 overs (Hardik Pandya 67, David Miller 27; Andre Russell 4/5, Tim Southee 3/24) against Kolkata Knight Riders