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Vijay Shankar scored a rapid half-century and Mohammed Shami picked up a three-wicket haul to guide defending champions Gujarat Titans to a seven-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. With this win, GT go top of the IPL 2023 points table, with 12 points from eight matches.

Hardik Pandya won the toss for his side and elected to field first. KKR opener Narayan Jagadeesan took on Pandya in the second over and smashed him for three boundaries to get his team off to a positive start. Opening the batting with Jagadeesan, Rahmanullha Gurbaz took a back seat in the opening three overs of the innings, with Jagadeesan taking up the majority of the strike.

However, Gurbaz took over the mantle once Mohammed Shami got rid of Jagadeesan in the third over. The Afghan opener hit Pandya for two massive sixes in the fourth over to kick-start the carnage. Shardul Thakur was promoted up the order but could not make a difference, being dismissed by Shami for a duck.

Venkatesh Iyer and Nitish Rana also could not move the scoreboard much, with Josh Little dismissing the two batters in the 11th over. Even though wickets kept falling around him, Gurbaz kept going strong and completed his second half-century of IPL



2023 in 27 balls.

He stitched a 47-run partnership with Rinku Singh before being dismissed by GT’s Afghan spinner Noor Ahmad in the 16th over. Gurbaz scored 81 runs off 39 balls, hitting five boundaries and seven maximums. Rinku also could not stamp his authority on the match, being dismissed by Ahmad in the 18th over after scoring a 20-ball 19.

Then birthday boy Andre Russell invoked his vintage best at the Eden Gardens and provided a final flourish for KKR, smashing a 19-ball 34, hitting two boundaries and three sixes, to propel his side to a total of 179 for 7 in the first innings.

In the second innings, Shubman Gill and Wriddhiman Saha got GT off to a fast start, scoring at a healthy run-rate. Saha was the first batter to fall for GT, with Russell stepping up with the ball this time around. Gill then formed a crucial 50-run stand with Pandya, before the GT skipper was caught LBW by Harshit Rana in the 11th over.

Pandya scored 26 runs off 20 balls, hitting two boundaries and a solitary six. However, Gill kept going for GT and seemed to be on the verge of completing his 18th fifty in the IPL but fell short by one run. He scored a 35-ball 49 before being dismissed by Sunil Narine in the 12th over.
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