Gill trumps Kohli to send RCB home

Gill trumps Kohli to send RCB home

Shubman Gill ended RCB’s hopes of qualifying for the playoffs for the fourth season in a row, with the prince of Indian batting lacing back-to-back tons to send Faf du Plessis’ side home in a thrilling finish to the league phase of IPL 2023 at the Chinnaswamy stadium.

Virat Kohli scored a consecutive century of his own to take RCB to a formidable total of 197 for 5, but the opener’s one-man show wasn’t enough to secure the hosts’ passage to the final four as Gujarat chased down the target with five balls to spare. Gill matched Kohli’s ton with a terrific 104 off 52 deliveries, finishing the chase in style to leave RCB stranded in sixth place and Mumbai Indians into the playoffs.

After a delayed start caused by Bengaluru showers, Virat Kohli and Faf du Plessis gave RCB another strong start in the powerplay. The duo added 62 runs in the first six overs, showing off their gorgeous strokeplay as they creamed a flurry of boundaries off Mohammed Shami and Yash Dayal. The introduction of spin, though, pegged the hosts back as the Afghan duo of Rashid Khan and Noor Ahmad dominated the middle overs.

Ahmad broke the 67-run stand thanks to a slice of luck, with the ball ricocheting off Wriddhiman Saha’s pad and looping to Rahul Tewatia off du Plessis’ edge. The youngster also dismissed Mahipal Lomror while the veteran got the big wicket of Glenn Maxwell, restricting RCB to 93 for 3 at the halfway mark. Kohli kept RCB afloat by bringing up another half-century and sharing a brief 47-run stand with Michael Bracewell, but two quick wickets that included Dinesh Karthik for a golden duck left the opener with a mountain to climb in the death overs.

However, Kohli answered the call for his team, smashing the Gujarat pacers at the death to bring up a record 7th IPL ton and help RCB score 61 runs off the final five overs to post a challenging score of 197.

Kohli’s exploits, though, went in vain as Shubman Gill outmatched the 34-year-old’s heroics to send RCB crashing home. Gill stabilised the Gujarat chase after the early loss of Wriddhiman Saha and added 123 runs alongside Vijay Shankar to put the Titans on course for victory. The opener displayed glimpses of his immaculate timing early on, racing away to 41 off 20 balls. Gill took Gujarat to 90 for 1 at the halfway stage and cruised through the middle overs as he took on spinners Himanshu Sharma and Michael Bracewell.

The 23-year-old was given good company by Vijay Shankar, who added 53 off 25 deliveries, before taking control of the chase himself following the number three’s dismissal. The opener put on a six-hitting masterclass at the death, clearing the ropes against Mohammed Siraj and Harshal Patel to bring the run-rate down to six. Gill finished the game in style in the last over, smashing Parnell down the ground to bring up his second century of the season and end Gujarat’s league campaign on a high.