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
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
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.