File image of GT star batter Shubman Gill© BCCI/IPL
Virat Kohli pulled off a string of records en-route his second successive century of the IPL 2023 against Gujarat Titans at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on Sunday night, but Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) failed to make it to the play-offs of the tournament as Titans opener Shubman Gill helped his side pull off a brilliant six-wicket win with five balls to spare, leaving the home supporters stunned. Gill not only matched Kohli shot for shot, he ended up with a better strike rate that was crucial to his team’s near-perfect chase. He was ably supported by Vijay Shankar, who came in as an impact player and hammered 53 off 35 balls. His innings was laced with seven boundaries and a couple of sixes.
RCB’s loss meant that Mumbai Indians (MI), who had earlier in the day beaten Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, moved into the plays-offs by virtue of finishing fourth on the table with 16 points. RCB, on the other hand, ended up finishing sixth in the tournament on 14 points behind Rajasthan Royals.
The Titans, who topped the table with 20 points will now play Chennai Super Kings in Qualifier 1 on Tuesday while MI will lock horns with Lucknow Super Giants in the Eliminator a day later.
Former Australia pacer Brett Lee was all praise for Gill, saying on JioCinema: “He hit eight sixes. I love how he goes on the leg side. He finds power. That he can do and access because he’s got strong wrists and he’s got beautiful timing.”
Gill and Shankar put on a century stand and Lee said: “123 off 71 balls, that was the partnership that broke the back of the RCB bowlers. Yes, it was a wet ball, conditions didn’t really favour the bowlers but you got to give credit where credit is due. They both batted beautifully.”
Speaking about Kohli’s ton, former India Test captain Anil Kumble said on JioCinema: “You could see that passion and hunger. Today was an important innings for RCB, no other batsman was going well today. Faf du Plessis is a very good player but after he got out quick the pressure was on Virat Kohli. But with that pressure and responsibility he scored a great century.”
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