Gujarat captain Hardik Pandya slammed 67 while his bowlers Mohammed Shami, Yash Dayal and Rashid Khan took 2 wickets apiece to hand Kolkata their fourth consecutive defeat in the ongoing Indian T20 Cricket League 2022 tournament on Saturday afternoon at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai.
In the Match No 35 of the world's biggest T20 cricket competition, Gujarat chose to bat first and made 156/9, which was bolstered with a 49-ball 67 from their captain Hardik Pandya who continued to pile up big totals.
With the ball, Gujarat once again produced an all-round performance to limit Kolkata to 148/8 in 20 overs, despite a counter-attacking knock from Andre Russell who made 48 from 24 balls in the ending stages of the match to give his side a shot at victory.
The victory by 8 runs took Gujarat to the top spot in the points table as they are the only team to have reached a total of 12 points from 7 matches with 6 victories and a solitary loss, with their Net Run Rate (NRR) of 0.396.
On the other hand, following their fourth consecutive loss in the tournament, the two-time title winners Kolkata slipped to the 7th spot with only 3 wins from 8 matches so far giving them 6 points and a NRR of 0.080.
After they won the toss and elected to bat, Gujarat were jolted early when they lost Shubman Gill, who was guilty of chasing a wide delivery down the leg side to be caught behind for a 5-ball 7. Shubman Gill was dismissed by Trent Boult in the second over of the game, and he went on to take 2 more wickets for Gujarat.
Wriddhiman Saha and Hardik Pandya teamed up post the dismissal of Shubman Gill to consolidate for Gujarat, adding 75 runs for the second wicket over the next 8 overs or so.
Gujarat did well to put on partnerships at the top of the order to finish at total which proved to be enough against Kolkata. After the pair of Wriddhiman Saha and Hardik Pandya was broken in the 11th over, when the Indian wicketkeeper-batsman fell to Umesh Yadav for a run-a-ball 25, the pair of Hardik Pandya and David Miller put on another 50-run stand from 35 balls to take Gujarat past the 100-run mark.
David Miller, who was coming of a brilliant 94 not out against Chennai in their previous match, smacked 2 sixes and a boundary to make 27 from 20 balls before his innings was ended by Kolkata fast bowler Shivam Mavi, who got him caught by Umesh Yadav in the 17th over of the innings.
The Kolkata bowlers were able to make further inroads into the Gujarat batting lineup with Andre Russell finishing at a surprise and 4/5 from his 1 over that he bowled. The burly West Indian accounted for the dangerous Rahul Tewatia (17) and Abhinav Manohar (2), the right-arm fast bowler also dismissed Lockie Ferguson and Yash Dayal for noughts, respectively.
Gujarat lost a plenty of wickets towards the end to finish at 156/9, with the majority of runs coming from captain Hardik Pandya, who scored his third half-century of the Indian T20 Cricket League 2022 competition. The right-handed Hardik Pandya finished with 67 runs from 49 balls with the help of 4 boundaries and 2 sixes.
The reason why Kolkata have been struggling in this edition of the Indian T20 Cricket League is owing to their batsmen not being able to put out collective performances.
The story remained similar for the two-time title winners as they lost their new opening pair in Sam Billings and Sunil Narine for 4 and 5, respectively, but their hopes were severely dented when their captain Shreyas Iyer fell for a 15-ball 12 to Yash Dayal.
Nitish Rana was also not able to make any impact whatsoever — he was dismissed for 2, caught by Wriddhiman Saha off Lockie Ferguson — which left Kolkata reeling at 34/4 at one stage.
Kolkata kept slipping further as Rinku Singh, who had earlier in the first innings grabbed as many as four catches himself, was dismissed for 35 from 28 balls with 4 boundaries and a six and soon after, the young gun Venkatesh Iyer was removed for a run-a-ball 17.
Andre Russell tried to provide late resistance and hope to Kolkata settings by smacking 6 sixes and a boundary to race to 48 from 25 balls, but the target was far too big for Kolkata on Saturday afternoon.
The table-toppers Gujarat will be next seen in action on April 30 when they face Bangalore, while Kolkata will look to bounce back in their next match against Delhi on April 28.