Vijay Shankar and David Miller produced a spectacular finish in Eden Gardens to pick up our sixth win of the campaign.
Three wins on the trot, sixth of the campaign so far, 12th win in 13 run chases and top of the table! Gujarat Titans’ trip to the “City of Joy” turned out to be delightful, as we registered yet another clinical performance.
Earlier in the day, skipper Hardik Pandya won the toss and chose to bowl first.
Mohammad Shami, once again, provided the first breakthrough with the ball for us. Jagadeesan walked across to flick it away, but Shami’s pace beat the batter and he was caught plumb in front of the wickets. In his next over, he dismissed Shardul Thakur as well, courtesy of a terrific catch from Mohit Sharma.
Our former Titan Rahmanullah Gurbaz, however, went all guns blazing at the other end. He brought up a half-century in quick time but our bowlers kept the pressure up, picking up wickets at the other end regularly.
Joshua Little came into the attack in the 11th over and picked up two big wickets. After dismissing Venkatesh Iyer, he took the big wicket of KKR skipper Nitish Rana. His tight spell in the middle overs tightened things up for the Titans.
Noor Ahmad returned for a second spell and struck instantly, dismissing the dangerous Gurbaz for a well-made 81 off 39 balls. He got the other in-form batter Rinku Singh walking back in his final over.
However, birthday boy Andre Russell gave the hosts a strong finish and they scored 179 for the loss of four wickets in 20 overs. For the Titans, Shami (three for 33), Little (two for 25) and Noor (two for 21) returned with impressive figures.
After the break, Shubman Gill got us off to a terrific start. He smashed four boundaries in the third over off Harshit Rana, which included some crackling drives and punches. Despite losing Saha early on, Gill kept the momentum going alongside skipper Pandya.
The duo mixed caution and aggression well to ensure the required rate remained well under control. However, there was an air of tension for a while when Hardik and Shubman were dismissed in quick succession. The KKR spinners kept things tight for a couple of overs, but the wrath that followed took us over the line quicker than we anticipated.
David Miller began the onslaught, as he always does. Our Proteas stalwart once again chipped in with a vital contribution in the middle overs, getting some crucial boundaries to shift momentum towards us. He smashed two sixes off Suyash Sharma to break the shackles and Vijay Shankar took over after that.
Shankar, who scored a blistering half-century against KKR last time, got going with a boundary off Suyash and then smashed Andre Russell for a six over mid-wicket. In the 17th over from Varun Chakravarthy, Shankar shifted to gear six and smashed three sixes, accumulating 24 runs.
The duo finished the proceedings in the 18th over and Shankar got to his half-century in style with another big six over fine leg. We got over the line with 13 balls to spare and completed yet another away trip with a win.
Kolkata Knight Riders 179/7 in 20 overs (Rahmanullah Gurbaz 81; Mohammad Shami 3/33) lost to Gujarat Titans 180/3 in 17.5 overs (Vijay Shankar 51*, Shubman Gill 49)
Player of the Match: Joshua Little