Friday, May 31, 2024

Will Jacks, Kohli shock Gujarat, keep RCB’s playoff hopes alive


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Ahmedabad, April 28: Will Jacks slammed a sensational hundred while Virat Kohli upped his game in the middle overs as Royal Challengers Bengaluru outplayed Gujarat Titans by nine wickets in the IPL here on Sunday.
Kohli (70 not out of 44), whose approach in the middle overs was questioned in the previous game, employed the sweep shot against the spinners to make a statement before Jacks (100 not out off 41) cut loose to gun down the 201-run target with as many 24 balls to spare.
Jacks went berserk in what turned out be the final over of the game, hammering as many as four sixes and four off Rashid Khan to close out the game much sooner than expected.
The Englishman plundered as many as 10 sixes in his breathtaking effort.
Put in to bat, Shahrukh Khan (58 off 30) had made full use of his promotion in the batting order while Sai Sudharsan (84 not out off 49) stayed till the end to guide Gujarat Titans to 200 for three.
Titans introduced spin very early and Kohli was up to the task, collecting back to back sixes off left-arm spinner Ravi Sai Kishore to make his intent crystal clear.
He was particularly harsh towards another Afghan spinner Noor Ahmed, sweeping him at will before bring up his fifty off 32 balls.
Thereafter, Kohli did not need to do much as Jacks put the Titans bowlers to sword. RCB, who are enduring another tough season, picked up their third win in 10 games while Titans suffered their sixth loss in 10 matches.
The Faf du Plessis-led team seemed to have finally found some momentum, having picked a back to back win on Sunday.
Earlier, batting at number four, Shahrukh teamed up with Sudharsan to give Gujarat Titans a much needed push after a tepid start. The duo shared an 86-run stand off 45 balls.
RCB came out to bat in the scorching Ahmedabad heat with Glenn Maxwell returning to their playing eleven from a “mental and physical health” break.
Wriddhiman Saha (5 off 4) was dismissed early as the first over bowled by left-arm spinner Swapnil Singh. The former India wicketkeeper tried to make room for an aerial hit over extra cover but ended up mistiming to Karn Sharma at third man.
Skipper Shubman Gill (16) was undone by the on-field brilliance from Cameron Green who ran towards his left to take a stunning catch at long-on off Maxwell.
With Sudharan at the other end, Titans decided to do something different and sent Shahrukh ahead of the likes of Azmatullah Omarzai and David Miller.
The move worked as Shahrukh milked the spinners mainly in the cow corner region, hammering five sixes and three fours. He completed the half-century with a maximum over long-on off Green before Mohammed Siraj cleaned him up with a sharp yorker. Miller (26 not out off 19) joined Sudharsan in the middle and two shared an unbeaten 69 run stand off 36 balls to push the team to a par score.
Sudharan’s second straight fifty plus score comprised eight fours and four sixes. (PTI)


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