Shubman Gill's second IPL 2023 century trumped Virat Kohli's as Gujarat Titans knocked RCB out of playoff contention.
Sixteen years, and still no Indian Premier League (IPL) title. Such has been the fate of Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League. Even though each year, as the team and its fanbase gears up for a fresh IPL season with rejuvenated hope and belief, end result lets down the famous 'Ee Sala Cup Naamde' (This time the Cup) chants. IPL 2023 was no different. RCB came close once again, almost to an extent where they seriously looked like a threat, only to eventually stumble, failing to even make it to the IPL Playoffs. This is the first time after three seasons that RCB couldn't make it to the top four as Gujarat Lions laid waste to their dreams with a six-wicket win in the last league match of the season.
Virat Kohli's back-to-back centuries – his 7th in the IPL – went in vain as Shubman Gill's second century of the season overshadowed the King's herculean efforts and put a dagger through RCB's heart. After Mumbai Indians had defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad to jump to 16 points, RCB needed a win to pip MI and secure themselves a spot in the playoffs, but Gill's unbeaten 104 off 52 balls with 5 fours and 8 sixes helped GT finish with 10 wins and 20 points.
The manner in which Gill finished took the cake. His last three sixes came at a very crucial point. In the 18th over, Mohammed Siraj slipped in a length ball which Gill sent into the stands. Later, in the penultimate over, Gill tonked a full toss from Harshal Patel for another monster six. The final blow was drilled straight down the ground which triggered euphoria in the GT and MI unit but sank the RCB dugout, where a visibly upset Kohli looked on in disbelief. Kohli looked numb for a few seconds before throwing a bottle of water on the ground. In the very next instance, the camera panned to Siraj, who was laying motionless on the ground before being helped up by a teammate. Gill and GT left RCB an emotional bunch but take nothing away from the fight shown by RCB, who gave us some stunning knocks from Kohli and captain Faf du Plessis.
Watch the video of RCB's heartbreak below
"Obviously very disappointing. We got a really strong team tonight; excellent innings by Shuman Gill. There was a lot of grip in the second innings. I thought 195-200 was a good score. We needed that wicket of Shubman. From our batting perspective, our top four contributed really well... We missed a few runs consistently throughout the season, especially in the back-end of the innings. Perhaps in the middle [overs], we didn't get as many wickets as we would have liked. We need a good middle order, and make sure we finish games off. Last season it was DK, but this season it wasn't to be," Du Plessis said after the match.
The man of the moment was Gill, who has taken his batting to the next level this year, fittingly earning the title of 'Prince', marking a passing of the torch from Kohli as India's next batting sensation. After RCB had posted 197 majorly due to Kohli's unbeaten 101 off 61 balls, Gill was not ruffled by GT's start to the innings. Wriddhiman Saha was all over the place to start with but Gill never lost focus. When Vijay Shankar joined him at No. 3, the duo stitched a century partnership and despite the all-rounder looking scratchy in patches, Gill was never even slightly troubled. Even as RCB staged a later comeback, dismissing Shankar, Dasun Shanaka and David Miller in quick successions, it was Gill's temperament, patience and belief that saw GT through.
"It's all about getting a start and converting it into a big one. Thankfully it's working out for me in the business end. You have to keep applying yourself, that's important. The new ball was holding on a bit. The ball was getting wet with the dew. I thought Vijay Shankar was trying to go too hard. Once he found the momentum, he hit it a long way. I know my game... for any player it's important to know who you are. I think we have a great bowling attack for that [Chennai] wicket," said Player of the Match, Gill.
Disclaimer: This Article is auto-generated from the HT news service