The ‘intent’ is a quite under-rated thing in T20 cricket. It’s not how much runs you score, but how and when you score it is what matters in a high profile T20 tournament like IPL. In the recently concluded IPL match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings XI Punjab, KKR opener Shubman Gill whacked two massive sixes in a row of Mohammad Shami’s over after being 10-3 down early in the powerplay. He along with captain Eoin Morgan counter-attacked KXIP bowlers with great intent even after being pulled back quite early on in the innings.
Put in to bat first by Rahul and co, KKR had a miserable start to their innings. All three of their top domestic batsmen- Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, and Dinesh Karthik departed early without troubling the scorers. Just like many of their previous matches, they found themselves in a difficult situation after being 10-3 quite early on in the innings. But this time, unlike previous occasions, they decided to take on the opposition bowlers and decided not to take the defensive approach. Captain Morgan and young batsmen Shubman Gill counter-attacked KXIP bowlers with great intent.
The major damage in this counter-attack was done to lead KXIP pacer Mohammad Shami. Bowling the last over of the powerplay and his third over in that innings, he was sent to the cleaners by the KKR batsmen. After being smashed for two fours by Morgan, he was whacked for two consecutive sixes by Gill in the last two balls. The fifth ball of the over was a length ball, Gill presented a straight bat and punched it over the mid-on region for a six. He followed it up with a fuller length ball which was again pumped over the mid-wicket region by the classy young Indian batsmen. But despite such efforts, KKR failed to put on a par total. They managed to score just 149 runs in 20 overs. This was a below-par total in a small Sharjah ground. It was chased down quite easily by KXIP, courtesy of fine innings from Mandeep Singh and Chris Gayle.
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