CricketGT vs KKR: Gujarat Titans’ Rashid Khan clinches first hat-trick of IPL 2023
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GT vs KKR: Gujarat Titans’ Rashid Khan clinches first hat-trick of IPL 2023

Afghanistan and Gujarat Titans spinner Rashid Khan clinched the first hat-trick of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 on Sunday.

The Afghan T20 superstar accomplished this in his side’s match against Kolkata Knight Riders at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.

With KKR needing 50 runs in the final four overs, Rashid arrived in the 17th over. He made an immediate impact by removing dangerman Andre Russell (1), Sunil Narine (0) and Shardul Thakur (0) on the first three balls of the over, reducing KKR from 155/4 to 155/7 in a matter of minutes.

It is the 22nd hat trick in IPL history. The first-ever IPL hat trick was taken by Lakshmipati Balaji for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) against Punjab Kings (PBKS, then known as Kings XI Punjab) in the inaugural season.

He is also the first-ever Afghanistan player to take a hat-trick in IPL history. He is the 18th bowler to take a hat-trick in the league’s history.

Coming to the match, Gujarat Titans posted 204/4 in their 20 overs after electing to bat first. Vijay Shankar top-scored with 63 off 24 balls, consisting of four boundaries and five sixes.

Sai Sudharshan also scored his second half-century in IPL 2023, scoring 53 in 38 balls consisting of three fours and two sixes. Shubman Gill also played a solid knock of 39 runs in 31 balls, with five fours.

Sunil Narine was the pick of the bowlers for KKR, taking 3/33 in four overs. Suyash Sharma also continued his solid run after a three-fer against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the previous match, taking 1/35 in his four overs.

In chase of 205 runs, KKR was reduced to 28/2, but skipper Nitish Rana (45 off 29 balls with four boundaries and three sixes) put on a hundred-run stand for the third wicket with Venkatesh Iyer, who scored 83 in 40 balls, which consisted of eight fours and five sixes.

Dismissal of these two set batters and Rashid’s hat-trick put KKR on the backfoot at 155/7. The equation came down to 29 runs in the final over.

Rinku Singh came through with a clutch cameo, hitting five successive sixes in the final over to seal what was once an improbable win for KKR. Rinku scored 48* in 21 balls, consisting of one four and six sixes.

Rashid was the pick of the bowlers for GT, taking 3/37. Alzarri Joseph took two, while Joshua Little and Mohammed Shami took a wicket each.

Rinku Singh was given the ‘Player of the Match’ award for his unbelievable match-winning cameo.

With this win, KKR has climbed to third position in the points table, winning two of their three matches and losing one. They have a total of four points.

GT has slipped to fourth position and has a similar win-loss record to KKR, but KKR is one position up due to a superior net-run-rate.