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Gautam Gambhir, Shah Rukh Khan Took the Pressure Off Me: Rahmanullah Gurbaz

IPL 2024: Rahmanullah Gurbaz scored 23 runs as the Knight Riders beat the Sunrisers by 8 wickets in Qualifier 1 at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.

In the first Qualifier of IPL 2024, Rahmanullah Gurbaz scored a quick 23 runs off 14 balls, helping the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) secure an 8-wicket victory over the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium. The win propelled KKR into the final, set to take place on Sunday, May 26, at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.

Support from Management

Gurbaz credited his calm performance to the support of KKR’s top management, including mentor Gautam Gambhir, owner Shah Rukh Khan, and head coach Chandrakant Pandit. “If you have top management like KKR, you don’t need to worry about anything. GG sir is there, Shah Rukh sir is there, the head coach is there. They are family and it’s all because of them. I did not play for a long time and it is big pressure coming directly into the playoffs. They took all the pressure off me and told me to just go out and enjoy,” Gurbaz shared in the post-match press conference.

Return to the Field

Gurbaz, who had been benched throughout the league phase, was brought into play after Phil Salt returned to England for the T20I series against Pakistan. Despite the long break from playing, Gurbaz didn’t disappoint, contributing 23 runs off 14 balls, including 2 fours and 2 sixes. His partnership with Sunil Narine added 44 runs for the opening wicket in just 3.2 overs.

KKR’s Strong Bowling Performance

After opting to field first, KKR bowled out SRH for 159 in 19.3 overs on what was considered an excellent pitch for batting. Mitchell Starc was particularly impressive, taking 3 wickets. Gurbaz praised KKR’s bowling unit, stating, “It was a bad day for them (SRH) and we bowled really well. No doubt, we have the best bowling attack in the IPL.”

Reflecting on His Dismissal

Gurbaz was dismissed while attempting an off-side shot against T Natarajan, with Vijaykanth Viyaskanth taking the catch. Reflecting on his dismissal, Gurbaz said, “Yes, I got out but my intent was good. I got the same ball that I expected; it’s just that I could not middle the ball. I got myself in a good position, but sometimes you get out on the balls you want. I am not disappointed, but I wanted to score more. But we won the game and everyone is happy.”

Dominant Run Chase

KKR’s chase was dominated by Venkatesh Iyer and skipper Shreyas Iyer, who remained unbeaten on 51 and 58 runs respectively, leading their team to victory with 38 balls to spare.

The comprehensive win showcased KKR’s all-around strength and set the stage for an exciting final against their yet-to-be-determined opponent.

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