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Shubman Gill has said that the the slow nature of the Dubai wicket forced the Kolkata Knight Riders batters to take their time before picking up the pace in the chase of a low total against Sunrisers Hyderabad in an IPL 2021 contest on Sunday. After keeping SRH to a low 115/8, KKR overhauled the target in the last over of their innings with two deliveries remaining.

Opening batter Gill was the top-scorer of the night, hitting a solid 57 off 51, an innings that featured 10 fours. At one stage, he was batting on 25 off 30 before a boundary off Rashid Khan saw him switch gears in the 11th over.

“It was important to keep wickets in hand early and then to go for it when the runs got closer,” said Gill during the post-match presentation after receiving his player-of-the-match award.

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Gill threw some light on how he paced his innings after assessing the pitch and targeting the shorter boundary. “You see the wicket and then you choose your match up. To hit spinners on this surface wasn’t easy. I was targeting the shorter side mostly,” he explained.

“And if you play one bad shot in a low-scoring game the opposition can come back and you don’t want that. When you play on slower wickets, it’s more important to play with the wrists and that comes naturally to me,” he added.

One of the highlights of SRH’s bowling effort was the speed that their debutant pacer Umran Malik was generating. The 21-year-old constantly clocked in the 140s with his fastest delivery recorded just over 150 kph.

“He’s quick,” Gill said of Malik. “I took on his extra pace and it came off in this game, but in another game it might not.”

His match winning knock has kept KKR on the fourth spot in the standings and= the fate of qualifying for the playoffs remains in their own hands.

They will next face Rajasthan Royals on Thursday.

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