Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) defeated Delhi Capitals (DC) in Qualifier 2 in a last-over thriller at Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Wednesday. With the victory, KKR booked a place in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 final, where they will take on Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Friday (October 15).
Chasing a paltry target of 136, the Knight Riders got off to a flying start. Shubman Gill and Venkatesh Iyer once again dominated the opposition bowlers and formed a scintillating partnership of 96 runs which took the game away from Rishabh Pant-led side.
Iyer played magnificently well and scored a vital half-century. The Madhya Pradesh cricketer made 55 runs off 41 balls with the help of seven boundaries, including three sixes. Similarly, Gill also showed his class and took KKR close to the finish line before Avesh Khan dismissed him for 46 in the 17th over.
As KKR were looking to cruise through, a twist greeted them, with the match almost slipping out their hands. Kagiso Rabada brought back the momentum in DC’s favour after bowling a magnificent 18th over, where he conceded only one run and took a wicket.
The trend continued as Anrich Nortje gave away only three runs in the penultimate over while also taking a wicket. The equation went down the 7 needed in the last over, and Pant gave the ball to Ravichandran Ashwin. Ashwin did his best in the first four balls, giving away only one run and picking up two scalps. But Rahul Tripathi smashed a six off the fifth ball to take KKR into the final of IPL 2021.
Earlier, the Capitals could only manage to post 135/5 in their allotted 20 overs. Opener Shikhar Dhawan and middle-order batsman Shreyas Iyer played crucial knocks to help DC reach a respectable total. While Dhawan scored 36 off 39 balls, Iyer remained unbeaten on 30 from 27 deliveries.
Mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy shined with the ball for the Knight Riders, taking a couple of wickets for 26 runs in his quota of 4 overs. Apart from Chakravarthy, Lockie Ferguson (1/26) and Shivam Mavi (1/27) also bagged one wicket apiece.
Here is how Twitter reacted:
— Pat Cummins (@patcummins30) October 13, 2021
What a game! Rahul Tripathi naam to sunte rahoge #kkr
— Irfan Pathan (@IrfanPathan) October 13, 2021
That was the most incredible 4 over turnaround. Kolkata almost outdoing Punjab, but Tripathi saving it. Great game. #DCvsKKR
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) October 13, 2021
I don’t like cricket ! I love it 😍!! What a game !!! #DCvsKKR congratulations @kkr for making it to the finals I feel for @RishabhPant17 and his boys . But that’s sport people ! there can be only one winner !!!
— Yuvraj Singh (@YUVSTRONG12) October 13, 2021
in the first leg @KKRiders were in the 7th position and what a comeback its been for them in the second leg.They will be feeling that destiny and momentum is with them.May the best team win!!
— Stay Home – Stay Safe – Get Vaccinated 🙏 (@hemangkbadani) October 13, 2021
— Kuldeep yadav (@imkuldeep18) October 13, 2021
— KolkataKnightRiders (@KKRiders) October 13, 2021
The introduction of Iyer. The rise of Gill. The contributions from Rana, Lockie and Varun. Mavi picking up towards the end. Narine putting the POTM performance in the eliminator. Incredible turnaround scripted by a spirited team. Well done, Morgan’s #KKR
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) October 13, 2021
— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) October 13, 2021
Iyer, Gill, Mavi, Tripathi, Chakravarthy….inexperienced Indian talent doing it for #KKR
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) October 13, 2021
— Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) October 13, 2021
— CricketTimes.com (@CricketTimesHQ) October 13, 2021