Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) survived a massive scare to beat Delhi Capitals (DC) by 3 wickets, and reach the IPL 2021 final where they will take on Chennai Super Kings (CSK).
Ravichandran Ashwin enjoys the ability to excel under pressure, which is a well-documented aspect. Ashwin has helped the Indian team pull off a triumph against the odds in numerous encounters over the years. He came extremely close to emulating those heroics for Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Delhi Capitals (DC) on Wednesday. The Delhi-based franchise were taking on Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Qualifier 2 of the ongoing 2021 edition, with the winner sailing into the final. Ashwin just gave a single in four deliveries, having been handed 7 runs to defend. The spinner accounted for two dismissals during those balls, pushing opponents KKR into a spot of bother. However, it all came crashing off the next delivery as Rahul Tripathi smashed a six to help the Kolkata-based franchise emerge victorious by a margin of three wickets.
“It feels great. The win for the team was very important. We had one or two tough overs and I never thought it would go so deep. Glad we won the game. Rabada bowled the 18th over really well, but I knew that I had to just connect one. The plan was to take a two if there was a possibility. If it was two, we were running, otherwise it was going to be me. It was difficult to straightaway get singles and boundaries for the new batsmen. It was keeping low and it was difficult to hit. I believed in myself and knew it was just one hit away. It has been a great journey for us after the first phase. We believed in ourselves and the approach given by Eoin and the coach helped us with the positive approach,” said Rahul as quoted by Cricbuzz.
Opener Venkatesh Iyer was the top run-getter for KKR, smashing 55 runs off 41 deliveries in an innings comprising of four boundaries and three sixes. Venkatesh provided the perfect start for the Kolkata-based franchise alongside fellow opener Shubman Gill (46), in the chase of 136. However, it went downhill following their dismissals as four batsmen were dismissed for ducks providing some respite to the DC bowlers, who battled it out fiercely.
KKR will take on Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the final, with the encounter expected to be a well-fought clash.
A fine performance by the KKR bowlers helped the franchise restrict DC to a paltry total of 135 runs. On a pitch which provided very limited assistance to the batsmen, there was plenty to cheer for from the KKR perspective. All the bowlers were quite economical in a very crucial encounter, maintaining the pressure at every stage. Shakib Al Hasan, Lockie Ferguson, Sunil Narine, Varun Chakaravarthy and Shivam Mavi combined effectively to ensure limited freedom to the DC batsmen. Varun was the pick of the bowlers from the perspective of wickets taken, with the spinner accounting for two dismissals.
Shikhar Dhawan was the top run-getter for DC, accumulating 36 runs from 39 deliveries in an innings comprising of a boundary and two sixes. Shreyas Iyer provided valuable support, smashing a six off the final ball to ensure a fine finish to proceedings.