Iyer, Gill, Mavi, Tripathi and Chakravarthy take KKR into the finals.
Kolkata Knight Riders 136 for 7 (Iyer 55, Gill 46, Rabada 23/2) beat Delhi Capitals 135 for 5 (Dhawan 36, Chakravarthy 26/2) by three wickets.
Kolkata win the toss, opt to bat
Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Eoin Morgan won the toss and chose to field. They kept the same eleven from the previous match, which defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Eliminator game. Delhi Capitals made only one change in their playing XI eleven by replacing Tom Curran with Aussie all-rounder Marcus Stoinis.
Delhi gets a steady start but lost Prithvi Shaw
Delhi veteran Shikhar Dhawan started cautiously against Shakib Al Hasan however, his partner Prithvi Shaw smacked some elegant strokes early in the innings but, he got out on LBW appeal by Varun Chakravarthy, who trapped Shaw in front of the wicket by his googly.
Dhawan hammered back-to-back two sixes to Sunil Narine. As new batter Marcus Stoinis came to the middle, KKR spinners and pacer Lockie Ferguson bowled tight lines and dried runs for batters. It led to Stonis play an attacking stroke to Shivam Mavi but, he got clean bowled. He could only make 18 runs off 23 balls, which took the momentum away from Delhi.
Delhi batsmen faltered in middle-overs
Dhawan also looked helpless against Kolkata bowlers and hurries into premediated lofted stroke straight down the ground, but the ball took an outside edge and went in the hands of Shakib at backword point. Delhi skipper Rishabh Pant came to the middle and smacked four on the second ball, but he also succumbed to Ferguson, as he got caught by Rahul Tripathi at mid-off.
The wicket of Pant sent shockwaves in the Delhi dugout. Caribbean batsman Shimron Hetmyer joined Shreyas Iyer in the middle but, holed out to Shubman Gill at long-on and the ball was called no-ball. Hetmyer got a life and clubbed two sixes to Ferguson. Later he got run-out in the next over. In the final over of innings bowled by Shivam Mavi, Shreyas Iyer slashed a four and a towering six straight down the ground to reach Delhi to a moderate total of 135 runs. Iyer scored an unbeaten knock of 30 runs off 27 balls, whereas Chakravarthy was the most successful bowler with two wickets conceding 26 runs.
Kolkata openers win the powerplay battle
On the tricky surface of Sharjah, Delhi started bowling with Proteas speedster Anrich Nortje. Kolkata opener Shubman Gill smacked the boundary on the first ball of the innings. His partner Venkatesh Iyer dealt in sixes against left-arm spinner Axar Patel and pacer Kagiso Rabada. Unfortunately for Delhi, Rabada dropped the difficult catch of Iyer on his bowling on the next ball. Kolkata finished their powerplay on 51 runs without a wicket.
Iyer continued to bat sensibly, also found occasional boundaries to reach his fifty in 38 balls. Delhi couldn’t find any way to break the opening partnership of Kolkata. Finally, in the 13th over, Iyer got caught by substitute Steven Smith, while pulling a short ball bowled by Rabada. He made 55 runs off 41 balls, which helped Kolkata to reach close to the target.
His partner Gill played the second fiddle while Iyer was on the pitch. However, after Iyer departs, Gill broke the shackles and launched astronomical six over the long-on boundary by his trademark pull shot. One down batsman Nitish Rana struck a maximum but got out to Nortje while playing pull shot, as Hetmyer caught him at deep square. Gill was caught behind the wicket by Pant, as he threw his bat to a wide length delivery. However, the match was in complete control of Kolkata.
Harakiri by Kolkata batsmen but Tripathi stood firm
Rabada clean bowled wicket-keeper batsman Dinesh Karthik on duck which created the panic in Kolkata dugout. Skipper Eoin Morgan came to bat, but Norje kept him under pressure and bowled him on the last ball of the penultimate over. Delhi needed only seven runs in the final over of the innings, Ravi Ashwin bowled breath-taking over to take two wickets of Shakib and Sunil Narine.
Four Kolkata batsmen got out on duck in the last few overs to put their side in trouble. However, Rahul Tripathi struck a mammoth six on the second last ball of the over to win the match for Kolkata. It finished the campaign for Delhi Capitals in IPL 2021, as with this win, Kolkata qualified for the IPL final against Chennai Super Kings scheduled on Friday at Dubai.
Twitter Reactions as KKR beat Delhi and move to IPL Finals
Here are some of he finest Twitter reactions as Kolkata Knight Riders beat Delhi Capitals in the 2nd Qualifier and move to Finals. KKR to Chennai Super Kings in two days time. Cricket fans and former cricketers congratulated KKR for their fantastic win against Delhi Capitals.