Mumbai Indians need to win by 171 runs against SRH to replace KKR from 4th place
Kolkata Knight Riders 171 for 4 (Gill 56, Sakariya 1/23) beat Rajasthan Royals 85 (Tewatia 44, Mavi 4/21, Ferguson 3/18) by 86 runs
The 54th match of the 14th edition of Indian Premier League (IPL 2021) was played between Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) at Sharjah Cricket Stadium. This was the last league game for both these teams, also a do or die match for both sides in this season of IPL to book the playoff berth.
Royals win toss, opt to field
Rajasthan Royals skipper Sanju Samson won the toss and sent their opponents to bat at Sharjah Cricket Stadium. Royals made four changes in their eleven, by bringing Liam Livingstone, Chris Morris, Anuj Rawat and Jaydev Unadkat into the team, whereas Kiwi seamer Lockie Ferguson returned to the Kolkata team in place of Tim Southee.
Venkatesh Iyer, Shubman Gill lay solid foundation for KKR
On the tricky surface of Sharjah, Kolkata openers Venkatesh Iyer and Shubman Gill started the KKR innings cautiously by scoring only 34 runs in the powerplay. From the tenth over of the innings, Iyer started to attack Kolkata bowling to increase the run rate.
He hammered two maximums in an over bowled by Unadkat. Iyer got out after adding 79 runs for the first wicket with Gill. He eventually got bowled by Rahul Tewatia in an attempt to play a risky reverse sweep. He made 38 runs off 35 balls with the help of three fours and two sixes.
Acceleration from rest of batting order to help KKR reach 171
One down batter Nitish Rana struck two boundaries to Glenn Phillips but got out in the same over, as Livingstone caught him at long-off. Rahul Tripathi replaced Rana in the middle and played aggressively at the start of his innings.
On the other end, Gill completed his vital fifty in 40 balls. After completing his fifty, Gill perished on 56 as he was trying to smack a Chris Morris’ delivery towards on side, but it took the leading edge of the bat and went into the hands of Yashasvi Jaiswal at the cover.
Celebrated finisher for Kolkata Knight Riders, Dinesh Karthik came in the middle and launched a huge six off Mustafizur Rahman on the fifth ball. Tripathi got bowled by Chetan Sakariya while playing another shot, which ended his cameo of 21 runs off 14 balls.
Royals death bowlers Chris Morris and Mustafizur dried up runs in death overs except the final over of the innings. In the final over of the innings, Royal bagged 16 runs to reach the highest total at Sharjah in this season of IPL, 171 in 20 overs.
Royals get a miserable start
Royals batters looked attacking from the first over of the innings only, for which they had to pay a heavy price, as they lost four wickets in just the first four overs of the innings.
Youngster Jaiswal tried to attack the first ball of the innings, bowled by Shakib Al Hasan but eventually got bowled on the third ball of the same over, while he was trying a reverse sweep.
RR skipper Sanju Samson came to bat at one down but flicked the ball straight into the hands of his counterpart Morgan at mid-wicket. This was a huge loss for Royals as Samson was their highest run-scorer in this season of IPL. As the pressure of the required run rate increased on batters, English batter Liam Livingstone played a pull, but it went into the air, only for him to be caught at deep square by Tripathi.
Next batter Anuj Rawat got out LBW off Lockie Ferguson on a golden duck, which he reviewed, but he was plumb in front of the stumps.
Royals folded on the lowest total in this season of IPL
Wicket continued to tumble in heaps to leave Royals in a dire situation. They lost their seven wickets in the first ten overs only. After their eighth wicket fell, Rahul Tewatia played some elegant strokes to make quick runs.
However, back-to-back wickets of Sakariya and Tewatia ensured the Royals folded on a miserable total of 85 runs which is their lowest total in this season of IPL.
They broke the previous record, which was registered by themselves only when they could score only 90/9 against Mumbai Indians at the same venue in their previous game. Shivam Mavi scalped four wickets conceding just 21 runs, while Ferguson bagged three wickets for just 18 runs to flatten the Royals.
Royals, Punjab eliminated from IPL officially
Kolkata Knight Riders consolidated their position at four, by reaching 14 points in the points table, after this huge win over Royals, while the latter remained at seventh position with only 10 points in 14 games, so they are eliminated officially from IPL.
Also after this staggering win of Kolkata, Punjab Kings have been eliminated from IPL officially, as four teams including Kolkata recorded more points than Punjab in the points table, while they remained with only 12 points in 14 games.
Mumbai will need to win by 171 runs against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) on Friday if they are to qualify for the playoffs, which in all fairness is beyond the realm of possibility. And if Mumbai chase, it is impossible for them to make it mathematically.
The 55th game of IPL 2021 is scheduled to take place at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi between Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad while the 56th game is going to be held between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Capitals at Dubai International Cricket Stadium. Both the games are going to kick off at 19:30 hours IST.
Top Twitter Reactions as Kolkata beat Rajasthan
Kolkata Knight Riders beat Rajasthan Royals by 86 runs and move to fourth spot in points table. With this win, KKR have boosted their NRR to a great extent and that will surely hurt MI's chances. To qualify for playoffs, Mumbai Indians need to win game SRH by 171 runs which seems virtually impossible. Fans and players congratulated KKR for their fantastic performance.
Here are some of the finest Twitter Reactions from KKRvRR: