Sports

KKR beat DC by 3 wkts, to face CSK in final

KKR beat DC by 3 wkts, to face CSK in final
Venkatesh Iyer of Kolkata Knight Riders plays a shot during the qualifier 2 of the IPL, at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah, UAE, Wednesday. (PTI)
Sharjah, Oct 13 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 10/13/2021 11:42:39 AM IST

Kolkata Knight Riders survives a massive scare in the IPL on Wednesday to beat Delhi Capitals by 3 wickets and reach the final where they will meet the Chennai Super Kings on October 15.

Chasing a below-par 136 for victory, KKR were cruising at one stage thanks to the 96-run opening partnership between Venkatesh Iyer and Shubman Gill which almost took the game away from Rishabh Pant’s DC, India Today reported.

Iyer hit his third fifty of the season and top-scored with 55 off 41 balls while Gill and Nitish Rana also made important contributions of 46 and 13, respectively, to help the team reach close to the finish line.

But things took a dramatic turn when Gill departed and KKR collapsed from 123 for 1 to 130 for 7 and looked like they would make a complete mess of the game despite being in the driver’s seat. The equation changed from 13 runs to get from 25 balls with 8 wickets in hand to KKR needing 6 from 2 balls with 3 wickets in hand.

Fortunately for KKR, Rahul Tripathi was there to face the final two deliveries and he made sure there were no more hiccups as he finished the game with a six and a ball to spare as his teammates breathed a huge sigh of relief.

KKR’s chase was a stark contrast from the first innings when DC batsmen struggled to put bat on ball on the slow and sluggish Sharjah pitch. The dew made the surface a bit quicker and easier to bat on while DC fielders and bowlers had a tough time keeping the ball dry.

The win made KKR the third team in IPL history to go through to the final after winning the Eliminator and Qualifier 2. Only Chennai Super Kings (2013) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (2018) achieved the feat in the past but both teams finished runners-up.

Earlier, Kolkata Knight Riders rode on mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy’s sensational performance on a slow pitch at Sharjah to restrict Delhi Capitals to 135 for 5 after electing to bowl first.

Sent in to bat, DC batters struggled on a sluggish pitch with the KKR bowlers bowling a tight line and length.

Opener Shikhar Dhawan top-scored with a 39-ball 36 while Shreyas Iyer remained not out on 30 off 27 balls. Chakravarthy took two wickets for 26 runs while Lockie Ferguson and Shivam Mavi got one each.

BRIEF SCORES: Delhi Capitals: 135-5 in 20 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 36, Shreyas Iyer 30*; Varun Chakaravarthy (2/26) lost to Kolkata Knight Riders 136/7 in 19.5 overs (Venkatesh Iyer 55, Shubman Gill 46; Kagiso Rabada 2/23).

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