Sharjah: Kolkata Knight Riders sealed a spot in the final of Indian Premier League (IPL) after seven years beating Delhi Capitals by 3 wickets in the Qualifier 2 in Dubai on Wednesday.
In a roller-coaster of a game KKR managed to restrict the formidable to 135/5. However, chasing a modest total that match went till the penultimate over after a middle collapse in the Kolkata batting line up and they needed 7. Rahul Tripathi smashed one for the maximum on the fifth delivery from Delhi spinner Ravichandran Ashwin to grab a bout against Chennai Super Kings in the Final on Thursday(October 15).
Earlier, after being asked to bat, Delhi after as breezy first four overs where they got 32, struggled to keep the tempo right throughout the innings. Prithvi Shaw(18) got dismissed while his partner Shikhar Dhawan struggled throughout his innings getting 36 off 39. Skipper Rishabh Pant went home on a single digit. The KKR bowlers showed such tremendous accuracy throughout their spells that they even managed to tame hard hitter like Marcus Stoinis, who on his return to the side managed 18 off 23. Shreyas Iyer came to rescue for the side scoring an unbeaten fighting knock of 30 to get Delhi something on the board to work with.
For KKR Varun Chakravarthy(2/26) was the pick of the bowlers alongside Lockie Ferguson(1/26) and their fellow teammate Sunil Narine though went wicketless he bowled a tight spell giving a away just 26 of his full quota.
In Reply, Venkatesh Iyer(55) powered KKR to 96 in just 12 over. Although Subhman Gill(46) was there to give him a steady support, it was the lanky southpaw who took the Delhi bowlers to the cleaners bringing up a half-century by 38 balls. However, He got dismissed shortly after that falling to Kagiso Rabada. It looked like KKR would get the target like a breeze until a collapse had lead them stranded. Needing just 13 off 25, Kolkata lost 6 wickets and scored just 7 runs off the next 19.
Delhi bowlers lead by the Proteas duo of Rabada(2/23) and Anrich Nortje(2/31) had made a match out of nothing leading into the penultimate over. However, the luck didn’t favored them in the end, as Rahul Tripathi put curtains down on the drama smoking the winning maximum of the fifth ball though Ravichandran Ashwin ticked every box throughout the over until that.
Brief Scores: Kolkata Knight Riders 136/7 in 19.5 overs (Venkatesh Iyer 55, Subhman Gill 46 ; Kagiso Rabada 2/23, Anrich Nortje 2/31) beat Delhi Capitals 135/5 in 20 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 36, Shreyas Iyer 30; Varun Chakravarty 2/26, Lockie Ferguson 1/26) by 3 wickets.