Sharjah: Kolkata Knight Riders continued their dream run in the UAE and registered a nail-biting 3-wicket win over Delhi Capitals in IPL 2021 Qualifier 2 on Wednesday to seal a place in the final. Chasing a moderate target of 136, Kolkata Knight Riders openers Venkatesh Iyer (55) and Shubman Gill (46) set the platform as the Eoin Morgan-led side won the match in the final over. KKR will now face MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings in the summit clash on Friday in Dubai.Also Read - Rahul Dravid Officially Applies For Team India Head Coach's Post; VVS Laxman Likely to Take Over at NCA
Rahul Tripathi sealed the win for KKR with a magnificent six as Delhi’s hopes for their maiden IPL title shattered once again. KKR entered the IPL final for the first time since 2014. Delhi, who lost their third match on the trot, were completely outclassed by Morgan and Co in all three departments in the high-octane Qualifier 2 in Sharjah. Also Read - IPL Auction Highlights: RPSG Group Takes Lucknow with 7000 Crore Bid, CVC Capital Bags Ahmedabad
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Meanwhile, Kolkata’s extraordinary run in the UAE leg continues with another thrilling run chase. The two-time champions have a great opportunity to win their third IPL trophy on Friday.
KKR had won just two matches out of seven in the first half of IPL in India. But the COVID-19 forced break worked wonders for the franchise as they came to UAE as a resurgent side and played fearless cricket which became their hallmark. In the UAE leg, Kolkata have lost just two matches and won six including the second qualifier.
Asked to bat first, Delhi Capitals were restricted to just 135/5 in 20 overs as Kolkata bowlers once again produced a collective show in Sharjah to prove their supremacy.
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.
Prithvi Shaw looked confident with his approach at the start of the innings as he sent the ball out of the park for a 90 meter six to Shakib Al Hasan. However, Chakravarthy with his mystery got the better of him on the first ball of his spell.
The wickets kept coming for Kolkata after that as none of the middle-order batters except Shreyas managed to put up a fight against a quality bowling attack. Stoinis scored 18 off 23 balls, while captain Rishabh Pant was departed for six. Courtesy of Shreyas, DC managed to score 36 runs in the last three overs to put up a decent total in the end.
Kolkata started the chase on a positive note with a sensational 96-run stand for the opening wicket between Shubman and Venkatesh. However, the middle order collapsed miserably as from 96/0, KKR were seven down for 130.
Kolkata needed 13 runs in the last four overs and Delhi bowlers still managed to make a game out of it as seven runs were required from the final over from Ravichandran Ashwin.
Shakib Al Hasan and Sunil Narine were dismissed by Ashwin in the final over but Rahul held his nerves and smashed a six over long-off on the fifth ball to guide KKR to their third IPL finale.