Rahul Tripathi: Out of 13 of 25 balls, KKR needed 6 of 7 in 3.5 overs to almost lose a game that he will never miss. They spent much of the chase at cruise control, and then the Kolkata Knight Riders found a wet spot that was about to throw them out of the way onto a cliff. Out of 13 required runs on 25 balls.
Knight Riders lost six wickets in 3.5 overs with just seven runs added and faced an equation in which Rahul Tripathi R Ashwin scored six goals on the last two balls. Rahul Tripathi had scored six balls often by then, rather than failing to connect, while Ashwin had given up on a four-ball run while he broke two wickets.
Tripathi had braced himself for a fast takeoff ball and threw a stint of verve in a flat shot that was carried by nervous energy as much as anything else on the long line.
The Knight Riders’ resurgence in the 2021 IPL UAE Round continued with their seventh win in nine games. You are in the final where the Chennai Super Kings await you.
Delhi Capitals looked dejected and nearly knocked out for most of the second inning, but came alive with a vengeance when Knight Riders panicked with the finish line in sight.
Delhi Capitals’ brief flutter at the top
The Capitals got off to a smooth start, but more than three and four had 26 runs. Prithvi Shaw had started aggressively. While Shikhar Dhawan Sunil Narine hit a pair of sixes after spending his first seven balls goalless. Both opening games flowed and scoring at a healthy 32 with no loss in four overs. Meant the Capitals looked strong, but that was as good as it was for them when they hit.
Varun was struck with his first ball. Shaw did not read the ball as he entered to be caught in front of him. This initiated the well-known twist choke of the Knight Riders. Dhawan looked like he was trying to fight his way into the entrances. But he attacked Varun before the pacemakers intervened after death.
The return of Marcus Stoinis balanced the Capitals team on paper. But failed to beat all three after so long in the cold. When Rishabh Pant also fell cheap, the Capitals were 90 of 4 in 15.2 overs. Struggling to overcome a run for the ball.
The no-ball and Shreyas Iyer’s grandstand finish
Shreyas had come on the 12th to hit, which is later than it normally does for Capitals. For most of his innings, he just turned the punch. His fifth-wicket partner, Shimron Hetmyer, was more adventurous, although he had a bit of luck when he was 17.
A shovel was brilliantly caught by Shubman Gill, who fell towards Long-on, but Varun narrowly missed him. Hetmyer hit two sixes against Lockie Ferguson‘s pace. On the next over but gave them away when he did a nonexistent run to be well ahead of the line.
Venkatesh Iyer takes off
Venkatesh encapsulated the Knight Riders’ opening stand with a single shot. In the fifth over, he paced down the lane and easily hit the ball over Long-on. And did it against Kagiso Rabada.
Previously, he had also dropped Axar Patel in the deep middle. And that casual six in front of Rabada confirmed how the dominant Knight Riders had started. The power play brought 51 runs, with the opening games still going strong. With Shubman Gill playing the supporting role in Venkatesh’s daring hitting game.
The scramble at the death
There was no indication of the drama that would unfold as Nitish Rana Anrich Nortje at the end of the 16th. But a procession began that did not look like it was going to end. Gill, who wrote an impressive forward pull from Nortje on Long-on, was caught behind an unusual punch after a controlled tackle, and Knight Riders suddenly realized there wasn’t that much ground left.
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