Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) edged past Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by four wickets in a tight Eliminator match of IPL 2021 at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Monday. Kolkata chased down the target of 139 with two balls to spare and will now face Delhi Capitals (DC) in Qualifier 2 for a place in the final against Chennai Super Kings (CSK).
Chasing 139, KKR got off to a steady start as openers Shubman Gill and Venkatesh Iyer put on 41 runs for the first wicket. However, this stand was finally broken by Purple Cap holder Harshal Patel in the sixth over of the innings. Rahul Tripathi (6) was trapped in front by Yuzvendra Chahal and KKR was reduced to 53/2 in the 7th over.
RCB remained in the contest as the bowlers did not give many loose balls and as a result, Harshal got his second wicket of the match as he dismissed Iyer (26) in the 12th over of the innings. With this wicket, Harshal equalled Dwayne Bravo's record of taking most wickets in a single IPL season.
Sunil Narine then came out to bat and he played a quickfire knock of 26 runs, and it changed the game in KKR's favour. RCB managed to dismiss Narine (26), Dinesh Karthik (10), and Nitish Rana (23) in quick succession, but in the end, KKR managed to register a win.
Earlier, Sunil Narine returned with figures of 4-21 as Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) restricted Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to 138/7. Opting to bat first, RCB got off to a good start as openers Virat Kohli and Devdutt Padikkal put on 49 runs inside the first six overs. However, KKR was able to get the breakthrough in the 6th over as Lockie Ferguson dismissed Padikkal (21).
Hero from the game against Delhi Capitals, Srikar Bharat (9) failed to leave a mark with the bat, and RCB was reduced to 69/2 in the 10th over.
Kohli and Glenn Maxwell put on 19 runs for the third wicket but to make matters worse for RCB, Kohli (39) departed in the 13th over as he was bowled by Sunil Narine. Soon after, AB de Villiers (11) was also bowled by Narine, and RCB was left at 102/4 in the 15th over.
Narine continued with his wicket-taking spree as he went on to dismiss big-hitting Maxwell (15) and RCB was left in all sorts of troubles in the backend. In the final three overs, RCB struggled to get some big hits and in the end, the side had to settle with a score of under the 140-run mark.
With this defeat, Virat Kohli's road as captain in the cash-rich league has ended as he had earlier announced that he would be stepping down as the leader of RCB after the ongoing edition.
Meanwhile, Twitter users were heartbroken after RCB's defeat. Check out the reactions below:
(With ANI inputs)
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