IPL 2021 Qualifier 2: Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) have done it again. They entered their third IPL Final after defeating the best performers of this season, Delhi Capitals (DC) in IPL 2021 Qualifier 2 in a nail-biting game.
KKR’s victory was set into motion the minute they won the toss and sent the Rishabh Pant-led outfit to bat first. The bowlers dominated the entire inning of DC as their whole focus was to them the DC batters stifled. DC got off to a steady start with Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan stitched 32 runs for the first wicket, slamming 18 and 36, respectively. But their batting lacked power since the beginning as Varun Chakravarthy returned figures of 2/26 to keep them under check.
Marcus Stoinis joined forces with Shikhar Dhawan after the dismissal of Shaw and put up a partnership of 39 runs for the second wicket before the right-handed batter was dismissed by Shivam Mavi in the 12th over. Shreyas Iyer and Shimron Heytmer kept their hopes alive by smashing 30 off 27 and 17 off 10, respectively. However, the stranglehold of KKR bowlers did not allow them to set up a target of more than 135/5.
KKR started their innings on an explosive note as it played a pivotal role in snatching the game from the hands of the table-toppers. Openers Shubman Gill and Venkatesh Iyer hammered 40+ scores to bring the game under the grip of the team. While Iyer hammered 55 runs, completing his third half-century, Gill fell short of only four runs from completing his fifty.
They were down but not out as their wickets fell like dominoes. Nitish Rana (13), Dinesh Karthik (0), Eoin Morgan (0), Shakib Al Hasan (0), and Sunil Narine (0) gave the impression that the match was getting out of their hands. But Shubman Gill and Venkatesh Iyer’s contribution helped them keep their stronghold in the game and the finishing on was done by Rahul Tripathi, who cranked a maximum to seal the victory for the team.
IPL 2021 Qualifier 2 Stats & Facts
- In the last five games they have squared off agaisnt each other, KKR has won three while DCC has emerged triumphant in two matches.
- Most Ducks in an IPL Season as Captain: 4 – Morgan (2021)*; 3 – Warne (2009); 3 – Harbhajan (2012); 3 – Gambhir (2014); 3 – Kohli (2014); 3 – Maxwell (2017); 3 – Ashwin (2018); 3 – Rohit (2018).
- Most times dismissed on single digit scores in an IPL Season: 10 – Morgan (2021)*; 9 – D Karthik (2020); 9 – D Hooda (2016).
- DC – 135/5 vs KKR is the lowest defending score for DC. Delhi has never defended a target below 150 scores in the IPL History.
- Highest Strike Rate against Spin in IPL 2021-161: Prithvi Shaw*; 157: Ruturaj Gaikwad; 154: Glenn Maxwell; 141: Moeen Ali; 135: Nitish Rana.
- Win% at Sharjah in IPL 2021: 100% KKR, 100% CSK, 50% Delhi Capitals, 50% MI, 50% PBKS, 33% RCB, 0% RR, 0% SRH.
- Shikhar Dhawan ended his IPL 2021 campaign as the third-highest run-scorer with 587 runs to his name.
- Avesh Khan finished on the secomd position in the race for the Purple Cap with 24 wickets under his belt in IPL 2021.
- KKR opener Shubman Gill has scored 295 runs in the UAE leg of IPL 2021 so far, the fourth-highest.
- Most wickets by spinners in IPL 2021: 18 – Varun Chakaravarthy; 18 – Rashid Khan; 18 – Yuzvendra Chahal; 15 – Axar Patel.
- It will be the first time that an IPL final will be played between two World Cup winning captains.
- KKR has a 100% winning record in the IPL Final, while CSK has a winning percentage of 37.5.
Brief Scores: Kolkata Knight Riders 136/7 (Venkatesh Iyer 55, Shubman Gill 46; Kagiso Rabada 2/23) beat Delhi Capitals 135/5 (Shikhar Dhawan 36, Shreyas Iyer 30*; Varun Chakravarthy 2/26) by 3 wickets.
Kolkata Knight Riders are now all set to set the stage on fire with a high-octane IPL 2021 showdown against the Chennai Super Kings on October 15 in a quest to bag their third IPL title.
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