Venkatesh Iyer and Shubman Gill played knocks of 55 and 46 respectively to follow up Varun Chakravarthy's two-wicket haul as Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) defeated Delhi Capitals by three wickets in Qualifier 2 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 here at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Wednesday. KKR will now lock horns against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the final on Friday at the Dubai International Stadium.
Chasing 136, KKR got off to a solid start as openers Iyer and Gill put on 51 runs inside the first six overs. Both batters kept on scoring runs steadily and at the halfway mark, KKR's score read 76/0, still needing 60 more runs for the win.
Iyer continued with his brilliant form and brought up his half-century in the 12th over of the innings. It was Kagiso Rabada who finally ended Iyer's innings with KKR still 40 runs away from the target.
DC were able to take the wickets of Gill, Nitish Rana (13), Dinesh Karthik (0), Eoin Morgan (0), Shakib Al Hasan (0), and Sunil Narine (0) in a hurry, but in the end, KKR managed to score seven runs off the final over to register a win.
Earlier, Varun Chakravarthy returned with figures of 2 for 26 as KKR restricted Delhi Capitals to 135/5. Sent into bat, Capitals got off to a steady start as openers Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan put on 32 runs for the first wicket, but this stand was finally broken in the fifth over by Chakravarthy as he outclassed Shaw (18). After the end of the first six overs, the Capitals' score read 38/1.
Marcus Stoinis came out to bat at number three and along with Dhawan, put on 39 runs for the second wicket. However, as soon as Delhi started to gain an upper hand, KKR got the breakthrough of Stoinis (18) as Shivam Mavi dismissed the right-handed batter. Soon after, the set batter Dhawan (36) was sent back to the pavilion by Chakravarthy, and Delhi were reduced to 83/3 in the 15th over.
KKR managed to maintain a stranglehold over DC batters and this further resulted in the dismissal of skipper Rishabh Pant (6) and the task of reaching a competitive score rested on the shoulders of Shreyas Iyer and Shimron Hetmyer. In the final three overs, Delhi Capitals managed to score 36 more runs and as a result, the side posted a score of more than the 130-run mark.
Brief Scores: DC 135/5 (Shikhar Dhawan 36, Shreyas Iyer 30*; Varun Chakravarthy 2-26) lost to KKR 136/7 (Venkatesh Iyer 55, Shubman Gill 46; Kagiso Rabada 2-23) by three wickets