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IPL 2021 Qualifier 2, KKR vs DC: Who won yesterday’s match?

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A sensational fightback from Delhi Capitals (DC) bowlers was not enough to prevent Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) from booking their place in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 final.

Chasing 136 for victory, KKR were cruising at 123 for 1 in the 16th over. However, a flurry of wickets saw them crumble to 130 for 7 in no time. But with six needed off two balls, Rahul Tripathi clattered a length ball from Ravichandran Ashwin over the bowler’s head for a maximum to sink DC.

KKR’s stunning batting collapse began with the last ball of the 16th over when Nitish Rana (13) hit Anrich Nortje straight to long leg. Still, with only 13 to win off 24 balls, KKR’s win seemed a formality. The well-set Shubman Gill (46), however, soon fell to Avesh Khan while playing a tired shot and giving a catch behind the wickets.

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Dinesh Karthik then perished for a duck, cleaned up off an inside edge as he tried to slog Kagiso Rabada across the line. With 10 needed off 12 deliveries, Nortje bowled a brilliant penultimate over, conceding only three. In the last ball of his spell, he dismissed KKR skipper Eoin Morgan (0), who chopped the ball onto the stumps.

KKR now needed seven off the last over. After a dot ball, Ashwin trapped Shakib Al Hasan (0) lbw as the left-hander missed his scoop. Next ball, Sunil Narine (0) lofted one straight to long-off. Tripathi, however, launched the hat-trick delivery over the ropes to put KKR in the final with a nervy three-wicket win.

Earlier, after KKR’s bowlers restricted DC to 135 for 5 in Qualifier 2, Venkatesh Iyer (55) and Shubman (46) added 96 for the opening wicket to make the chase a breeze before the batting collapse. KKR eased their way to 51 for no loss at the end of the powerplay. The first ball of the innings by Nortje was crunched through the covers by Gill for a boundary. Iyer then hit sixes in two consecutive overs from Axar Patel and Kagiso Rabada.

The left-arm spinner was launched over deep midwicket. After that, the confident KKR left-hander chipped down the track to Rabada and slammed him over long-on. The DC pacer had a chance to get his revenge in the same over as Iyer popped a return catch to the the bowler. However, Rabada spilled the low chance despite getting both hands to it.

Apart from finding the boundaries, another impressive feature of KKR’s opening partnership was that the batters placed the ball in the gaps and ran hard between wickets. Their intent put DC under greater pressure and the dew factor did not help the fielding side either.

After a couple of quiet overs, Iyer clobbered Axar for another maximum over deep midwicket, as KKR were in complete command at 76 for no loss at the halfway stage. Iyer soon reached his third fifty of the season off 38 balls by dabbing Axar to short third man. The KKR’s opener’s wonderful innings came to an end on 55 as he slammed Rabada straight to deep square leg.

Even as Gill was intent on rotating the strike at one end, Rana came in and launched Axar for a maximum straight over the bowler’s head. On the first ball of the 15th over, Ashwin dropped a simple catch of Rana at thirdman. The KKR left-hander sliced a slog off Avesh Khan but was lucky to survive. KKR allowed DC to make a comeback with some ordinary batting, but Tripathi held his nerves in the end.

DC fight their way to 135 for 5 on a tough batting surface

KKR players celebrate a wicket. Pic: IPLT20.COMAlso Read

For DC, Dhawan top-scored with a hard-fought 36 while Shreyas Iyer chipped in a valuable 30 not out. On the bowling front, Nortje, Ashwin and Rabada all claimed two wickets apiece.

Venkatesh Iyer was named Man of the Match for his dominant half-century during the chase.

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