Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Tripathi drags KKR to IPL final after late scare. With six needed off two balls, Tripathi smashed a six over long-off off Ashwin to push KKR to their third IPL final
With six needed off two balls, Tripathi smashed a six over long-off off Ashwin to push KKR to their third IPL final
Rahul Tripathi's six off the penultimate ball helped Kolkata Knight Riders get into the final of IPL 2021 in dramatic fashion after a topsy-turvy chase against a valiant Delhi Capitals.
How did it end in such drama?
Delhi's' campaign may have ended in heartbreak but their bowlers made sure they went down fighting. Despite KKR dominating most part of the chase, DC pulled it all back in the last three overs. With 11 needed off the last three, Kagiso Rabada, conceded just one while also picking up the wicket of Dinesh Karthik.
This was taken further by Anrich Nortje in the 19th, who gave away only three while accounting for Eoin Morgan. With 7 needed in the final over, R Ashwin raised DC's hopes by bagging Shakib Al Hasan (LBW) and Sunil Narine (caught at long off) off consecutive balls. But Tripathi, held his nerve and waited back for the short, flat balls that Ashwin was pushing through and smashed one over long off to take KKR into their 3rd IPL final, and second against the Chennai Super Kings.
How did KKR fare before the drama?
On cruise control, almost right through and all thanks to their find of the season – Venkatesh Iyer. He clinically hit the spinners out of the attack in the powerplay, sweeping Ashwin for a four and then tonking Axar Patel for a six. It threw DC's best laid plans awry and left Pant searching for options.
The dew coming in played to Iyer's advantage as well. He kept the pressure on everyone, dancing down the track to hit Kagiso Rabada for a six as well. He had some luck going his way too with Rabada dropping a return catch in the same over when he was on just 22. But that onslaught meant that KKR knocked off 51 through their openers in just the powerplay.
And it continued in the same vein thereafter as Iyer got to his fifty and found an ideal foil in Shubman Gill, who dropped anchor and turned the strike over regularly. They managed to put on 96 before Iyer fell, pulling Rabada down to deep square leg. There were no further hiccups until the wickets of Nitish Rana and Gill in the space of five balls triggered a collapse that saw them lose 6 wickets for 7 runs before Tripathi's heroics.
Were the conditions always difficult to bat?
Yes, pretty much right through the first innings it showed similar characteristics, just as it had done previously at Sharjah through the tournament. Keeping slow and low, at times, it was unconducive for strokeplay even for well set batsmen. KKR largely had the right sort of personnel in the bowling attack to exploit these conditions as well.
Who were they?
Initially it was the spinners who made an impact. Varun Chakravarthy trapped Prithvi Shaw LBW for 18 just as he was beginning to impose himself on the game. Marcus Stoinis, brought in for the must-win game was given a surprise promotion to No. 3. And he, along with Shikhar Dhawan, tried in vain to attack the spinners. But the duo managed to lay a base with a steady 39-run stand for the 2nd wicket, allowing DC to get to 65/1 by the halfway mark, before a wobble midway.
DC lost three wickets in the space of 23 balls, losing both their well set batsmen and captain Rishabh Pant. It was Shivam Mavi who first broke the partnership having Stoinis bowled while trying to attack. Dhawan fell in a similar attempt to accelerate, getting an outside edge to point against Varun. Pant, who had swept his second ball for a four, fell in the next over, miscuing a pull off Lockie Ferguson. At 90/4 in the 16th over, DC were already in a spot of bother.
How did they recover then?
Through a stroke of luck, first. Shimron Hetmyer was caught brilliantly at the long on boundary but Varun had overstepped, spotted the third umpire. With some relief, Hetmyer promptly used his power through the onside to hit Ferguson for a couple of sixes in the next over. His run out in the penultimate over threatened to rob DC off some momentum in the final stages. However, Shreyas Iyer picked out an offcutter and a full toss from Mavi to get a four and a six in the final over to give DC a big boost.
Brief Scores: Delhi Capitals 135/5 in 20 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 36, Shreyas Iyer 30*) lost to Kolkata Knight Riders 136/7 in 19.5 overs (Venkatesh Iyer 55, Suhbman Gill 46; Kagiso Rabada 2-23) by 3 wickets