IPL 2021: KKR on verge of play-offs after beating Rajasthan Royals by 86 runs

Shivam Mavi took four wickets for KKR and Lockie Ferguson took three as Rajasthan crumbled while chasing a target of 172.

Published: 07th October 2021 07:40 PM  |   Last Updated: 08th October 2021 08:45 AM   |  A+A-

KKR's Varun Chakravarthy celebrates the fall of a wicket with teammates. (Photo | Twitter/IPL)

Express News Service

KOCHI:  Kolkata Knight Riders’ fate was firmly in their own hands going into their last group game against Rajasthan Royals on Thursday. Kolkata didn’t have to produce anything extraordinary to ward off the late rally launched from Mumbai Indians, but they left nothing to chance by producing a thoroughly dominant display.

A defeat for Eoin Morgan’s side would have unnecessarily complicated matters, but the pressure didn’t faze them as they blew Rajasthan away by 86 runs to all but qualify. For Mumbai to make it, they need to beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by 171 runs on Friday. After being put to bat first at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Kolkata’s top order led by Shubman Gill (56) posted the highest score at this venue this season as they made 171/4.

Then led by Shivam Mavi (4/21) and Lockie Ferguson (3/18) who was returning to the team from injury, Kolkata cleaned up the Royals batting in no time as Rahul Tewatia (44) waged a lonely and losing battle. The win boosted Kolkata’s net run rate further, making it a mountain to climb for Mumbai.

After the defeat against Mumbai at the same venue, Sanju Samson chose to bowl first and put pressure on Kolkata. But for the second straight game, the Royals were completely outplayed. It was down to the Kolkata top order to give them a good start and set the tone — which they did yet again. On a slow

Shubman Gill celebrates after reaching
his half-century on Thursday | sportzpics

surface, even the dashing Venkatesh Iyer couldn’t free his arms but Kolkata managed to avoid losing any wickets in the powerplay as they were 34/0 in the first six overs. 

With the boundaries hard to come by, Gill and Iyer kept the scoreboard ticking with quick running between the wickets and putting away the loose deliveries. Iyer targetted Unadkat and smashed him for two sixes in the 10th over as the pacer went for 14 as Kolkata looked to kick on. Spin was finally introduced in the 11th over as Rahul Tewatia provided Rajasthan a breakthrough by breaking the opening partnership of 79.

Iyer had tried a reverse sweep Tewatia but the ball skidded right through and took out the stumps. In the very next over, Nitish Rana was dismissed. Gill continued to anchor Kolkata’s innings. Once he departed, Rajasthan pulled things back a little, but Kolkata managed to go past the 170-run mark. 

Brief scores:

KKR 171/4 in 20 overs (Shubman Gill 56; Chris Morris 1/28, Chetan Sakariya 1/23). Rajasthan Royals 85 all out in 16.1 overs (Rahul Tewatia 44; Lockie Ferguson 3/18, Shivam Mavi 4/21).


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