Kolkata Knight Riders made it to the Qualifier 2 of IPL 2021 as they beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by four wickets in the Eliminator on Monday.
The KKR bowlers came up with a superb bowling performance once again as they restricted RCB to a paltry total of 138/7 in their 20 overs. Sunil Narine was the wrecker-in-chief as he claimed four wickets in his four overs, conceding runs at an economy rate of just 5.25.
Narine’s victims include KS Bharat, Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers. None of these batters had any answer to deal with his bowling as the Caribbean maestro bamboozled them with his mystery spin.
Lockie Ferguson also did well as he registered bowling figures of 2/30 in his four overs. Kohli was the top scorer in the RCB innings as he scored 39 off 33 balls. He along with Devdutt Padikkal (21) got RCB off to a good start, with an opening stand of 49. But the other batters couldn’t do much as the track kept slowing down and aided the bowlers.
KKR in response also started well. Shubman Gill and Venkatesh Iyer put on an opening stand of 41 before the former was dismissed by Harshal Patel in the last over of the powerplay for a well-made 29(18).
The Kolkata-based side lost their next two wickets in quick succession and were reduced to 79/3 by the 11th over. It looked like RCB were getting back into the game once again but Narine, who was sent in to bat at No.5, had other plans.
He was facing Dan Christian after walking out to bat and smashed the Australian for three consecutive sixes of the first three balls he faced. That swung the momentum of the game completely in KKR’s favour once again as Narine brought the required run-rate below 6.00 with that 22-run over.
The chase still went down to the last over though. KKR lost Nitish Rana (23) in the 15th over with 110 runs on the board and Mohammad Suraj brought RCB further back into the game as he claimed the wickets of Narine (26) and Dinesh Karthik (10) in the 18th over of the innings.
But experienced veterans Eoin Morgan and Shakib Al Hasan kept their cool and took KKR over the line with two balls and four wickets to spare. Narine was deservedly adjudged the Player of the Match for his superb all-round effort that took KKR one step closer to the final.
KKR 139/6 (Gill 29, Narine 26; Chahal 2/16) in 19.4 overs beat
RCB 138/7 (Kohli 39, Padikkal 21; Narine 4/21) in 20 overs, by 4 wickets.