IPL 2021, KKR vs RR: Kolkata produces unforgiving performance to knock out Rajasthan by 87 runs
Kolkata Knight Riders hammered Rajasthan Royals by 87 runs in its IPL 2021 tie in Sharjah on Thursday, thus certainly sealing its playoffs berth. The race for Mumbai Indians is also seemingly over.
It was a knockout performance by former champion Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). It knocked out fellow former champion Rajasthan Royals in an emphatic fashion, by 87 runs, in Match 54 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Thursday.
Winning the toss, RR skipper Sanju Samson elected to field, as he made four changes to his side, while KKR skipper Eoin Morgan made just a change, bringing in Lockie Ferguson for Tim Southee. The KKR openers, Shubman Gill (56) and Venkatesh Iyer (38) were off to a slow but steady start, contributing to a 79-run opening stand before the latter was knocked over by spinner Rahul Tewatia in the 11th, followed by Nitish Rana (12) to spinner Glenn Phillips in the following over, 13 runs later.
However, a 41-run stand followed between Gill and Rahul Tripathi (13), while Gill scored his ninth IPL half-century in the process. At 133, Gill was dismissed by pacer Chris Morris in the 16th, while 12 runs later, Sakariya knocked over Tripathi in the 18th.
Dinesh Karthik (14*) and Morgan (13*) provided the finishing touches to help KKR post 171/4, the highest total at this ground this season. RR put seven bowlers into the attack, with four bowlers claiming a wicket each, while Sakariya was the most economical of all.
Coming out for the chase, RR was off to an appalling start, losing four within the Powerplay, in the form of Yashasvi Jaiswal (0), Samson (1), Liam Livingstone (6) and Anuj Rawat (0), with just 13 runs on the board. Glenn Phillips (8) fell in the eighth over to pacer Shivam Mavi, 20 runs later, followed by Shivam Dube (18) at 34 in the same over.
The incoming batters could hardly contribute, and all fell for single figures. Although Tewatia (44) provided some fightback, it was nothing more than a cameo, with Mavi knocking him over in the 17th over to seal the deal and hand KKR a massive 87-run win.
KKR has almost certainly sealed its playoffs berth. It would mean that defending champion Mumbai Indians (MI) would need to defeat former champion SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) by a margin of 171 runs on Sunday to see itself claiming the fourth spot, while RR and Punjab Kings (PBKS) are officially out.
KKR utilised five bowlers, with Mavi claiming four, while Varun Chakravarthy was highly economical.
Brief scores: KKR 171/4 (Gill- 56, Iyer- 38; Tewatia- 1/11) defeats RR 85 in 16.1 overs (Tewatia- 44; Mavi- 4/21, Ferguson- 3/18) by 86 runs.