Both KKR and RCB won a game against each other in the round-robin league stage. However, Kolkata won a one-sided affair in the most recent meeting between the two teams and they were full of confidence going into the elimination match. The batters failed to cope with the pitch, thus the eliminator was a low-scoring affair. Kolkata won the match in the last over as Shakib Al Hasan scored the winning run for his team. Kolkata Knight Riders will play Delhi Capitals in qualifier 2 on Wednesday (October 13) for a spot in the final.
Match Report: KKR vs. RCB
Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli chose to bat first against Kolkata Knight Riders in the eliminator match on Monday (October 11) at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in Sharjah.
Batted first, Royal Challengers Bangalore barely managed to score 138/7 in their allotted 20 overs.
They got off to a good start in the innings, scoring 49 runs in the first five overs. Captain Virat Kohli and new sensation Devdutt Padikkal, started cautiously but were eager to rotate the strike to put pressure on the bowlers.
They were doing well until Kolkata got their first breakthrough with a wide outside off delivery to Padikkal (21) from Kiwi pacer Lockie Ferguson. The left-handed batsman failed to connect with the ball and was clean bowled in the first delivery of the sixth over.
Losing opener Padikkal (21) put the Bangalore innings under strain, as they only managed to score 21 runs in the following five overs and lost Srikar Bharat’s wicket. Bangalore had 70 runs on board for the cost of two wickets at that stage.
The Bangalore campaign was hoping that skipper Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell, and AB de Villiers would lead the team to a competitive score. Though neither of the players ignited in the death overs and Bangalore were forced to settle for a low total to defend.
Virat Kohli played a 39 off 33 balls knock before getting clean bowled by Sunil Narine in the 13th over. It was a fruitful day for Narine, who rattled Bangalore’s top and middle orders with some tight bowling and later played a crucial part with the bat. Narine finished his spell with 4-0-21-4. Apart from him, Ferguson took 2 wickets and Shakib Al Hasan had an economical spell as well.
Shubman Gill and Venkatesh Iyer got Kolkata off to a strong start with a 41-run opening partnership in pursuit of a modest score. The most successful bowler in IPL 2021, Harshal Patel interrupted their momentum by taking the first wicket in the sixth over. He removed Kolkata’s top scorer Shubman Gill (29) in an off-cutter slower delivery. Kolkata lost inform Rahul Tripathi in the following over.
Kolkata’s batsmen had battled to get the scoreboard moving due to the slow nature of the pitch. Kolkata’s innings were interrupted due to losing wickets at regular intervals, and the fate of the match was swinging both ways.
Nitesh Rana (23) and Sunil Narine (26) batted well in the middle of the innings to keep Kolkata in the run chase. Bangalore’s campaign looked positive to clinch the contest when Sunil Narine and Dinesh Karthik went back to the pavilion in the 18th over.
However, Shakib Al Hasan and captain Eoin Morgan’s patient approach eased Kolkata’s victory with two balls to spare. Shakib took the winning run in the fourth ball of the final over. Siraj, Patel, and Chahal bagged two wickets each for Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Player of the Match
All-rounder Sunil Narine was named the best player of the IPL 2021 eliminator match for his outstanding performance with the ball.
Kolkata Knight Riders had been struggling before the postponement of the Indian Premier League last May. They came back strong when the competition resumed in September in the United Arab Emirates. The Kolkata team management has found their ideal formation with the addition of Shakib Al Hasan to the playing XI. However, sources indicate that the ace all-rounder is unlikely to play in the second qualifying match given his commitment to the Bangladesh national team.
Andre Russell may replace Shakib Al Hasan and the West Indian knows what it takes to win a big match. Sunil Narine, Lockie Ferguson, and the openers did well in the eliminator match. They would play vital roles in the qualifier 2 encounter against Delhi Capitals in Sharjah.
Source: United News of Bangladesh