KKR All But Through to IPL Playoffs With 86-Run Win Over Rajasthan Royals
Shivam Mavi starred with the ball, picking four wickets for 21 runs.
Kolkata Knight Riders are all but through to the IPL 2021 playoffs with a commanding victory over Rajasthan Royals on Thursday night in Sharjah.
Shivam Mavi (4/21) and Lockie Ferguson (3/18) shared seven wickets between themselves to demolish Rajasthan by 86 runs in both teams' final group stage match of the season.
The result means Rajasthan and also Punjab Kings are now out of the running for the last playoffs berth and it may well come down to net run rate between KKR and Mumbai Indians for that last slot, if Mumbai win their last league fixture on Friday against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
However, KKR's 86-run win over Rajasthan tonight has set an almost unachievable goal for Mumbai who will need to win by 171 runs to leapfrog KKR in the points table.
Chasing KKR's 172, Rajasthan were reduced to 17/4 in the power-play as Kolkata effectively broke the back of the chase. Shakib Al Hasan struck on the third ball of the innings as Yashasvi Jaiswal went for a reverse sweep but missed it and was bowled. In the next over, Sanju Samson clipped Shivam Mavi's first ball to mid-wicket.
Lockie Ferguson's double strike in the fourth over left Rajasthan in deep shambles with both Liam Livingstone and Anuj Rawat sent back to the dressing room. Liam top-edged a pull off a short ball to deep square leg and two balls later, Anuj was beaten for pace and trapped plumb in front of the stumps.
Glenn Phillips and Shivam Dube struck a six each off Sunil Narine but in the next over, Phillips was hurried for pace and bowled by a straight delivery from Mavi. Three balls later, Mavi went past Dube's attempted flick to hit the stumps.
From thereon, it was free fall for Rajasthan.
Rahul Tewatia's three boundaries off Mavi in the tenth over helped RR avoid the ignominy of the lowest-ever total in the IPL.
The all-rounder continued to wage the lone battle, hitting boundaries against Chakravarthy, Ferguson and Narine despite running out of partners at the other end. Mavi put an end to Rajasthan's misery as Tewatia bottom edged to his stumps, giving the right-arm pacer his fourth wicket of the match.
Earlier in the day, Kolkata started slow but ended up registering 171/4 in 20 overs- the highest score at Sharjah in the tournament, thanks to Shubman Gill's stylish 56.
They had a sedate start with 34/0 in power-play, including four boundaries but post that, Venkatesh Iyer hit Jaydev Unadkat for a four through short third man followed by sixes down the ground and over long-on.
Rahul Tewatia broke the 79-run opening stand in the 11th over as Iyer missed a straight delivery and was bowled through his legs. Nitish Rana welcomed Glenn Phillips with a four and six in the next over. But Phillips had the last laugh on the fifth ball as Rana was caught off the toe-end at long-off.
Rahul Tripathi tore into Shivam Dube, taking back-to-back boundaries in the 14th over. Amidst all this, Gill held one end while finding boundaries in between. Gill brought up his fifty with a boundary off Chetan Sakariya in the 15th over, his second of the season. Gill whipped Chris Morris for a boundary in the next over. But a wide later, Gill mistimed a loft to cover, giving Morris his first wicket of the UAE leg.
Sakariya returned in the 18th over to disturb a sweeping Tripathi's stumps. Dinesh Karthik and Eoin Morgan landed some lusty blows in the last few overs to take Kolkata to a challenging total.
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