135/5 (20)
136/7 (19.5)
Kolkata Knight Riders won by 3 wickets
Player of the match: Venkatesh Iyer
That is all that was written for this manic second Qualifier and at the end of it, we have our two finalists - the Chennai Super Kings and the Kolkata Knight Riders will battle it out in the summit clash at the Dubai International Stadium come Friday. Each of these playoff matches have been edge-of-the-seat thrillers and if that is anything to go by, we should be in for a cracker of a contest in the final. Do ensure to join us for our coverage of the same here on Sportskeeda while also keeping yourselves up to date with all the other cricketing news and action from across the globe. Thank you so much for tuning into our coverage of this contest - one which we hope you enjoyed as much as we did bringing it to you. Until the grand finale then, on behalf of my good friend and fellow textpert Shashwat Kumar, this is Sooryanarayanan Sesha once again reminding you to mask up and get yourselves vaccinated in case you haven't already. Good night and take care!
His maturity and the manner in which he has kept a sound head on his shoulders has been impressive to watch and once again, Venkatesh Iyer has taken another giant stride in the competition. In a clutch game, he has delivered the goods for his side and even though things got much tighter towards the end than they should have, it was his half-century atop the batting order that eventually ensured that KKR had far lesser to do towards the climax that nearly turned into an anticlimax. If you are a Delhi Capitals fan, you can be mighty proud of how your side fared in this clash as well as the tournament in general. This team has managed to take giant strides over the years and but for a few fine margins, they could have well found themselves in the summit clash. If a good part of their young Indian core is kept intact going forward though, a maiden title should not be too far away!
Venkatesh Iyer (Player of the Match): I'm doing what is being asked of me and it's nice to have won the game. I don't want to go back there (laughs on being asked if he's done with the trial balance). There's no difference to be honest (between domestic cricket and the IPL) - I've come to play the way I want to play and I am glad the management has asked me to play that way. There is a bit more pressure here than in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy but it is a great place to play. I wanted to take my time until the end but that's not me - I was losing out on being in the present so I wanted to take on the bad balls. Shubman is an exquisite stroke maker. He is an amazing player. I just want to complement him out there and that's what I did. (On his call up as a net bowler to the Indian side) I got the news today but I am not thinking about it at all. There is one more game to go and I want to have my entire focus on that game before everything else.
Eoin Morgan (Kolkata Knight Riders Captain): I don't think now is a time to dissect what happened. We should have finished it a lot easier. Venky and Shubman gave us a brilliant start and the ball skid on a lot better with the dew. But we're in the finals - our confidence is high and we are delighted. You have to play some entertaining games (laughs) - I would have much rather won convincingly. Delhi Capitals played exceedingly well. Rahul Tripathi has done it so many times for us in the tournament and he did it again. (On the young players stepping up) I think it's a nice ink to the team culture. We've got the younger guys and the experienced ones come in and express themselves. Brendon McCullum has created an outstanding team culture. (Was he in touch with the think tank during the break between the two legs?) Yes, all the time. With this squad, there is a huge amount of expectations for a reason. We had to strategize a lot and it's a huge privilege - hopefully we can do it again. (Whose idea was it to play Venkatesh Iyer?) It was our coach who has watched him through the practice games and he made it look so easy out there. (On having won both their finals across the years) It's something we would love to keep going - obviously playing against CSK who have been one of the most consistent franchises in history having made a number of playoffs and won championships is not easy. Anything can happen though!
Rahul Tripathi (Kolkata Knight Riders): It feels great. The win for the team was very important. There were one or two tough overs but I never thought it would go so deep in the end. I am glad we won the game. The 18th over was a great one from Rabada. I knew that we had to connect with just one off the spinner and I am glad it came off. (Was he going to farm the strike for the final two deliveries?) That was the plan but if we could find a small gap for a possible two we were going to run. I was going to come back for the second but we were running only if there was two. It was difficult upon going in straightaway - the ball was keeping low and was difficult to put away. I kept believing in myself that we are just one hit away. It's been a great journey for us after the first phase when were a little down. We told that we have to hit the ground running in the second phase and the positive approach has done well for us.
That was a rather despondent looking Rishabh Pant out there. This has been a tough pill to swallow for a young man in his very first season as captain of the Delhi Capitals but there is only one way ahead hereon in the years to come. 
Rishabh Pant (Delhi Capitals Captain): I don't think I have words to express how we feel right now. We can't change things after the match I guess. We kept believing and tried to stay in the game as long as possible. We nearly pulled it back but it was very unfortunate that we couldn't. They bowled really well throughout the middle overs. We were stuck in the middle and we were unable to rotate the strike. We tried to be positive - hopefully we can come back stronger next year. There will be ups and downs in cricket but we stick together and care for each other. There is a lot of learning for us and hopefully we can come back stronger next year.
Four of the KKR batters departed for a duck through the middle-order. We mentioned that only a mess from their batters could hand this game to the opposition and they so nearly did. So near, yet so far for the Delhi Capitals and their engrossing campaign has come to a halt tonight. It seemed so obvious at one stage but jeez, they were given hope - that dangerous thing called hope. And then just when those hopes were at their peak, their dreams came crashing down to the earth!

Wickets were the need of the hour early on for the Capitals but with what was an insipid display from their bowlers, Venkatesh Iyer took full toll with some extravagant shots around the park. The southpaw was clearly in the mood to make merry and cash in on all the loose deliveries coming his way and with five bowlers used in as many overs upfront, it was a clear sign of a confused Delhi Capitals side on the field.

The onset of dew and it's increased presence didn't make life any easier for the Capitals as Iyer and Shubman Gill looked the part and went about their business in the smoothest possible manner. A score of 51 in the Powerplay all but killed the contest then and there and with no wickets coming the way of the Capitals, things were slipping away rather alarmingly.

Iyer raised a sublime half-century with the manner in which he used his feet to get to the pitch of the ball the hallmark of his innings. The panache with which he announced his arrival in the tournament a few weeks ago was there on display and by the he was prized out by Kagiso Rabada, he had done the damage with a 96-run stand with Gill for the opening wicket and the writing was on the wall... least that's what we assumed. Despite the odd wicket falling later on including that of the set Shubman Gill, surely there was no way KKR were going to botch up this chase? Surely Messrs Karthik, Morgan, Shakib and Narine would get the job done? Surely it wasn't going to even go that far? But what do we know? We are just typists sitting behind a computer screen, aren't we?

One came, then another, then another...wickets fell like dominoes! Out of nowhere, 11 to win off 18 came down to 6 to win off 2 with Ravichandran Ashwin on a hat-trick. Imagine being Rahul Tripathi at that stage - you've seen the domino effect from the non-striker's end and it is all down to you and what do you do? You pump the hat-trick ball over long off to seal the deal for your side and take it through to the summit clash! PHEW! That was something alright!

The bowlers tried and tried for the Capitals - it wasn't the best of starts of course and things weren't ideally set out for them but they didn't let give up. Avesh Khan was the most economical of the lot as he picked up a wicket. The South African speed duo of Anrich Nortje and Kagiso Rabada sent down yet another masterclass at the death and Ravichandran Ashwin so nearly pulled it off in the final over. Alas though, it just wasn't to be for the Delhi Capitals. If they only had an extra 10-15 runs to play with...
HEARTBREAK FOR THE DELHI CAPITALS! Rahul Tripathi has pulled  it off for the Kolkata Knight Riders! WOW! Unbelievable scenes at Sharjah! The Knights are cock-a-hoop and their juggernaut rolls on into the final. Kolkata Knight Riders win by 3 wickets with a solitary delivery to spare and qualify for the final of IPL 2021!
19.5 R Ashwin to Rahul Tripathi, SIX! THAT WILL BE THAT! OH MY WORD! Back of a length delivery outside off stump and Tripathi climbs into it! He sits deep in his crease and absolutely smashes that one over long off for a maximum to send KKR to the final! What a game this has been! KKR made a right mess of it and had Tripathi not brought this out of the bag, they would have been left ruing a lot!
Lockie Ferguson, RHB, makes his way to the crease. He will be at the non-striker's end.
THIS IS ALL REAL! Ravichandran Ashwin is on a hat-trick! What, where, how, why? We are out of words!
19.4 R Ashwin to Sunil Narine, OUT! TWO IN TWO FOR ASHWIN! CARNAGE AT SHARJAH! Tossed up on a length outside off stump and that is probably the first time Ashwin has flighted it tonight, that too in this situation! Narine's eyes light up and he dances down the track, looking to go over long off. However, he is nowhere close to the ball and skies it towards long off, where Axar completes the easiest of catches!

Sunil Narine c Axar b R Ashwin 0 (1b, 0x4, 0x6)
17/5 in the last 4.3 overs! Can Narine wield some magic with the bat now?
Sunil Narine, LHB, makes his way to the crease. He will take strike.
ASHWIN STRIKES! Goodness gracious me indeed! This is inexplicable! 6 off 3 now...
19.3 R Ashwin to Shakib Al Hasan, HUGE APPEAL AND GIVEN! GOODNESS GRACIOUS ME! Length delivery on middle and off stump that is bowled with a round-arm slingy action. Shakib looks for the scoop but plays all over it as the ball smacks into the front pad, right in front of middle stump! Ashwin goes up and so does the umpire's finger! KKR in trouble now!

Shakib al Hasan lbw b R Ashwin 0 (2b, 0x4, 0x6)
DOT BALL! 6 off 4 now...
19.2 R Ashwin to Shakib Al Hasan, length delivery darted into the batter's pads. Shakib has a slog across the line and misses as the ball thuds into the thigh pad. Dot ball!
Around the wicket comes Ashwin.
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