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127/9 (20)
130/7 (18.2)
Kolkata Knight Riders won by 3 wickets
Player of the match: Sunil Narine
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That is that as far as this contest was concerned but we do have the Mumbai Indians and the Punjab Kings battling it out at Abu Dhabi - do switch tabs to follow all the action from that must-win clash for both those sides. Thank you so much for tuning into Sportskeeda for our coverage of this game - one which we hope you enjoyed our coverage just as much as we did in bringing it to you. On behalf of my friend and fellow textpert Shashwat Kumar, this is Sooryanarayanan Sesha humbly reminding you to mask up and get yourselves vaccinated in case you haven't already. Goodbye and take care!
A KKR side in good spirits and at the top of its game has turned the heat on in the Emirates alright! They've won three out of their four contests this leg and even the sole loss was an agonizing one off the final delivery. Eoin Morgan's men are well and truly in the mix for a spot in the playoffs as they consolidate their fourth spot with a couple of extra points while also boosting their already solid net run-rate. As for the Delhi Capitals, they would be keen on brushing this aside as an aberration even as they sit comfortably at second spot and with a playoffs spot all but a formality. If anything, they would take a loss at this stage rather than towards the business end of the tournament which beckons rather soon.
Sunil Narine (Player of the Match): Watching a few games here, there is a little bit of spin. So my plan was to not get too full while using slight variations to keep it on top of the batters as much as I could. I have to thank Carl Crowe - he has been doing a fantastic job with me as my bowling coach. All credit to him and KKR for always putting in the efforts to have him around. That was the key to my comeback and I'm feeling much more confident. Hopefully I can continue in the games to come. It's a bit challenging in the middle-order but any situation I am given, I just like to make the best use of it. It's pleasing to see my hard work paying off after a long time. I think we are playing some good cricket. We have a few niggles so we have some thinking to do but we have good guys who can come in. The team is in really good spirits.
Eoin Morgan (Kolkata Knight Riders Captain): Delighted! It's been a tough 48 hours playing two day games in a space of three days. Few injuries today but delighted to come off with the two points. Choosing to field first wasn't the easiest decision to take but if it's the right decision you back it. A good day for us. (Thoughts on conceding no six?) The advantage was knowing when to push the button and when not to. Sunil Narine played a big part in that. The guys at the top tended to target things with the new ball but our guys were more calculated and it paid off. If you are playing on a wicket like that if you are out quite cagey it can come back and hurt you. Very well fought game by both sides. (On the heated exchange in the middle) Both sides play the game really hard. It was played in the right spirit and it is tough playing the Delhi Capitals. Full credit to our Head Coach Brendon McCullum. The guys have brought his method into the field and it's awesome to see.
Venkatesh Iyer (Kolkata Knight Riders): It felt good. I've always had the confidence that I can deliver with the ball and I am really happy with the opportunity I got today. I have been practicing my yorkers a lot and have been working with Anand Rajan, my bowling coach back home. He has been helping me a lot. (The key to his bowling success?) It's just about accuracy and bowling to my field. I don't mind boundaries here and there as long as my execution and planning are correct. As a cricketer it's always good to be a player who can help in all three departments. Fielding is very important and I thrive myself in fielding really well. I've always wanted to be that cricketer who can contribute to the team so I'm really happy it's coming off well.
Rishabh Pant (Delhi Capitals Captain): I think we were 10 runs short, not much because we knew the wicket would slow down in the 2nd innings. But at the end of the day each team tries to win the match and we want to give our 100 per cent on a given day. If it goes our way it's fine, it not we learn and move on. It was pretty difficult for the new batter since the wicket got slower and slower. We wanted to dig in as long as possible and capitalize in the end but we lost a few wickets and fell 10 runs short. Really happy with our bowling but we have to learn from our mistakes. I don't think there are too many changes to make as a bowling unit. Just a few little things and we move on to the next one.
We will get you the quotes from the presentation ceremony at the earliest. Meanwhile, do switch tabs to follow all the action from Match 42 in Abu Dhabi, where the Mumbai Indians have elected to field first against the Punjab Kings!
They did struggle with regular wickets falling through the course of their chase but KKR have managed to get past the 127-run target ahead of them and with considerable time to spare!

KKR have personified intent with the bat during the UAE leg and their start was along a similar ilk today with Venkatesh Iyer looking unfazed against the pace of Anrich Nortje first up. Shubman Gill used his feet to great effect against the spinners and as has been the norm with him, he brought out a couple of jaw-dropping shots including a towering six over the head of Axar Patel.

Lalit Yadav castled Iyer with the arm ball although he did send down a few innocuous deliveries on either side of it. Rahul Tripathi was foxed by a slower one though as he checked it straight into the hands of Steve Smith to give the Capitals a sniff of an opportunity. KKR still made good use of the Powerplay though with 44 runs coming their way during that period.

A quiet phase followed with just 23 runs coming off the four overs immediately following the Powerplay but then came Kagiso Rabada for his first over of the contest. Having applied a tight leash on Gill with five consecutive dots, he sucked him into a pull down the throat of long off before Ravichandran Ashwin had Eoin Morgan caught at slip for a second-ball duck as the latter's wretched run of form continued. And considering the heated exchange between the two, the dismissal added a lot of spice into an already dramatic situation.

Nitish Rana had other ideas though as he lined up Lalit Yadav and massacred him for a couple of massive sixes through the course of a 20-run over. With the scales tilted back in KKR's favor, Dinesh Karthik perished against the run of play to give the Capitals a smidge of a chance yet.

However, Sunil Narine wasn't to back away against any of this as he brought out a number of hacks against Rabada to kill the contest in the 16th over. All that followed thereafter was a mere formality as, despite the wickets of Narine and Tim Southee, a valuable unbeaten 36 from Rana saw the Knights across the finish line with as many as 10 deliveries still to be bowled.

As for the Capitals bowling, Avesh Khan stood out with three wickets against his name and it remains rather surprising that Anrich Nortje was brought in for his second over after the contest was dead and buried. Both he and Kagiso Rabada accounted for a wicket apiece, as did Ravichandran Ashwin who bowled a tidy spell. But even though Lalit Yadav struck the first blow in the Powerplay, it was his expensive third over that shifted the momentum back in KKR's favor post which they never looked back. Having said that, even on this sluggish track, 127 was a total that wasn't going to be enough even for an attack as skillful as the ones the Capitals had!
Simon Doull on air was perplexed with Ferguson coming out to bat considering his tight hamstring and his inability to run fast was evident during that first delivery. And considering that, it was apt on the part of Nitish Rana to seal the game with a boundary. Kolkata Knight Riders win by 3 wickets with 10 deliveries to spare!
18.2 Anrich Nortje to Nitish Rana, FOUR! THAT WILL DO! Back of a length delivery just outside off stump. Rana backs away and slashes that one just past the sweeper at third man to pick up a boundary and more importantly, two more points for KKR! They remain in the top four! DC remain in second!
18.1 Anrich Nortje to Nitish Rana, back of a length delivery on off stump. Rana gets up on his toes and defends the ball into the leg side. Ferguson looks for the single and then turns around like a goods train. Ashwin still can't hit the stumps though
Anrich Nortje to continue over the wicket.

Lockie Ferguson, RHB, makes his way to the crease. He will be at the non-striker's end.
Another one bites the dust and we are into the tail now. No alarm bells per se for the Knight Riders with Rana still out there in the middle and the target all of 2 runs away. Will the number of wickets in hand force him to do it in singles or will he look to finish it in style?
18
overs
126 /7 score
0
0
2
1
1
W
runs
cricket bat icon Nitish Rana
32 (25)
cricket bat icon Tim Southee *
3 (5)
cricket ball icon Avesh Khan
3 /13
17.6 Avesh Khan to Tim Southee, OUT! CASTLED! Back of a length delivery slanted into the batter on off stump. Southee swings for the hills and only connects with fresh air as the ball rips past the bat and then clatters into the top of off stump! Avesh has three and that is perhaps the only consolation he will get today!
17.5 Avesh Khan to Nitish Rana, slower delivery on a full length just outside off stump. Rana comes forward and tips the ball down the ground before haring across for a single
Rana could look at sealing it this very over or this very delivery in fact so as to boost KKR's already healthy net run-rate even further.
17.4 Avesh Khan to Tim Southee, full delivery outside off stump. Southee comes down the track and drills the ball towards mid off before scampering across to the other end
17.3 Avesh Khan to Tim Southee, SAFE! Dug into the track outside off stump. Southee goes for the pull but gets a massive top edge that lands just in front of long leg. Gets two for his troubles too!
17.2 Avesh Khan to Tim Southee, slower delivery on a back of a length outside off stump. Southee throws his hands at it and shanks the ball into the leg side towards mid wicket
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