A 96-run opening stand between Venkatesh Iyer (55) and Shubman Gill (46) was barely enough for KKR to get past DC's 135/5 with 1 ball remaining. Catch highlights here.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders win by 3 wickets
What a finish to the IPL 2021 playoffs. Rahul Tripathi hit a six off the penultimate ball to seal the win for Kolkata Knight Riders. Chasing a target of 136 runs, KKR got off the flier with Shubman Gill (46 off 46) and Venkatesh Iyer (55 off 41) adding 96 runs for the first wicket. But when Tripathi entered the pitch, KKR were 123/2 in 16 overs. In complete control of the chase. Then Delhi Capitals hit back with a flurry of wickets with Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje and Ravichandran Ashwin almost completing probably the greatest comeback in IPL history. Here's how the wickets fell - 125/3 (Shubman Gill, 16.4), 126/4 (Dinesh Karthik 17.6), 129/5 (Eoin Morgan, 18.6), 130/6 (Shakib Al Hasan, 19.3) and 130/7 (Sunil Narine, 19.4). Crazy match at Sharjah. Earlier, Morgan won the toss and put Delhi in to bat. Shikhar Dhawan (36 off 39) top-scored as batters struggled to score freely. Shreyas Iyer (30 off 27), however, give Delhi a finish with a flourish but 135 was always going to be tough to defend with dew also playing its part late in the game.
The three-wicket win helped KKR set up a final date with Mahendra Singh Dhoni's Chennai Super Kings on Friday.
Then, needing six in two balls, Rahul Tripathi wins it for Kolkata Knight Riders with a six, over long off. Happy Durga Puja, Kolkata! KKR in the final. What a match. What a moment.
What. Sunil Narine is caught at the deep for a duck. Ravichandran Ashwin strikes again. Third duck in the row. 6 in 2. Lockie Ferguson is the new man. KKR - 130/7 (19.4)
Ravichandran Ashwin strikes. Shakib Al Hasan walks. LBW. What's happening. 6 in 3. Sunil Narine is the new man. Seven runs and five wickets in 22 balls. KKR - 130/6 (19.3)
Ravichandran Ashwin with the last over. Shakib Al Hasan joins Rahul Tripathi. A single, then a dot to Shakib. 6 in 4.
Anrich Nortje on with the penultimate over. Rahul Tripathi takes a double off the first, a dot and a single as Eoin Morgan takes strike for the first time. A dot. Now, 7 in 8. A shout for caught behind. 7 in 7. And the Englishman is bowled, for a three-ball duck. Three runs and a wicket from the over. Nortje's figures: 2/31. Kolkata need 7 in 6. KKR - 129/5 (19)
Second for Sunil Chhetri as vintage India show class. Lead Maldives 2-1.
Kagiso Rabada on with the 18th over. One probing over. Four dots to Rahul Tripathi. Two runs in the last ten balls. Then a single to third man and DK is bowled. He goes for a three-ball duck. One expansive swing. One run and a wicket from the over. Rabada's figures: 2/23. Kolkata need 10 in 12. KKR - 126/4 (18)
Avesh Khan on with his final over. And he gets Shubman Gill (46 off 46), caught behind. Kolkata need 11 from 20. KKR - 125/3 (16.4)
In Male, Sunil Chhetri has restored India's lead with a 62nd-minute strike.
Anrich Nortje returns for his third over. Delhi desperately need more than a couple of wickets. Shubman Gill hits the fourth ball for a six, over long-on boundary. Nitish Rana then departs for 13 in 12. Shimron Hetmyer takes a simple catch. 10 runs from the over. And Kolkata need 13 from 24. KKR - 123/2 (16)
Axar Patel on with his final over. Nitish Rana hits the fourth ball for a six, down the ground. 10 runs from the over. Patel's figures: 0/32. Kolkata need 28 in 36. KKR - 108/1 (14)
Kagiso Rabada returns for his third and he breaks the opening stand. Venkatesh Iyer (55 off 41), caught by Steve Smith at deep. Kolkata need 40 in 46. Nitish Raina is the new man. KKR - 96/1 (12.2)
Axar Patel continues. Another fifty for Venkatesh Iyer, fourth in his debut IPL season. And already more than 300 runs. 50 in 33 with three fours and three sixes. Four singles. Kolkata need 44 in 48. KKR - 92/0 (12)
Anrich Nortje returns for his second over. A one-handed four to backward point from Venkatesh Iyer, off the third. A wide and five runs. A diving Rishabh Pant fails to grab it. Very wide. 12 from the over. Kolkata need 48 in 54. KKR - 88/0 (11)
And in Male, Ali Ashfaq equalised for the Maldives, from the spot. It's 1- 1 at the half-time. Winners meet Nepal in final.
Axar Patel returns for his second over. A six to start as Venkatesh Iyer finds his arc and a free-flowing bat swing. Over deep mid-wicket. A wide, then two dots. A single to square leg. Meanwhile, Marcus Stoinis is still off the field. Nine from the over. Kolkata now need 60 in 60. KKR - 76/0 (10)
Ravichandran Ashwin continues. Quiet over. Six runs from it. Ashwin's figures so far: 0/20 in three. 37 runs in the last five overs. KKR - 67/0 (9)
Kagiso Rabada on with his second. A better over from the Proteas fast bowler. Five runs. In the previous over, Ravi Ashwin also leaked five. KKR - 61/0 (8)
Meanwhile, Manvir Singh has given India a 1-0 lead against the Maldives in the final round-robin match of the SAFF Championship in Male. Here's how to watch the match live. India need a win to enter final.
Avesh Khan on with his second over. Venkatesh Iyer hits the first ball for a four to the mid-wicket boundary. Another good over for Knight Riders. Also fifty-run opening stand for Shubman Gill (17 off 16) and Venkatesh Iyer (31 off 20). Nine from the over. KKR - 51/0 (6)
Kagiso Rabada on with his first over. Venkatesh Iyer hits the third ball, again, for a six, over long-on. And Rabada fails to cling onto a return catch off the fifth. 12 from the over. KKR - 42/0 (5)
Axar Patel on with his first over. Venkatesh Iyer hits the third ball for a six, into the cow corner stands. Nine from the over. KKR - 30/4 (4)
Ravichandran Ashwin with the second over. Two singles, then Venkatesh Iyer slog sweeps the third for a four. And three singles more. Nine from the over. KKR - 15/0 (2)
KKR start the chase with Shubman Gill hitting Anrich Nortje for a four off the first ball, a sublime cover drive. A single, the three dots. Venkatesh Iyer takes a single to end the over. Six from it.
Shubman Gill to take the strike. Venkatesh Iyer is his opening partner. Anrich Nortje with the new ball. It's going to be some battle. Target for KKR - 136.
Shivam Mavi on with the last over. A single, and Shreyas Iyer pulls the second one for a four, to the mid-wicket boundary. Brilliant shot. A couple, then a single. Another single, to mid-wicket. Iyer gets a full toss and he finishes it off with a six, straight. 15 from the last over, and 45 from the last five. Iyer returns undefeated on 30 off 27. Mavi's figures: 1/27. DC - 135/5 (20)
Sunil Narine returns for his final over. A single and a leg bye, then run out of Shimron Hetmyer (17 off 10). Excellent throw from Venkatesh Iyer from backward point and clean work from Dinesh Karthik. Axar Patel joins Shreyas Iyer. Narine goes wicketless today, and his figures: 0/27. DC - 120/5 (20)
Lockie Ferguson on with his final over. Shimron Hetmyer hits two sixes, off the second and sixth balls, to make it a 15-run over. Ferguson's figures: 2/26. 37 runs and two wickets in the last five over. DC - 114/4 (18)
Third for Varun Chakaravarthy. The mystery spinner on with his final over and he gets the wicket of bog-hitter Shimron Hetmyer (3 off 5). Shubman Gill takes a very good catch, diving forward, at deep. Well, that's not to be. Third umpire says it's front foot no-ball.
A very short stay for skipper Rishabh Pant (6 off 6). Wicket for Lockie Ferguson. Pant goes for a swing and is caught by Rahul Tripathi at mid-wicket. DC - 90/4 (15.2)
Varun Chakaravarthy returns for his third over, and gets the big wicket of Shikhar Dhawan (36 off 39), caught by Shakib Al Hasan. 27 runs and two wickets in the last five overs. DC - 83/3 (14.1)
Shakib Al Hasan finishes his spell for figures of 0/28. Four singles from his last over. Shikhar Dhawan is unbeaten on 34 off 36. New man Shreyas Iyer is 4 off 7. DC - 77/2 (13)
Then, Shivam Mavi gets the big wicket of Marcus Stoinis. A hint of edge as the Aussie all-rounder ends up lowing his wickets, bowled for 18 off 23. Shreyas Iyer is the new man. DC - 71/2 (11.3)
Varun Chakaravarthy on with his third over and ten runs from it. Shikhar Dhawan hits the third ball for a four, to the mid-wicket boundary. DC - 65/1 (10)
Shivam Mavi gets his first over. And three runs from it. 34 runs and one wicket in the last five overs. 20 runs in 23 balls for the second wicket as Shikhar Dhawan (20 off 22) and Marcus Stoinis (11 off 14) rebuild Delhi innings. DC 52/1 (8)
Lockie Ferguson on with his second over. Four singles from it. In the previous over. DC - 38/1 (6)
Varun Chakaravarthy strikes first ball. LBW. Crashing into the stumps. And Prithvi Shaw (18 off 12) leaves without reviewing. Shikhar Dhawan not in his corner this time. Marcus Stoinis is the new man. DC 32/1 (4.1)
Prithvi Shaw breaks the shackles with a massive six off the first ball of Shakib Al Hasan's second over. Over deep mid-wicket. Then a four to third man. 12 from the over. In the second over, Shaw hit Lockie Ferguson, but the KKR bowler kept Shikhar Dhawan quiet. DC - 18/0 (3)
What a start from Shakib. A single off the second ball as Prithvi Shaw plays to backward point, then four dots to Shikhar Dhawan.
Prithvi Shaw to take the first strike. His opening partner is Shikhar Dhawan. Shakib Al Hasan with the new ball.
Meanwhile, reports in England claimed that Joe Root is desperate to play in IPL and he's ready to enter next season's mega auction.
One change for Delhi. Marcus Stoinis returns and Tom Curran makes way for the Aussie all-rounder. Nobody even bothered to ask about a certain Andre Russell. KKR look confident.
Delhi Capitals: Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (c & wk), Marcus Stoinis, Shimron Hetmyer, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kagiso Rabada, Avesh Khan, Anrich Nortje.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer, Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan (c), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Sunil Narine, Shakib Al Hasan, Lockie Ferguson, Shivam Mavi, Varun Chakaravarthy.
Eoin Morgan wins the toss and unchanged KKR will bowl first against DC.
Anrich Nortje has excelled for Delhi Capitals this season. The South African has worked up real good pace and Nortje's economy (6.81) in the death overs has been much better than his countrymate Kagiso Rabada's (10.84).
Ian Bishop and Matthew Hayden with the pitch report for the official broadcasters. Bishop talks about the "challenge of batting first" here and Hayden says it's a "productive surface for the fast bowlers." Expect a low-scoring thriller.
Kolkata Knight Riders have five left handers in their top eight. Logically, R. Ashwin should be DC's go-to man but statistics show that the Indian off-spinner has not been very effective against the likes of Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan and Sunil Narine. Will Ashwin play tonight?
The toss will be crucial in Sharjah. The surface has been sluggish and teams opting to chase a score have won five of the seven games at this venue this season. Every time KKR batted second in UAE, they have won. Batting first has cost DC four matches!
Shardul Thakur replaces Axar Patel in India's 15-man squad for the ICC T20 World Cup. Patel remains a stand-by player.
With six wins in their last eight matches, Kolkata Knight Riders are on a dream run in the UAE leg of IPL 2021. A win against Delhi Capitals in Sharjah tonight will take them one victory away from a third Indian Premier League title. But Delhi Capitals, who finished on top of the points table, will not give KKR any free space in what is expected to be a well-fought 'semifinal.' Both KKR and DC have a few worries ahead of Qualifier 2. If Kolkata Knight Riders are sweating on Andre Russell's fitness, Delhi Capitals are undecided on Marcus Stonis. While KKR have filled Russell's gap with the talented Shakib Al Hasan, DC haven't been able to find the perfect replacement for Stoinis. In a crunch match, the teams may not like to insert players coming off injuries no matter how 'big' they are in T20 cricket. KKR's win against Royal Challengers Bangalore should act like a tonic. Sunil Narine's all-round role was the gamechanger and KKR will want the veteran West Indian to reproduce that magic once again. Delhi's main worry has been their batting. Suddenly, there seem to be cracks in the top order where a big knock is due from Shikhar Dhawan. Exploiting the powerplays will be crucial for both teams. Follow live cricket scores and updates of KKR vs DC here.
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