Kolkata Knight Riders chased down Royal Challengers Bangalore's 138/7 with two balls to spare in the IPL 2021 Eliminator. Catch highlights here.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders win by 4 wickets
It will go down as yet another 'so near yet so far' for Virat Kohli and Royal Challengers Bangalore. Kohli won the toss and opted to bat first on a surface that many felt was the best the venue has so far offered. In fact, RCB openers -- Kohli (39 off 33) himself and young opener Devdutt Padikkal (21 off 18) -- played some beautiful shots to give the team a good start. What followed was a brilliant, collective spell of slow bowling from KKR with spinners chocking a famed batting line-up in the middle overs. The next highest scorer was Glenn Maxwell, who hit a four in his 15 off 18. Interestingly, not a single six was hit during the RCB innings. The match however will be remembered for the turnaround the Knight Riders have made this season, after just two wins in the India leg and making the Qualifiers 2... and for Sunil Narine, who's making a sensational return. He first claimed the wickets of Srikar Bharat, Kohli, AB de Villiers and Maxwell in a spell that produced figures of 4/21. Varun Chakaravarthy, always the mystery spinner, conceded just 20 without success while Shakib Al Hasan leaked only 24. The chase, then got interesting, with KKR losing wickets in spurts after a good opening stand from Shubman Gill (29 off 18) and Venkatesh Iyer (26 off 30). The former champions then invoked Narine, the batsman and he effectively changed the course of the match with three sixes against Daniel Christian in one over. But Mohammed Siraj was still there and he took two wickets in the penultimate over to keep RCB hopes alive even as Harshal Patel joined Dwayne Bravo as the highest wicket-taker in an IPL season (32 each) with his two strikes today. Needing seven in the last over, Shakib scooped the first for a four and it became just the formality.
After a day's break, Kolkata Knight Riders meet Delhi Capitals in Qualifier 2. The winners face Chennai Super Kings in the final.
Daniel Christian with the final over. Shakib Al Hasan hits the first ball for a four, to fine leg. Brave. A brave scoop. 3 need in 5. A single to fine leg. Need 2 in 4. A single and scores are levelled. Three balls to knock RCB. A single to end the chase. What a turnaround, in the UAE. Win by four wickets with two balls to spare. KKR - 139/6 (19.4); RCB 138/7 (20)
George Garton with the penultimate over. A single, followed by a double, then a dot as Eoin Morgan fails to connect. Two more singles. And another miss. Five from the over. Kolkata need 7 runs in 6 balls. KKR - 132/6 (19)
Shakib Al Hasan is the new man. And a single off the fifth ball to open his account. Two wickets and three runs from the over. His figures: 2/19. Kolkata need 12 runs in 12 balls. KKR - 127/6 (18)
Twist in the tale, as they say. Srikar Bharat takes a fine catch, scooping it up and Dinesh Karthik (10 off 12) is walking. It's a clean take. Anil Chaudhary is happy. Kolkata need 13 runs in 14 balls. KKR - 126/6 (17.4)
100th T20 wicket for Mohammed Siraj. And what a time to hit it. Sunil Narine (26 off 15) is bowled. KKR - 125/5 (17.2)
Harshal Patel on with his final over. And Shahbaz drops Sunil Narine. Top edge and a tough chance. Four runs from the over. His figures: 2/19. Most wickets in a season will not be his, it seems with RCB facing a certain defeat. Kolkata need 15 runs in 18 balls. KKR - 124/4 (17)
Glenn Maxwell on with his third over. A dot, then a four over cover as Dinesh Karthik finds his first boundary. A dot then four singles. Eight from it. Kolkata need 19 in 24. KKR - 120/4 (16)
Yuzvendra Chahal completes his spell. Two runs and a wicket from his last, for figures of 2/16. Kolkata need 27 runs in 30 balls. KKR - 112/4 (15)
Yuzvendra Chahal returns for his fourth over. Nitish Rana (23 off 25), caught by AB de Villiers at long on. Kolkata need 29 runs in 34 balls. Dinesh Karthik is the new man. KKR - 110/4 (14.2)
Promotion for Sunil Narine, and the Windies star hits Daniel Christian for three sixes in the 12th over. 22 from it. Kolkata need 38 runs in 48 balls. KKR - 101/3 (12)
Harshal Patel strikes again. Venkatesh Iyer (26 off 30), caught behind. Now, Patel needs one more strike to become the highest wicket-taker in an IPL season. Kolkata need 60 runs in 54 balls. KKR - 79/3 (11)
Glenn Maxwell on with his second over. New man Nitish Rana hits the second ball for a six, over third man. A singlem, then Venkatesh Iyer (24 off 26) gets a life. A running Shahbaz drops the catch at third man. Rana hits the last ball for a four, to third man. All action happening down there. 13 from the over. Kolkata need 65 runs in 60 balls. KKR - 74/2 (10).
Then, Virender Sharma summons Virat Kohli for a 'meeting'. RCB skipper was annoyed when Sharma didn't comply with Yuzvendra Chahal's appeal. Some scenes.
Second wicket for RCB. Yuzvendra Chahal insists on taking with the review. And with some help from the wicketkeeper, he manages to convince Virat Kohli. Rahul Tripathi (6 off 5), LBW. Ball clipping the top of leg stump, and the umpire overturns his decision. Nitish Rana is the new man. KKR - 53/2 (7)
Eight wickets and a wicket from Harshal Patel's first over. Four off the last ball as Rahul Tripathi finds the gap at cover. Patel needs one more strike to equal Dwayne Bravo's (32 in 2013 for CSK) all-time record most wickets (32) in a season. Kagiso Rabada is the only other bowler to touch the 30-wicket mark in a season, in 2020 for Delhi Capitals. KKR - 48/1 (6)
Harshal Patel strikes second ball in his spell. Shubman Gill (29 off 18), caught by AB de Villiers. And that's the 31st wicket for Patel this season. Rahul Tripathi is the new man. KKR - 41/1 (5.2)
Mohammed Siraj continues. Three singles. In the previous over, Venkatesh Iyer hits the last ball for a six, first of the match, as George Garton leaked nine runs. KKR - 19/0 (3)
Two singles, and four to the deep mid-wicket fence as Shubman Gill times his flick to perfection. A dot, then a single, and a dot to end the seven-run over.
Shubman Gill to take the first strike. His opening partner is Venkatesh Iyer. Mohammed Siraj with the new ball. Target for KKR - 139.
Shivam Mavi with the last over. And his overstepping continues. Second for the day, and the free-hit off the second delivery results in a four, hit by Harshal Patel. But a wicket. No, LBW against Patel is overturned. A dot, then the comedy of errors as Patel and Daniel Christian find themselves in a mix-up. Christian is run out. He makes 9 off 8. George Garton is the new man. A double off the fifth ball. And a bye to end the innings. 12 from the last over. 30 runs and a couple of wickets in the last five overs. Mavi's figures: 0/34. RCB - 138/7 (20)
Lockie Ferguson on with the penultimate over. A dot, then Dan Christian hits the next ball for a four. And second wicket for him. Shahbaz Ahmed (13 off 14), caught by Shivam Mavi at deep. RCB - 126/6 (19)
Fourth for Sunil Narine. On with his final over. First, Shahbaz Ahmed is dropped by Shubhman Gill at deep mid-wicket. But he gets a bigger fish by removing Glenn Maxwell (15 off 18), caught by Lockie Ferguson at deep. Daniel Christian is the new man. Narine's figures: 4/21. RCB - 113/5 (17)
Varun Chakaravarthy on with his final over. Review saves Shahbaz Ahmed. He misses the third ball going for a sweep the ball hits crashes into the pad but there's a big nick. Three runs from the over. Chakaravarthy's figures: 0/20. 32 runs and two wickets in the last five. RCB - 111/4 (16)
And it continues. Sunil Narine returns for his third over. AB de Villiers takes a couple off the first, but gets bowled the very next ball. Undone by the spin. He made 11 off 9. Shahbaz Ahmed is the new man. RCB - 102/4 (14.2)
Mystery spinners keeping RCB in check. Varun Chakaravarthy returns for his third over. And six from it. In the previous over, Sunil Narine conceded seven for the wicket of Virat Kohli. RCB 100/3 (14)
Sunil Narine on with his second over. And cleans up Virat Kohli (39 off 33), bowled. Tosses up and with a very limited turn, the ball beats Kohli's cross-batted swing. AB de Villiers in the new man. 29 runs and two runs in the last five overs.
Shakib Al Hasan on with his last over. And first boundary, a four, after 30 balls as Glenn Maxwell reverse sweeps the third ball to point fence. Nine from the over. Shakib's figures: 0/24. 26 runs and one wicket in the last five overs. RCB - 79/2 (11)
More spin. Sunil Narine gets his first over. Three singles, then Srikar Bharat (9 off 16) departs trying to break the shackles. Holes out at long on, catch taken by Venkatesh Iyer. Glenn Maxwell is the new man. RCB - 69/2 (9.4)
Shakib Al Hasan on with his third over. Four singles. 12 in the last three overs and KKR slow bowlers pull things back. In the previous over, Dinesh Karthik missed a stumping chance as Srikar Bharat failed to pick a Varun Chakravarthy delivery. RCB - 66/1 (9)
New man Srikar Bharat takes a single off the third ball to bring up fifty for RCB. Four singles and a wicket in the over. RCB - 53/1 (6)
Lockie Ferguson strikes. Devdutt Padikkal (21 off 18), bowled. Hint of an inside edge. Srikar Bharat joins Virat Kohli. RCB - 49/1 (5.1)
Varun Chakravarthy on with the third over. Busy over. Five singles and a double for seven runs. In the previous over, Shivam Mavi leaked 10 runs with the last ball resulting in nine runs (four off no ball, and four off the free-hit by Kohli). RCB - 24/0 (3)
Three singles, and two dots to Virat Kohli. RCB skipper then plays a pull shot with some conviction for a four, to square leg fence. Seven from the first over.
Players are in the middle for the knock-out. Devdutt Padikkal will take the first strike. Virat Kohli is his opening partner. Shakib Al Hasan with the new ball.
Both the teams are unchanged from their respective last matches.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (c), Devdutt Padikkal, Srikar Bharat (wk), Glenn Maxwell, AB de Villiers, Daniel Christian, Shahbaz Ahmed, George Garton, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Eoin Morgan (c), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Shakib Al Hasan, Sunil Narine, Lockie Ferguson, Shivam Mavi, Varun Chakaravarthy.
Virat Kohli wins the toss and RCB will bat first against KKR in the Eliminator. RCB are unchanged.
Matthew Hayden with the pitch report. The Aussie great compares the Sharjah pitch "sheen" to a very well "polished tooth with not many cracks on it." He also predicts a high-scoring match with enough assistance for fast bowlers to make an impact.
Mohammed Siraj is a wicket shy of 100 wickets in T20 cricket. Siraj will be a key man tonight for RCB, especially against the young KKR top-order batsmen like Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer and Rahul Tripathi.
Eoin Morgan's form has been a major worry for KKR. The England captain has scored 32 runs in his last six innings with a highest score of 13 not out. Morgan had replaced Dinesh Karthik as captain when DK's runs dried up and KKR were on a losing spree!
There's very little to separate the two. KKR lead 15-13 in the head-to-head record. This season, RCB won the first leg by 38 runs in Channai. But KKR took the honours in Abu Dhabi when the two teams met for the return leg, with a nine-wicket win.
Two equally matched teams clash in Monday's IPL 2021 Eliminator in Sharjah. Kolkata Knight Riders are playing a knockout game after two years while Royal Challengers Bangalore were in the playoffs last season too. While KKR are past winners, RCB have never won an IPL. Tonight's RCB vs KKR clash should see some high intense clash as one team will end its IPL 2021 journey. For Virat Kohli, every IPL game from now on will have a personal touch to it. He will be stepping down as RCB captain after this season and in spite of his huge success as a batsman, Kohli has never won the IPL trophy. He has been a touch out of form after scoring two fifties in the UAE leg of IPL and hence the KKR match will be a chance for him to turnaround as a batsman as well. Kolkata Knight Riders have done very well as a team in the UAE. In the Indian leg, Eoin Morgan's team was struggling but KKR have won five out of their seven games in UAE. KKR are sweating on the fitness of Andre Russell. The burly West Indian, who can change the complexion of a match on his day, is not sure to play and Shakib Al Hasan could be KKR's go-to man. Both teams have some exciting young batsmen, apart from the usual charmers like Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers in the RCB team. All eyes will be on KS Bharat, who did a MS Dhoni in RCB's final league match against Delhi Capitals. It's all set for a blockbuster RCB vs KKR. Follow live cricket scores here.
Naseer A Ganai / The UN has sought probe into civilian killings in Jammu and Kashmir’s Hyderpora and called on the security forces and armed groups to exercise restraint.
Outlook Web Desk / South Africa, the first nation where the virus variant was detected, has reported 77 cases of Omicron so far, prompting travel bans across the world.
Soumitra Bose / Lancer Capital has made its first-ever historic foray into cricket by acquiring a franchise in the UAE T20 league. The ECB has already roped in IPL teams like MI, DC and KRR.
Outlook Web Desk / As Parag Agrawal becomes the CEO of Twitter, the Indian diaspora's representation in the tech giants of America, especially the companies in Silicon Valley gets a new badge.