Kolkata Knight Riders have beaten Royal Challengers Bangalore fair and square to hand Virat Kohli another trophy-less season.
With a mediocre 139-run target, Kolkata took the game in their control and chased down the target with four wickets and two balls to spare.
The Chronicles of Narine
When Bangalore were cruising towards a big total in the first innings, Sunil Narine stunted their growth right then.
He dismissed Virat Kohli, Srikar Bharat, AB de Villiers and Glenn Maxwell in quick succession to cripple Bangalore’s efforts.
His 4/21 and a fiery 26-run cameo earned him the Player of the Match award.
He came in the second leg of the tournament as Andre Russell’s replacement, but has now cemented his spot with consecutive match-winning performances.
His three sixes in a row in the second innings ensured that the Knight Riders see off Bangalore from the season.
In the post-game interview, he called tonight’s display one of his best all-round performances in T20 crickets.
“When you perform, and the team comes out winning… I am prepared to be out the first ball,” the Caribbean wizard added.
“Some days it comes off, some days it doesn’t. I enjoy all wickets, but getting Kohli and tying them was my goal.”
Dejected Kohli addresses loss
Tonight was the last time the cricket fraternity saw Kohli leading Bangalore.
During the season, he had announced stepping down as the skipper once this season is done and dusted.
After the game, Kohli said he did everything he can to lift the coveted trophy with his team. But, it seems like some things are just never meant to happen.
“I’ve tried my best to create a culture where youngsters could come and play expressive cricket. It’s something I’ve tried to do at the India level as well. All I can say is that I have given my best,” Kohli said.
“I have given my 120% to this franchise and will continue giving it as a player on the field.”
“It’s a great time to regroup and restructure the franchise for the next three years.”
Kolkata Knight Riders 139 for 6 (Gill 29, Narine 26, Iyer 26, Chahal 2-16, Harshal 2-19, Siraj 2-19) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 138 for 7 (Kohli 39, Narine 4-21, Ferguson 2-30) by four wickets.
Match preview – DC vs KKR
Delhi Capitals and Kolkata Knight Riders will meet at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium tomorrow (Tuesday) in the Qualifier 2.
The winner of this contest will meet Chennai Super Kings in the final of the IPL 2021.
Probable Man of the Match
Tripathi has been anchoring the KKR innings with the bat too often.
The right-handed batsman has a knack for scoring boundaries in crunch situations to mount pressure on the opposition.
His free-flow batting helps the team reach a big total and his consistency has made him the backbone of the team too.
To bundle out the Riders to a low score, Delhi Capitals will need to get rid of the 30-year-old as early as they can.
Delhi Capitals have stood head and shoulders above every team this season, just like they did in the last edition.
Be it Shreyas Iyer or Rishabh Pant, the team has enough match-winners to cruise to victory.
The Capitals have, however, lost two games in a row now.
They lost to Bangalore then to Chennai in a matter of three days. On the flip side, Kolkata are coming off two straight wins.
This makes Kolkata slight favourites against the Capitals.