Eoin Morgan was in all praises for young guns Shubman Gill and Venkatesh Iyer, Kolkata Knight Riders' 86-run win over the Rajasthan Royals in Sharjah on Thursday. The two-time IPL champions have inched closer to the playoffs spot, with 14 points and a highly impressive net run-rate of +0.587.
Rahul Tewatia’s 36-ball 44 saved RR from an embarrassment of registering the lowest ever team total at IPL, but couldn’t avoid an 86-run defeat as they were bundled out for 85 in the 17th over.
Earlier, Shubman Gill’s 44-ball 56 was a major highlight in KKR’s first innings effort of 171/4 after being put in to bat. The Knight Riders scored 102 in their last 10 overs, which propelled them to the highest score at the venue this season.
"I don't think it could have gotten better. Losing the toss and batting was difficult. The start we got was fantastic. Gill and Iyer have been our shining light,” said Morgan after the match.
“To get 170 we thought put us in a commanding position. A really strong performance today. Having aggressive players coming in in the middle order helped us kick... Shakib coming in and performing the way he has in the last two games has made replacing Andre Russell easier. He has contributed massively.
“We are taking it day by day [with Russell], so he's working incredibly hard. Fingers crossed. I hope [I can play golf tomorrow]. I am not too attached to things as to what will happen and what won't happen... We have done everything tonight. We deserved to win."
Mavi, who returned with a career best 4/21, was extremely pleased to have contributed to a crucial win.
"Very happy to do this at this stage of the game. Plan was to bowl wicket-to-wicket and not give room. Because the ball was staying low,” said the 22-year-old as he received the Player of the Match award.
“(On Transition from U-19 to IPL) When I was playing U-19, I came to KKR. You have to keep learning when you arrive, and I have learnt when to use the slower balls, when to bowl the yorkers, and what to deliver in which period of the game.
“(Favourite wicket?) Shivam Dube's. When you get someone lbw or bowled, you feel good as a bowler. We've done what we need to. Let's see what happens tomorrow."
KKR have now secured a fourth position in the points table with 14 points and a net run-rate of +0.587. The Mumbai Indians need to beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by 171 runs in their last league fixture on Friday to topple Morgan’s men.