Eoin Morgan reflected on Kolkata Knight Riders’ nervy three-wicket over Delhi Capitals in IPL 2021 Qualifier 2 in Sharjah on Wednesday, stating that the chase should’ve been completed without much fuss after the start they got. KKR will take on Chennai Super Kings in the final in Dubai on Friday.
Venkatesh Iyer (55) and Shubman Gill (46) made a fine start in a 136-run chase, adding 96 in just 12.2 overs. Kolkata Knight Riders needed 13 off the last four overs with eight wickets in hand.
However, Avesh Khan, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje and Ravichandran Ashwin combined to almost pull off a heist for the ages. KKR stuttered late in the chase, losing five wickets for 7 runs in overs 17.1 to 19.4, as the equation went from 13 off 24 to 6 off 2. Rahul Tripathi then played the hero, smashing one downtown off Ashwin to hand KKR a tense three-wicket win.
Earlier, KKR spinners had put up a disciplined show to restrict DC to 135/5, after Eoin Morgan had put them in.
The skipper reflected on a nervy win, and praised young guns Venkatesh Iyer and Rahul Tripathi.
"Should've been a lot easier after the start we got, Venky and Gill set us the platform,” said Morgan after the win. “Dew came in and all, but hey, we're in the final and we're delighted to get over the line. Would've loved to win convincingly but Capitals are a very good side. Six off two, the odds were probably in favour of the bowling side, but Rahul Tripathi has done superbly well for us.
“It's a nice insight into our team culture - the young guys coming in feel free to express themselves. The backroom staff have created an environment for them to do this. With the squad we have, there's expectation. Hopefully we can implement all that we've strategized.
“Venky Iyer idea [his elevation] came from the coach. My god, he's a terrific player! Made the chase easy, looks like he was batting on a different wicket.
“We would like to keep going, playing against CSK, one of the best franchises in IPL history. Anything can happen."
V Iyer, who struck the lone fifty of the game, striking four fours and three sixes during a 41-ball 55, reflected on a match-winning innings.
"Doing what has been asked of me, extremely happy to have won the game,” said Iyer as he received the Player of the Match award. “There's no difference [domestic] to IPL, I have come here and played the way I wanted to play. Happy that the management allowed me the freedom to play the way I do.
“For the past couple of games, I was restricting myself, trying to bat till the end, but I realised that wasn't me. I wanted to revert to the way I've been playing.
“I'm not thinking about the Indian team, have one more game and want to stay fully focused on that."
KKR will take on the Chennai Super Kings in the IPL 2021 final in Dubai on Friday, October 15.
This is the third time that KKR have qualified for the IPL final after 2012 and 2014. They’d emerged champions on both previous occasions, beating CSK and Punjab Kings respectively.