After suffering a three-wicket defeat to Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2021 Qualifier 2 on Wednesday in Sharjah, Delhi Capitals captain Rishabh Pant stated that his bowlers did a fantastic job, but were unfortunate not to win the match. He further added that DC will come back stronger next season.
Kolkata Knight Riders won the toss, and elected to bowl first against Delhi Capitals in Qualifier 2 on Wednesday in Sharjah. Prithvi Shaw (18) fell to Varun Chakravarthy (2/26) in the fifth over and Marcus Stonis, who came back after an injury was promoted up the order. The Australian all-rounder struggled to accelerate the innings, as he could manage only 18 off 23 balls before he was clean bowled by Shivam Mavi.
Shikhar Dhawan, who has not scored a 50-plus score in the second half of IPL 2021 played a 39-ball 36 and departed in the 15th over. Shreyas Iyer's unbeaten 30 off 27 helped the DC to reach 135/5 in 20 overs.
Chasing 136, KKR openers, Shubman Gill (46) and Venkatesh Iyer (55) stitched up a 96-run partnership before the latter was dismissed by Kagiso Rabada in the 13th over. KKR looked set for a comfortable win, but soon tumbled from 123/2 to 130/7. DC bowlers exerted pressure on the opposition batsmen and dragged the game to the last over, after 13 were needed of final four.
Ravichandran Ashwin, defending seven runs off the final over, and sent back Shakib Al hasan and Sunil Narine off successive deliveries. However, Rahul Tripahy stole the show by hitting a six off the fifth delivery bowled by Ashwin, and sealed KKR a spot in the IPL 2021 final.
Reflecting on the result, Rishabh Pant lauded his bowlers who almost pulled off a stunning win. He further stated that the Delhi Capitals are known to be positive, and was hopeful of a strong comeback in the next season.
"I don't have words to express at the moment, can't tell anything," said an emotional Pant after a heart-breaking defeat. "We just kept believing, tried to stay in the game as long as possible. The bowlers nearly pulled it back, but it's unfortunate that it didn't go our way. They bowled very well in the middle-overs, we got stuck and couldn't rotate strike. Delhi Capitals are known to be positive and hopefully we'll come back better next season. We played really good cricket, yes, there will be ups and downs, but we'll stay positive, be there for each other, care for each other and hopefully we'll come back better next season."
The Kolkata Knight Riders will face Chennai Super Kings In IPL 2021 final on Friday, October 15 in Dubai.