After losing the IPL 2021 final against Chennai Super Kings by 27 runs, Kolkata Knight Riders captain Eoin Morgan has praised his team for showing character by winning seven out of their 10 matches in the UAE leg. Morgan also praised KKR co-owner Shah Rukh Khan and CEO Venky Mysore for the support.
KKR were running away with the match at one point after their openers Shubman Gill (51) and Venkatesh Iyer (50) gave their team a very confident start. In the chase of 193 runs, the duo partnered for 91 runs in just 10.3 overs. However, that turned out to be the only high for the two-time champions in the match.
The KKR innings crumbled like a house of cards once Shardul Thakur dimissed Iyer on the fourth ball of the eleventh over. Nitish Rana (0) departed two balls later and very soon Sunil Narine (2), Dinesh Karthik (9) and Shakib Al Hasan (0) followed to leave KKR reeling at 120 for 6 in 15 overs. The final nail in the coffin came in the form of Rahul Tripathi's wicket in the 16th over. Eoin Morgan tried and failed once again in the IPL 2021 and was Josh Hazlewood's second wicket. Shivam Mavi (20 off 13) hit some boundaries for KKR in the dying moments, but could not save them from going down by 27 runs.
In the post-match presentation ceremony, Morgan reflected on KKR's journey in 14th edition of the cash-rich league and said that he was "extremely proud" of the fight shown by his players. Notably, KKR won seven out of the nine matches (including two in playoffs) before entering their third IPL final.
The World Cup-winning captain praised Venkatesh Iyer (370 runs), Shubman Gill (478), Rahul Tripathi (397) and Varun Chakravarthy (18 wickets) for their stellar show in the season.
"We are extremely proud of the fight we have shown. The character and fight is trademark. Our owners - Shahrukh, Venky have been absolutely outstanding. Guys fought incredibly hard and performed. Iyer and Gill have been outstanding. Ventakesh is new to this platform. They have been the cornerstone of our batting. Tripathi left everything out there today. Unfortunately, he picked up an injury," Morgan said.
Earlier, CSK got off to a blistering start after being asked by Eoin Morgan to bat first. Openers Faf du Plessis (86) and Ruturaj Gaikwad (32) came another flying start to the team, partnering for 61 runs in 8 overs.
Robin Uthappa picked from where he left in the Qualifier 1 against Delhi Capitals (DC) and slammed 31 off just 15 to build the momentum further alongside du Plessis who ended with 633 runs in the season. Once, Uthappa departed in the 14th over, Moeen Ali walked in and took on the struggling KKR batting unit straightaway. The England all-rounder scored 37 unbeaten runs off 20 balls (2 fours and 3 sixes) as CSK finished at 192 for the loss of three wickets in 20 overs.