On Thursday, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) technically secured their position in the play-offs of the Indian Premier League (2021) after a massive 86-run victory over Rajasthan Royals (RR). With this win, KKR maintained their 4th spot (14 points) in the points table and registered a huge boost in the net run rate. This match in Sharjah also made it quite impossible for Mumbai Indians (MI) to qualify for the play-offs.
Opted to bowl first, RR could not impress with their bowling performance as KKR finished with a total of 171 off 4 in 20 overs. KKR openers Shubman Gill and Venkatesh Iyer played a wonderful partnership of 79 runs to give KKR a comfortable start. Shubman remained the top-scorer of the match with 56 off 44 balls while Iyer scored 38 off 35 balls.
On the other hand, nothing really worked for the Royals despite their efforts. The 172-run chase proved to be a nightmare for the team as it crumbled down for only 85 runs in 15.3 overs. Even Rahul Tewatia’s sincere knock of 44 runs on 36 balls could not save the team from the disastrous defeat. KKR bowlers Shivam Mavi (4 off 21) and Lockie Ferguson (3 off 18) bullied the RR players throughout the innings.
RR skipper Sanju Samson could not help but express his dejection following this humiliating crush. In the post-match press meet, he said. “171 was chaseable on this wicket. I think we wanted to get a good start. We needed a powerful powerplay. We wanted to execute whatever we planned but we didn’t execute. I think if you look at the whole season, we have gone through many challenges. We showed character though and am proud of the boys.”
As a result of this massive victory, KKR ended the hopes to qualify for the IPL 2021 play-offs not only for the Punjab Kings (PBKS) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) but it is practically impossible now for MI, too, to qualify for the same, In the upcoming match on Friday against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), MI need to beat SRH by 171 runs. As if that’s not enough, they cannot really overtake KKR even after winning in the first over if they bowl first.
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