IPL 2021: KKR ride past Royals to take firm grip of playoff spot
Defending champions Mumbai Indians need to win by 171 runs against Sunrisers Hyderabad to qualify
Eoin Morgan’s Kolkata Knight Riders crushed Rajasthan Royals by 86 runs on Thursday to take a firm grip on the fourth and final spot in the Indian Premier League playoffs.
Shubman Gill hit a 44 ball 56 as Kolkata stormed to 171 for four in Sharjah. Shivam Mavi then took four wickets for 21 off just 19 balls as Rajasthan collapsed to 85 all out in 16.1 overs.
Reigning champions Mumbai Indians could equal Kolkata’s 14 points if they beat Sunrisers Hyderabad in their final league game on Friday.
But they would need a winning margin of 171 runs to clinch a playoff place with table toppers Delhi Capitals, Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Gill and Venkatesh Iyer (38) put on 79 for the first wicket to put Kolkata on the road to an imposing score.
Rahul Tripathi, made 21 off 14 balls, while Dinesh Karthik (14) and Morgan (13) all scored quick runs in the death overs.
Mavi won the man-of-the-match award for ripping through the Rajasthan top order, claiming captain Sanju Samson for one, Shivam Dube when he was starting to score on 18, Glenn Phillips for eight and top scorer Rahul Tewatia, who hit two sixes and five fours in his 44.
New Zealand quick Lockie Ferguson took three for 18 from his four overs.
“It was a convincing performance,” said Morgan whose side won three of their last five games to get into the top four.
“Venkatesh Iyer and Shubman Gill have been the shining lights for us in the second half. I thought we were brilliant to take the opportunities,” he added.
Morgan said he would probably play golf on Friday and not worry about Mumbai’s game.
“I’m very happy to do this in this stage of the game,” Mavi told the host broadcaster.
“The plan was to bowl wicket-to-wicket and not give room because the ball was staying low,” he added.
Rajasthan Royals skipper Samson felt that 171 could have been chased on this surface.
“It was a much better wicket we got last time. This was staying low... 171 was easy chaseable on this wicket with the batting line-up we have. We wanted to execute whatever we planned, but we didn’t do it today,” said Samson. —AFP
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