The Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) earned a huge win over Rajasthan Royals (RR) in what was the last IPL 2021 league game for both teams which was played in Sharjah Cricket Stadium on October 7, 2021. KKR won the match by 86 runs to not only eliminate RR but also Punjab Kings (PBKS) out of the elimination race and have almost made it difficult for Mumbai Indians (MI) as well.
The match was a must-win for both teams, but it was mandatory for Eoin Morgan-led Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to win this match to remain in contention for the playoffs for the IPL 2021. Rajasthan Royals captain Sanju Samson won the toss and chose to bowl first after they had been beaten badly by MI in their previous match batting first.
RR made four changes bringing in Chris Morris, Anuj Rawat, Jaydev Unadkat, and Liam Livingstone the playing XI. KKR, on the other hand, made one change as Lockie Ferguson came back in place of Tim Southee.
KKR openers Venkatesh Iyer (38, 2 sixes, and 3 fours) and Shubman Gill (56, 4 fours, and 2 sixes) went after the leather from ball one and added 79 runs in 11 overs for the opening wicket when Iyer fell to Tewatia. Gill continued with his batting while Rana got out for 12 runs. Rahul Tripathi made a quick 21, while Dinesh Karthik and Eoin Morgan gave KKR a quick finish with 14* and 13* respectively as KKT finished with 171/4 in 20 overs, the highest score in Sharjah this IPL 2021.
Shakib Al Hasan struck early, removing the dangerous Yashasvi Jaiswal for a duck and KKR bowlers then didn’t let the RR bowlers dominate a bit. Only Shivam Dube and Rahul Tewatia reached double figures as RR was bundled out for 85 runs. Dube made 18, while Tewatia made 44 with 5 fours and 2 sixes to his name.
For KKR Shivam Mavi with 4/21 and Ferguson with 3/18 were the best bowlers.
How Can Mumbai Indians Qualify For The Playoffs By Bettering KKR’s Net Run Rate- Explained
With his win, KKR’s net run rate jumped to 0.587 which is the highest for any team in this IPL 2021. MI had wanted KKR to lose this match so that they could defeat Sunrisers Hyderabad in their final league match and go into the playoffs. KKR just needed a win and they did it in style.
How Can Mumbai Indians Overtake KKR’s NRR And Qualify For Play-Offs?:
Now for Mumbai Indians to make it into the playoffs, they need to beat SRH by 171 runs if they bat first and score 200 in 20 overs. However, if SRH wins the toss and bats first, there is no way MI can chase down the target in any amount of overs to better KKR’s NRR. It seems the door for playoffs have closed on Rohit Sharma and his team.