The Delhi Capitals (DC) lock horns with the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Qualifier 2 of Match 59 of IPL 2021 on Wednesday, 12th October, at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in Sharjah. While DC comes into this game after losing in Qualifier 1 to CSK, KKR are brimming with confidence after a win over RCB in The Eliminator.
Delhi Capitals put up a decent batting display against CSK on a good batting wicket in Dubai but couldn’t contain their opponents, thanks to a Dhoni special towards the end. Prithvi Shaw led from the front and scored in all parts of the ground in the powerplay overs with a half-century, but couldn’t capitalize on the platform. Few quick wickets then forced skipper Rishabh Pant to rebuild the innings, with him too smashing it all around the park. His half-century and another crucial knock from Shimron Hetmyer took the Delhi Capitals to 173 which looked like a formidable total.
Despite a solid start to their bowling innings which saw Faf du Plessis depart early and Tom Curran’s excellent middle-overs bowling bringing them back into the game, with CSK losing two wickets in quick succession. However, the greatest of finishers, MS Dhoni outfoxed Tom Curran in the last over, with DC required to defend 13 off the last over. As a result, DC will now have to beat KKR to advance to the Finals.
KKR, meanwhile, produced another masterclass bowling performance to restrict Virat Kohli’s me to an average total in Sharjah. RCB got off to a good start after winning the toss and opting to bat. However, Lockie Ferguson broke their opening partnership to bring KKR back into the game.
The spinners then slowed the innings in the middle overs, with Sunil Narine delivering a bowling masterclass. His line and length were spots on along with his variations throughout his four overs, and he finished with exceptional figures of 4/21 in four overs which included the prized wickets of Kohli, AB De Villiers, and Maxwell. RCB couldn’t help but only get 139 on the board.
Although KKR had a rollercoaster chase which was filled with plenty of ups and downs, Shubman Gill’s quickfire 29 settings the tone for the innings. However, his wicket allowed RCB to find their way back before Sunil Narine made the most of his surprising promotion to No.5 and smashed three sixes off Dan Christian’s bowling in the 11th over. KKR then staved off an RCB come back to cross the finish line in the last over, with two balls to spare.
Both teams won a game each in their league stage battles, with KKR beating DC in their most recent meeting at the same venue. With a place in the Final of IPL 2021 on the line, a cracking encounter is expected to take place.
Qualifier 2: KKR vs DC, Match 59
Date: October 13, 2021 (Wednesday).
Time: 7:30 PM IST.
Venue: Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah.
It should be another warm and sunny evening with clear skies in Sharjah, with an average temperature of around 34 degrees Celsius.
The wicket at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium flattered to deceive in the RCB-KKR game. The surface retained its two-paced nature, and batting won’t be easy for either of the two teams. Expect another thrilling average scoring match.
Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (C/WK), Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis/Tom Curran, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, and Avesh Khan.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Eoin Morgan (C), Dinesh Karthik (WK), Shakib Al Hasan/Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Lockie Ferguson, Varun Chakravarthy, and Shivam Mavi.
Players to watch out for –
Shubman Gill: KKR opener Shubman Gill has smashed 381 runs in this season so far and can come in handy once again in the so-far most important match for them in the tournament.
Venkatesh Iyer: Another KKR’s left-handed opening batsman and right-arm medium pacer who’s marked 265 runs in this season so far. He can also deliver with the ball.
Nitish Rana: The left-handed middle-order batsman and right-arm off-break bowler from Kolkata Knight Riders have smacked 370 runs and grabbed 7 wickets in this season so far. He will be a must to look out for in this game.
Shikhar Dhawan: The veteran left-handed opener from Delhi Capitals has hammered a mammoth 551 runs in this season so far. Delhi will expect experienced campaigners like him to help them with an excellent start at the top and in the powerplay overs.
Shreyas Iyer: The right-handed batsman from Delhi Capitals. He has scored 145 runs in this season so far, having missed the first half of the tournament due to a shoulder injury. He has the potential to add mighty runs in a pretty short period and can come in handy in the death overs with his long sixes.
Rishabh Pant: The Delhi Capitals skipper is always a must to watch out for. He has stacked 413 runs in this season so far and has to lead his team extremely well from behind the sticks. He will be a great asset as a batter too with the short Sharjah boundaries helping him to execute his outrageous shots a bit more.
Avesh Khan: The right-arm pacer from Delhi Capitals has picked up 23 wickets in this season so far and has impressed everyone with his pace and skills. He is the second-leading wicket-taker of IPL 2021, only behind Harshal Patel.
KKR’s current form is much better than DC’s, who’ve lost their last two games. However, both teams are pretty evenly matched and have players who can thrive in the conditions at Sharjah.
It has been a pretty challenging road to the playoffs for KKR, and winning so many games in a row might prove to be difficult. DC could end their losing streak and get themselves into their second IPL final.
So what do you guys think? Who will face CSK on Friday’s Final in Dubai?