Kolkata Knight Riders turned up the heat in Dubai today, with their skipper leading the easy as they thrashed Rajasthan Royals by 60 runs, and ending their IPL campaign. With this win, KKR are still alive in the competition and are dependent on the results of the next two games.
With Ben Stokes-inspired wins against Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab, Rajasthan Royals’ floundering campaign in IPL 2020 is just about alive. As such, they will go into their final league match against Kolkata Knight Riders at Dubai high on confidence. Both Rajasthan and Kolkata have 12 points from 13 games. However, RR have a better run rate than KKR, and thus, a big win for Rajasthan could put them in a reasonable position to qualify. Of course, with a few other sides also likely to finish on 14, it will be a tight race to the finish.
A calm Gaikwad’s 72(53) and a belligerent Jadeja’s 31*(11) made sure that KKR’s playoff chances were no longer in their hands, as with this loss, they will want other results to fall their way. Rana batted superbly for his 87(61), but the target of 173 was just not enough for the now spirited Super Kings.
Chennai Super Kings may have been knocked out of IPL 2020, but they can still play spoilsport as far as the chances of other teams are concerned. They will face Kolkata Knight Riders in match number 49 of IPL 2020 at Dubai on Thursday. KKR are still in contention with 12 points from as many games, and need to win the next two matches to ensure qualification for the play-offs. CSK are at the bottom of the points table and would not like to finish there. Hence, they have a lot of pride to play for.
Punjab roared back to the top four of the points table after an easy win against Kolkata. Mandeep’s 66*(56) and Gayle’s 51(29) was too much for the KKR bowlers to handle as Punjab registered their fifth win on trot.
The Kolkata Knight Riders put up a massive score of 194 courtesy a measured 81 by Rana and a quickfire 64 by Narine. Varun Chakravarthy spun a web around the DC’s middle order as he registered his career best figures of 5-20.
Second-placed Delhi Capitals will look to get back on the winning track when they face fourth-placed Kolkata Knight Riders in the 42nd match of IPL 2020 at Abu Dhabi on Saturday. Well placed with 14 points from 10 matches, Delhi came up with a half-hearted effort against the ever-improving Kings XI Punjab in their previous encounter to go down by five wickets. Their opponents for Saturday, Kolkata Knigh Riders, also have plenty of work to do, as they were hammered by eight wickets by Royal Challengers Bangalore at the same venue where they will face Delhi.
Vengeance of 2017 is what this match is called now. Back then, RCB were skittled for 49 by KKR’s pace attack and this time it was RCB’s turn to return the favour. Mohammed Siraj registered impressive figures of 3-8 as KKR could manage only 84.
Having taken down Sunrisers Hyderabad via the Super Over route, Kolkata Knight Riders will now face a confident Royal Challengers Bangalore in match number 39 of IPL 2020 at Abu Dhabi. The inclusion of Kiwi pacer Lockie Ferguson made a massive difference to KKR’s fortunes as his figures of 3 for 15 stunned SRH. He was unplayable again in the Super Over, cleaning up David Warner and Abdul Samad.