Images from the Indian Premier League's Qualifier 2 between Delhi Capitals and Kolkata Knight Riders, in Sharjah, on Wednesday.
Venkatesh Iyer scored a breezy half-century before Kolkata Knight Riders survived a sensational batting collapse to edge past Delhi Capitals in Qualifier 2 and set up an Indian Premier League 2021 final against Chennai Super Kings, in Sharjah on Wednesday.
Rahul Tripathi hit Delhi Capitals senior spinner Ravichandran Ashwin for a six to clinch a thrilling three-wicket victory for the Knight Riders with one ball to spare.
Earlier, Iyer smashed 55 off 41 balls to give the Knight Riders a flying start. He put on 96 runs for the opening wicket with Shubman Gill, who score 46.
But Nitish Rana's dismissal to Anrich Nortje revived Delhi hopes and they staged a stunning fightback as the Knight Riders lost as many as six wickets for seven runs in the space of 22 deliveries.
Ashwin took two wickets in the final over, dismissing Shakib Al Hasan and Sunil Narine off successive deliveries before Tripathi’s six of the penultimate delivery sealed victory for the Knight Riders.
Before the late drama unfolded, it was the Knight riders all the way.
Iyer guided Axar Patel to short third-man for a single to race to his 50 off 38 balls in the 12th over.
It was his third half-century in the IPL. He got past the milestone mark at all three venues in the UAE.
However, Rabada returned to the attack in the 13th over to halt Iyer in his stride.
After getting a thick outside edge for a boundary fine on the off-side off the first delivery, Iyer pulled the next. This one though failed to go the distance and substitute Steve Smith, on the fine leg fence, took the catch easily.
Iyer walked back after a superb knock of 55 from 41 balls, which included 4 fours and 3 sixes. The Knight Riders were 96-1, and well on course.
New-man in Nitesh Rana went on the offensive straightaway, but pulled a short ball from Anrich Nortje in the 16th over straight into the hands of Shimron Hetmyer and perished for 13.
KKR lost their second wicket, but still look set for an easy victory, with just 13 needed from four overs.
Avesh kept Delhi's slim hopes alive when he snared Gill, who had played a good hand of 46 from as many balls before being caught behind by wicketkeeper Pant while going after a wide delivery.
The Knight Riders were 125 for 3 with two deliveries left in the 17th over.
Suddenly, there was more drama, as Dinesh Karthik, looking to release the pressure, went for a big swing, missed and was bowled by Rabada for a duck and KKR were 126 for 4 after 18 overs.
Nortje then struck with the last delivery of the l9th over. Eoin Morgan went hard, but ended up dragging the ball back onto his stumps and was out for a duck.
KKR need seven from the last over for victory as Delhi handed Ravichandran Ashwin the task of defending those runs.
The first ball was short and Tripathi couldn’t make most of it, pulling it to long-on for a single.
Shakib Al Hasan tried the sweep, but missed and was hit on the pads and trapped leg before next ball for a duck as KKR were reduced to 130 for 6, needing six off three balls for victory.
Sunil Narine tried to finish it off with a six, but ended up holing out to long-off as Ashwin make it two wickets off two. deliveries.
Delhi had taken three wickets for six runs in the last three overs. But that was all.
The batsmen crossed over while Narine’s catch was being taken and Tripathi was back on strike.
That proved crucial, as Tripathi smashed the next ball over long-off for a six to seal victory.
KKR nearly self-destructed, losing six wickets for seven runs in the space of 22 balls.
Earlier, mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy led a clinical bowling display as Kolkata Knight Riders restricted Delhi Capitals to 135 for 5.
Sent in to bat, the Delhi Capitals batters struggled as the Knight Riders bowlers maintained a tight line and length on a sluggish pitch. Opener Shikhar Dhawan top-scored with a 39-ball 36 while Shreyas Iyer was undefeated with 30 off 27 balls.
Chakravarthy took two wickets for 26 runs while Lockie Ferguson and Shivam Mavi got one each.
After seven dot balls in the first two overs, Delhi Capitals got 12 runs from the third, with Shaw hoisting Shakib Al Hasan for a big six.
Dhawan joined the party in the fourth over, smacking two consecutive sixes off Sunil Narine as Delhi collected 14 runs from the veteran West Indian.
Chakravarthy broke the dangerous-looking partnership by trapping Shaw leg before wicket with his first delivery of the day, as the opener played a wrong line to his googly.
Ferguson was impressive, conceding just nine runs from his first two overs as Delhi were 38 for 1 at the end of the powerplay overs.
After a quiet period during which Mavi, Narine and Chakravarthy kept it tight while being miserly, Dhawan scored a boundary in the 10th over to take the team’s score to 65 for 1 at the halfway mark.
With odd ball skidding low, it was getting difficult to get runs and Delhi were dealt a blow when Mavi, who was bowling beautifully, got rid of Marcus Stoinis, who was playing only his second match in the UAE leg.
With pressure building on the Delhi Capitals batters, Dhawan fell in the 15th over while going for a big shot. He could only get an outside edge off a Chakravarthy delivery and Shakib Al Hasan took a diving catch at backward point.
Delhi were 83 for 3 in the 15th over when captain Rishabh Pant (6) came in. He disappointed when it mattered most, hitting just a four during his stay of six deliveries.
He went for a big shot in the next over only to balloon a Ferguson delivery for Rahul Tripathi to take a regulation catch.
There was no lack of drama as Shimron Hetmyer was caught by Shubman Gill off Chakravarthy in the 17th over, but the catch came off a no-ball.
Some big hitting at the end enabled to score 36 runs off the last three overs and finish with a decent total in the end.