Kolkata Knight Riders reached their first Indian Premier League final in seven years with a nervy three-wicket win over last year’s finalist Delhi Capitals in the playoffs on Wednesday.
In a dramatic collapse, Kolkata lost seven wickets for 40 runs before managing to reach 136-7 after Venkatesh Iyer (55) and Shubman Gill (46) had contributed 96 runs for the opening-wicket stand.
Kagiso Rabada (2-23) and Andrich Nortje (2-31) claimed two wickets each and Ravichandran Ashwin picked up two wickets in the last over before Rahul Tripathi hammered a six to see Kolkata through to their third IPL final.
“Would’ve loved to win convincingly but Capitals are a very good side,” Kolkata skipper Eoin Morgan said. “Six (runs) off two (balls), the odds were probably in favor of the bowling side, but Rahul Tripathi has done superbly well for us.”
Kolkata have turned the tide in their favor on the slow pitches of the United Arab Emirates, winning seven of their nine games since the IPL resumed after six months due to the pandemic.
They beat Royal Challengers Bangalore in the eliminator and then their bowlers adjusted well on the slow and sluggish wicket of Sharjah on Wednesday to restrict Delhi to 135-5.
Iyer and Gill seemed to have sealed the game with their solid first-wicket stand before Delhi made a stunning comeback.