In spite of playing a batsman less with Tim Southee replacing an injured Andre Russell, the Knights got home safely, scoring 130 runs losing seven wickets with eight balls to spare. The match was almost evenly poised till the 16th over of the KKR innings.
AS IT HAPPENED | SCORECARD | POINTS TABLE
Pant used only two overs of pace in the first 10 with Kagiso Rabada being handed the ball in the 11th over. The South African pacer began with a wicket-maiden, picking up opener Shubman Gill (30), who was going great guns then. DC must have sensed a chance when the Knights needed 59 runs off the last eight overs after Ravichandran Ashwin picked up skipper Morgan in the very next over.
But Sunil Narine gave glimpses of his old form with the bat, collecting 21 runs off a Rabada over, which included two sixes and one four. That tilted the match in KKR’s favour.
The three-wicket win kept KKR’s playoff hopes alive as they retained their place among the top four. Kolkata bowlers were again on the job, keeping the explosive DC batting line-up under check by maintaining some tight line and length. Opener Shikhar Dhawan (20), Steve Smith (39), coming in place of injured Prithvi Shaw and skipper Pant (39) all got starts but none of them could provide momentum to their innings.
IPL 2021: Narine stars as Kolkata Knight Riders beat Delhi Capitals
Added to that, they could not script a meaningful partnership as they lost one wicket each in their 13 to 16 overs. In the end what also made a big difference was that in only the second time in the IPL, DC failed to hit a single six in an innings despite batting the full 20 overs. In contrast, their rivals found seven sixes.
The DC innings never got going after they lost their two most in-form batters, Dhawan and Shreyas Iyer, early.
IPL 2021, Match 41: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Delhi Capitals
<p>Delhi Capitals were delayed from claiming a playoff berth in the Indian Premier League after losing to Kolkata Knight Riders by three wickets on Tuesday. (BCCI/IPL Photo)</p>
Narine and Varun Chakravarthy again did their job by drying up runs in the middle overs as even the explosive Pant could not break free before being run out in the last over of the innings. The West Indian spinner was named man of the match, ending up with two for 18. His spinning partner Chakravarthy returned with none for 24.
However, in Russell’s absence Morgan banked on Venkatesh Iyer, who responded well, finishing with two for 29.
The KKR openers – Iyer and Gill – provided the side the right start finding the boundaries in the powerplay. The new KKR sensation began well, hitting pacer Anrich Nortje for two boundaries in the first over.
Although the youngsters could not carry on for long and Morgan failed again, it was Nitish Rana, who decided to stay put after settling down to finish off things. The lefthander remained unbeaten on a well-made 36 off 27 balls that included two fours and two sixes.
DC pacer Avesh Khan bowled his heart out to be the most successful bowler of the match picking up three for 13 albeit in a losing cause.