Kolkata Knight Riders have beaten the Royal Challengers Bangalore and will now play the second Qualifier game. A superb display in all the three departments of the game have ensured that the Knights proceed further in the tournament. Their journey in this edition so far has truly been poetic and inspirational. From languishing at the bottom of the points table to being just a step away from playing the final, Morgan and his men have come a long way. However, this win now means that RCB have been knocked out of IPL 2021. Their campaign ends here. After winning the toss and choosing to bat first, RCB got to 138 which looked below par at first glance. KKR, despite struggling got to their target with a couple of balls to spare. Kohli, playing his last match as a captain for RCB felt that he gave his best.
“I think those middle overs where their spinners dominated the game was the difference. They kept bowling in tight areas and kept picking wickets. We had a great start and it was about quality bowling and not bad batting. They thoroughly deserve to win this one and be in the next round. The fight till the end with the ball has been the hallmark of our team. That one big over (22 runs) in the middle deflated our chances. We fought till the last over and made an amazing game out of it. 15 runs less with the bat and a couple of big overs with the ball cost us. Sunil Narine has always been a quality bowler and today he once again showed it. Shakib, Varun and him created pressure and didn’t allow our batsmen to get away in the middle. [On him leaving captaincy at RCB] I have tried my best to create a culture here where youngsters could come in and play with freedom and belief. It is something I have done with India as well. I have given my best. I don’t know how the response has been, but I have given 120% to this franchise every time, which is something I will now do as a player. It is a great time to regroup and restructure for the next three years with people who will take this ahead. [On him staying with RCB] Yes definitely, I don’t see myself playing anywhere else. Loyalty matters more to me than worldly pleasures. I would be in the RCB till the last day I play in the IPL.” Said Kohli after the completion of the match. Morgan on the other hand was a happy man. “He makes it look very very easy (Narine). On an improved wicket in Sharjah he bowled outstandingly. Throughout the innings we continued to take wickets post the first six overs. Then in the chase, being in control the whole time doesn’t allow you to breathe as a defending side. Don’t have to do a lot of moving (so many spinners). Huge privilege. When it comes off like that it looks quite strong and deep.
The way the wicket played we thought we have to bat quite deep. Onwards and upwards for us. For us it’s a matter of coming back, adjusting and seeing what the wicket does. Looking forward to it. The cricket that we have played and the consistency we have shown has surprised everybody. He’s a true legend of T20 cricket and we’re delighted to have him (Narine).” Said Morgan during the post match presentation. Sunil Narine was awarded the player of the match for his 4fer with tha ball as well as his cameo with the bat. “Any good performance in a match-winning game is always good. Today was my day and made the best use of it. All wickets I enjoy. I’m not that close to what I was before but I’m getting there. Hard work is paying off. Always get some heart beats before the game. But cool and calm during the game. Prefer to have the ball in hand which you can control.” Said Narine after winning the player of the match award.