Eliminator has seen RAJ being eliminated. It went down to the wire, the scoreline won't suggest it but it did. RAJ were in the chase till over number 17 but then in the last three overs KOL never blinked. Their boisterous home crowd also gave them the cushion when the chips were down. KOL have now won 4 on the trot. On the other hand HYD have lost 4 on the trot. Who does the jinxing act? The answers will be delivered on the 25th. The team of Kumar Abhisekh Das, Pratyush Sinha, Vineet Anantharaman, Sriram, Hariprasad and Shashi had immense pleasure in bringing this game to you. CIAO!
A stat round-up, courtesy Deepu Narayanan -* Samson crosses 400 runs in a season for the first time* Most runs in an T20 League season for KOL:660 R Uthappa (2014)590 G Gambhir (2012)501 G Gambhir (2016)498 G Gambhir (2017)493 S Ganguly (2008)490 D KARTHIK (2018) ** Sunil Narine in play-offs:2/240/370/301/460/350/200/210/39
Andre Russell, Man of the Match: "It feels very good. It has been a hectic road since the game against PUN. Every game moving forward has been like a final. We know how important this was and it feels good to have contributed with the bat and the ball. (On his batting prowess) I think it is just a clear head. You get a short ball, you get a slower ball or a wide ball, you try to play a shot accordingly. It is about having a still base. I try to swing hard and believe in my ability. I have some good sticks as well. (On almost leading the pace attack this season) I think it is good to take responsibility as a senior player. I don't mind smashing and finishing the innings off and then come and bowl the first over. It was a good game for all of us. As I said, every game from here on is a final and we cannot take anything for granted. It is going to be a new game with a new ball and we will have to start on the front foot."
Dinesh Karthik: "I think winning 4 games on the row feels good. Especially this one as we were under the pump. Credit to Shubman Gill. Absorbed all the pressure when he walked in. Before he got out, he played some lovely shots and eased the pressure off me. In these games, it is about the attitude and the belief about how much you have got. In these kind of crunch games, it is never about the par score; it's about how much pressure you can put on the other side. Touch wood, the bowlers have picked up their game. We fielded well as well today, which was good to see. They (RAJ) always think out of the box. They kept a short leg and put pressure on the batsman. They get the captain thinking. You need to hold your game and nerves. Every game is important from here on. Next game is important as there are two good teams which will be competing."
Sourav Ganguly is one of the names out there giving the awards away. The crowd at the Eden has more reasons now to be happy.
Kuldeep: "It was an important game for us and wicket of Ajju bhai (Rahane) was important. Was a slow wicket and was gripping. Later, it was good to bat on. We started well but couldn't get early wickets. Wicket of Rahane was the turning point."
Rahane: "Disappointed, especially given how we started, taking 4-5 wickets early. That partnership (between Karthik and Gill) and the dropped catch of Russell hurt us. When you get a start like that, you generally look to win the game. I think KOL bowled really well. They know the conditions really well. It was gettable. They were 10-12 runs short. It's important to finish the games and we didn't have partnerships towards the end. When me and Sanju were batting, we were looking to play positively. I told him during the second timeout that I will go after bowlers and that you bat through. But unfortunately he got out. I think overall we played good cricket. Our bowling unit fantastic this season. Need to improve in our batting and fielding."
And how good is Krishna? Note this name down. Gill, Mavi, and now Krishna. KOL's young turks have been phenomenal on the big stage. Krishna bowled with a smile on his face as he sent down the missiles in his last two. But as I said earlier, where did RAJ get it wrong? The three dot balls bowled to Binny. Tough to say that. Two things did not help them. The Russell blitzkrieg in the first innings and the wicket of Rahane after the second time-out during the chase. So, KOL will stay at the Eden. HYD will join them and another pot-boiler awaits us on the 25th. Your Man of the Match? Mine would be DK. For his splended rescue act and his captaincy when it mattered the most.
No loud celebrations from KOL. Pretty much in sync with their skipper's demeanour. DK's fifty, you can weigh that in gold. The KOL camp is thrilled. RAJ of course are distraught. DK has a quiet word with one of the umpires. Let's talk about the game. 61 needed off the last 6 overs and RAJ lose this by 25 runs. Phew. The second time-out just time-bombed their chase. Post that, the troika of spinners bowled one over each and stifled the opposition.
31 runs off 2 balls. I know, not worth mentioning.
The last five overs have gone for only 27. Poor from RAJ!
Andre Russell [2.0-0-16-0] is back into the attack
Krishnappa Gowtham, right handed bat, comes to the crease
40 runs from 2 overs. KOL favourites from here on. I don't mind a bit of humble pie for dinner!
Prasidh to Binny, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
Prasidh Krishna [2.0-0-17-0] is back into the attack
43 needed off the last three overs. CHN needed the same and got home. Who will play 'Faf'lously well for RAJ?
Stuart Binny, right handed bat, comes to the crease
Chawla to Samson, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
Sunil Narine in play-offs:2/240/370/301/460/350/200/210/39
Piyush Chawla [3.0-0-16-1] is back into the attack
Here is the last spin of dice from the KOL skipper. What will be the bargain?
Heinrich Klaasen, right handed bat, comes to the crease
Kuldeep Yadav to Rahane, THAT'S OUT!! Caught&Bowled!!
Kuldeep Yadav [3.0-0-16-0] is back into the attack
Rahane since last boundary: 12 runs off 15 balls
Time-out! RAJ have done well to stay ahead in the chase. With 9 wickets in hand, 61 off 36 should not be a tough task. But then three overs of spin, one each from the three tweakers, could decide which way the pendulum would rest. For the moment, this game is on tenterhooks.
"Keep believing' shouts DK.
Sunil Narine [2.0-0-25-0] is back into the attack
Dre Russ has been summoned. Can he scalp one here? Did the job with the bat.
Piyush Chawla [2.0-0-10-1] is back into the attack
Javon Searles, right-arm fast medium, comes into the attack
So Rajasthan going on well. But the noses are almost on par.
Samson has got out to Narine thrice in 27 balls - the most he got out to a spinner.
Sunil Narine [1.0-0-15-0] is back into the attack
Kuldeep Yadav, left-arm chinaman, comes into the attack
Sanju Samson, right handed bat, comes to the crease
Chawla to R Tripathi, THAT'S OUT!! Caught&Bowled!!
Piyush Chawla [1.0-0-6-0] is back into the attack
Sunil Narine, right-arm off break, comes into the attack
Piyush Chawla, right-arm leg break, comes into the attack
Prasidh Krishna, right-arm medium, comes into the attack
Rahane and R Tripathi are at the crease. Rahane is on strike. A Russell will open the attack