Eoin Morgan, Sunil Narine and Varun Chakaravarthy

THREE KNIGHTS: Eoin Morgan captain of Kolkata Knight Riders, ace spinner Sunil Narine and Varun Chakaravarthy talk strategy during the second Vivo Indian Premier League qualifier against the Delhi Capitals held at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, yesterday. —Photo: IPL

Sunil Narine and, perhaps, Andre Russell will come face to face with fellow West Indian Dwayne Bravo in the final of the Indian Premier League on Friday in Dubai.
Narine took none for 27 from his four overs and was dismissed for a first-ball duck, and the injured Russell was again a non-starter for the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) when they beat Delhi Capitals by three wickets in the in the second qualifier yesterday.
Venkatesh Iyer, however, struck a fluent half-century and helped KKR overcome a late wobble to land the knockout punch on the Capitals, last season’s runners-up, and the chart-toppers after the preliminary stage of this season.
KKR will take on Chennai Super Kings in the title bout tomorrow at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
Set 136 for victory yesterday, KKR appeared to be cruising to victory courtesy 55 from and 46 from fellow opener Shubman Gill.
Iyer got a lucky break when South African fast bowler Kagiso Rabada failed to hold onto a sharp return chance in the fifth over and hit four fours and three sixes in his third 50 in this season’s IPL.
The Capitals, whose line-up included West Indies left-handed batter Shimron Hetmyer, continued to put in a fight and scalped three wickets, conceding only three runs, and KKR slumped from 123 for one to 126 for four at the end of the 18th over.
South African fast bowler Anrich Nortje then removed KKR and England white-ball captain Eoin Morgan in the penultimate over, as the Capitals pushed their opponents to score seven in the final over.
Ravichandran Ashwin then scalped the wickets of mercurial left-handed Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan and Narine inside the first four balls of the last over.
This left the equation of six runs needed to get from the last two balls and Rahul Tripathi cleared the boundary off Ashwin to seal the win for KKR with a ball to spare.
Earlier, Delhi struggled for momentum after being put in to bat on a slow pitch, losing regular wickets following a brisk opening stand from Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw.
Dhawan led the way with 36 and Shreyas Iyer added 30, but the KKR bowlers used the typically slow nature of the pitch to keep the scoring in check, as the Capitals laboured to a modest 135 for five.
But Delhi lost their second match in a row in the playoffs to miss out on a finals berth.


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