Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) batter Rahul Tripathi played a crucial knock of unbeaten 74 runs to help his team defeat Mumbai Indians (MI) by 7 wickets on Thursday (September 23). He utilized the thundering start provided by openers Venkatesh Iyer (53) and Shubman Gill (13) in the run-chase of 156 runs to ensure a victory.
KKR scored 40 runs in the first 3 overs before losing Gill on the final ball of the third over. Then came Tripathi at number 3 and stitched up a match-winning partnership of 88 runs with Iyer.
Before MI could break the partnership, the match had already slipped out of their hands. Tripathi remained not-out and KKR won the match by 7 wickets with 29 balls spare.
“I really enjoyed the batting today and am happy that I stayed till the end and got the team home. Obviously, the coach tells us to be positive. When you are positive the pressure goes to the bowlers and you just look for runs. It was important to put their spinners under pressure.
“I felt it was important to get boundaries. The team environment is very positive. We wanted to hit the ground running in the second phase. Definitely very happy,” he said after the win.
KKR skipper Eoin Morgan was also pleased to see his team playing a ‘fearless brand’ of cricket that is associated with him and head coach Brendon McCullum. They had won only two matches out of seven in the first phase of IPL 2021.
But Kolkata are now back in the race for the playoffs with back-to-back wins in UAE. They need to win at least four more matches in their remaining five games.