Ireland level series courtesy Joshua Little and Andy McBrine stellar bowling performances
14 Sep 2021
The Kolkata Knight Riders were sailing through till in halfway mark in the pursuit of 193 runs to win their third IPL title against the Chennai Super Kings till they started to implode once again.
The opening pair of Venkatesh Iyer and Shubman Gill had put up a commanding partnership of 91 runs inside 11 overs but the Knight Riders lipped quickly to 108/4 in the span of 16 balls to lose their grip on the momentum and subsequently lost the game by 27 runs.
They had a similar horrible batting collapse in the second qualifier against the Delhi Capitals when they had dragged a seamless chase of 13 runs from the last 24 balls to a dire situation where Rahul Tripathi had to hit a six on the penultimate ball to win them the game.
Eoin Morgan had assured dissection of the collapse in the final four overs against the Capitals but little did it do their fortune as the skipper himself was the weakest link of the batting unit.
It was being narrated that the dominance by the top order batsmen and spin bowlers on spin-friendly pitches in Sharjah led to their arrival while the middle order was plaguing their growth.
The coach Brendon McCullum agreed with the “fair assessment” and said that the middle order comprising of the skipper Morgan, Dinesh Karthik would be the first one to admit their failures in the competition. He said that the middle-order could not bring impact to the table and hence the Knight Riders were always without all bases covered which were exposed on the night of the final.
"Yeah I think that's a fair assessment," McCullum said when he was asked about the role of middle-order in KKR’s struggle this season. "I think our bowling group did a really good job. We fielded well, and our top-order batting was superb. But unfortunately, we weren't quite able to get the real impact through our middle-order players… You know there's a lot of experience there, they're the first ones to admit they didn't have the greatest of tournaments. That can happen at times, it wasn't for a lack of trying, that's for sure. The guys certainly invested, they put the work in, it just wasn't necessarily their tournament. That was just unfortunate, that it kind of happened amongst all of the middle order. But that can happen sometimes.”
However, he was not too unsatisfied with the overall situation and chose to see the positives out of a remarkable comeback by the team after their horrible first phase of the tournament.