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Rishabh Pant reacts to DC's elimination from IPL 2021: Don't have words to express
- KKR defeated DC by 3 wickets in Qualifier 2
- DC had finished the group stage at the top of the table
- KKR’s Venkatesh Iyer was named Player of the Match
A disappointed Rishabh Pant said that he doesn't have "words to express" after Delhi Capitals (DC) were eliminated from the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 on Wednesday.
DC lost a close battle against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Qualifier 2 of IPL 2021 in Sharjah. KKR needed six off the final two balls of the match and Rahul Tripathi smashed a big hit to seal the victory for his side in 19.5 overs.
"I don't have words to express at the moment, can't tell anything. We just kept believing, tried to stay in the game as long as possible. The bowlers nearly pulled it back, but it's unfortunate that it didn't go our way. They bowled very well in the middle-overs, we got stuck and couldn't rotate strike.
Delhi Capitals are known to be positive and hopefully, we'll come back better next season. We played really good cricket, yes, there will be ups and downs, but we'll stay positive, be there for each other, care for each other and hopefully we'll come back better next season," Pant said after DC's loss by three wickets in Sharjah.
Last season's runners up, DC have failed to qualify for the final despite finishing at the top of the IPL 2021 table. This is the third instance of teams finishing in the top two and not making the final since 2011 - Delhi Daredevils in 2012, Gujarat Lions in 2016 and DC in 2021.
KKR captain Eoin Morgan praised Venkatesh Iyer, who produced a Player of the Match performance on Wednesday.
"We will dissect what happened in the last four overs. The openers gave us a great platform. But we have won and we are in the finals. We are delighted to get over the line. We are in the entertainment business and need to play some entertaining cricket. Six off 2 and you would say the odds are for the bowling side.
But Tripathi has done it for us so many times. The guys coming in feel free to express themselves. The backroom staff have created an excellent atmosphere for that to happen. With the squad we have, we had huge expectations. Our coach BMac saw Iyer and had tracked his progress. Iyer seems to be batting on a different wicket. Anything can happen in a final!" Morgan said at the post-match presentation.
Earlier, Morgan won the toss and asked DC to bat. Shikhar Dhawan top scored with 36 off 39 and Shreyas Iyer remained unbeaten on 30 off 27 balls as DC put up 135 for 5 in 20 overs.
While KKR's four batsmen, Dinesh Karthik, Shakib Al-Hasan, Morgan and Sunil Narine were dismissed without going off the mark in the final three overs, opening batsman Venkatesh's half-century made all the difference for the two-time champions.
"I am doing what has been asked of me. I am very happy that we ended on the winning side. There is no difference. I came out and played the way I want to play. I am grateful to the management. It is a wonderful place to come and play. I think in the past couple of games, I have been trying to restrict myself a bit as I wanted to stay till the end. But then I thought it is not me. I was losing out on the present trying to be a bit conservative. Gill is an extremely wonderful stroke player and we complement each other. Heard the news (about being asked to stay back in the Indian bio-bubble for the T20 World Cup) this morning, but my entire focus was on tonight's game," Venkatesh said after KKR's win in Qualifier 2.
KKR face off against MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the IPL 2021 final on Friday (Oct. 15) at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.