If ever you needed a calm presence in a scenario like that, it was Rahul Tripathi. Ever since making his presence felt for the first time in IPL while representing the Rising Pune Supergiant in 2017, Rahul Tripathi has been a prominent presence ever since. He smashed a magnificent six right when it mattered the most for Kolkata Knight Riders, bailing them out of a precarious defeat.
The Kolkata Knight Riders had it well under control, with just 13 runs to win in the final 4 overs. However, three magnificent overs from Delhi’s revered pace trio of Ainrich Nortje, Kagiso Rabada and Avesh Khan ensured just 6 runs were conceded in the next 3 overs. Ravichandran Ashwin had 7 runs to defend in the final over, and the game was well and truly on.
He picked up two wickets, and conceded just 1 run in the first four balls. Kolkata needed 6 runs in 2 balls, with Delhi now in the driver’s seat. However, in Sharjah, bowling side is never really under control in a situation like that, as a half-hit can break the game open.
Rahul Tripathi did not chip in with a half-hit, though. He smoked a short delivery from Ravichandran Ashwin down the ground, and it must’ve been pandemonium in Kolkata as that ball soared into the stands. Ashwin bowled it short once to Tripathi off the first ball of the over, but the batter did not get hold of it.
Ashwin once again pitched it short in that crunch scenario, and this time, the 30-year-old was quick to romp on his backfoot and smacked it cross-batted, down the ground. It was Tripathi’s moment of fame, a moment for him to laminate.
Here’s that six from Rahul Tripathi that got Kolkata a berth in the IPL final for the 3rd time in their history
Kolkata Knight Riders never lost an IPL final, having won both the times they reached this stage before. They face a staggering ask this time, to defeat Chennai Super Kings, but to have comeback from the dead, to reach this position, will be something for the Knight Riders to be proud of.