All over for Knight Riders in 2008 - Post Kotla washout, even a win in last match won't be enough

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By OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT in Delhi
  • Published 23.05.08
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New Delhi: It’s official. It’s all over for the Kolkata Knight Riders, at least in this edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

For Sourav Ganguly’s men to have even an outside chance of reaching the semi-final stage, they simply had to win Thursday’s crucial encounter against hosts Delhi DareDevils.

But with persistent rain causing a washout at the Kotla, the Shah Rukh Khan-owned side cannot make it to the last four under any circumstances.

A 20000-strong crowd waited patiently for Virender Sehwag and Sourav to unfold their entertainment package. Rain, however, had other ideas, turning the outing to a huge disappointment.

More than the spectators, though, it was a huge setback for both teams. The sole point pushed Knight Riders’ kitty to 11 from 13 matches. Even a win in the last match (versus Kings XI Punjab at the Eden on May 25) won’t be enough.

Not as bad, but things are hardly better for the DareDevils too. A victory could have enhanced their chances of a last-four berth but with 13 points from 13 games they are now pushed to a must win situation against Mumbai Indians in their last encounter.

If Mumbai win that match, they will finish with 14 points (one more than the maximum that the Knight Riders can hope to get), assuming that they lose their last two matches against Rajasthan Royals and Bangalore Royal Challengers.

If Delhi win against the Sachin Tendulkar-led side, they finish with 15 points — two more than Sourav’s boys.

Even if the May 24 match between Mumbai and Delhi is abandoned, Delhi will still have earned 14 points.

The fear of a washout was always there since heavy rain lashed the capital continuously for the past three days. It rained cats and dogs and the prospect of a match, at any stage, looked highly unlikely.

The organisers, however, were hopeful as the sky cleared in the afternoon and the curators worked overtime to make the pitch fit for the key encounter.

It started raining once again two hours before the start of the match. An hour of steady downpour transformed the outfield into a pool. Once it stopped, the super sopper was pressed into service but to no avail.

At 10pm, the on-field umpires finally called off the much-awaited tie, much to the frustration of the big crowd who were waiting for almost a miracle.

The only moment of joy for the crowd came half an hour before the match was finally called off.

The captains — Sehwag and Sourav — made an appearance to have first hand information about the situation. This was the only time they had emerged from the dressing room The spectators roared, hoping for a start, but as the two walked back to the pavilion there was an eerie silence in the stands. Time for them to leave.