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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 18 June 2024

Rain gain: Match abandoned, but Kolkata Knight Riders still achieve goal

The washout meant one point each for both teams and that confirmed the Knight Riders of a top-two finish as they are now on 19 point

Our Bureau Calcutta Published 14.05.24, 09:47 AM
With the rain playing spoilsport, the Gujarat Titans versus Kolkata Knight Riders game was called off without a ball being bowled in Ahmedabad on Monday. The result ensured a top-two place in the league standings for the Knights.

With the rain playing spoilsport, the Gujarat Titans versus Kolkata Knight Riders game was called off without a ball being bowled in Ahmedabad on Monday. The result ensured a top-two place in the league standings for the Knights. PTI

Gujarat Titans’ hopes of making the playoffs were crushed by rain and bad weather at the Motera in Ahmedabad on Monday, which forced a washout of their clash against the Kolkata Knight Riders.

A steady drizzle had delayed the toss first up. The rain did relent for some time thereafter, but intensified at around half past nine in the evening. With the conditions not improving, the match officials decided to abandon the game at around 10.38pm.

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The washout meant one point each for both teams and that confirmed the Knight Riders of a top-two finish as they are now on 19 points. They still have a game to play in the league phase — vs Rajasthan Royals in Guwahati on May 19. After that, they play the Qualifer 1 clash in Ahmedabad on May 21.

KKR captain Shreyas Iyer and Gujarat Titans captain Shubman Gill after the match was called off due to rain in Ahmedabad on Monday.

KKR captain Shreyas Iyer and Gujarat Titans captain Shubman Gill after the match was called off due to rain in Ahmedabad on Monday. Gujarat Titans

On the last two occasions ((in 2012 and 2014)) when the Knights finished in the top two, they went on to win the IPL crown as well. However, they will need to fill in the void left by opener Phil Salt who, like his other England T20 World Cup-bound teammates, will have to return home by this weekend for the preparatory T20I series against Pakistan beginning on May 22.

Coming back to the Titans, with 11 points now from 13 games, they won’t qualify for the playoffs even if they win their final match of this league stage against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Hyderabad on Thursday. On winning that game, they will finish with only 13 points. But with a win, they may of course upset Sunrisers' plans, who need 18 points to get a guaranteed playoffs spot.

In fact, even if the Titans had won both their remaining games against KKR and Sunrisers, they still probably would not have advanced because of their poor net run rate (-1.063).

The Sunrisers though will be facing already-ousted teams in their last two games. The Sunrisers should also be mighty upbeat after crushing Lucknow Super Giants in their previous game.

 Rashid Khan thanks the Ahmedabad crowd for their support. Monday's abandoned game was the Gujarat Titans' last home. outing this season.

Rashid Khan thanks the Ahmedabad crowd for their support. Monday's abandoned game was the Gujarat Titans' last home. outing this season. PTI

However, all said and done, the competition remains intense even in this final week before the playoffs as barring KKR, none of the others have a confirmed playoffs ticket yet.

“This week is very crucial. If the Sunrisers win both their matches, then they will go to 18 points. So, they also have a chance to come second in the playoffs race,” Harbhajan Singh said on Star Sports.

“There’s a traffic jam for the rest of the teams to qualify. If CSK (Chennai Super Kings) win, they will also go to 16 points. If they lose (to Royal Challengers Bengaluru), they be left at 14. If RCB win that match (on Saturday), they will also be left at 14.

“So, there are quite a few teams that will be on 14. It’s also possible that we may witness two teams qualify with 14 points," Harbhajan added.

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