A distraught Delhi Capitals (DC) skipper Rishabh Pant struggled to describe his feelings in the post-match interview after the team’s loss against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). The Kolkata side booked their place in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 final on Wednesday.
Despite finishing the league stage as the No. 1 side, DC lost both qualifiers to exit the tournament in third place.
In what looked like a one-sided match until the 18th over of the second innings, KKR lost six wickets for seven runs in a span of 22 balls before finishing off the game with one ball remaining. After the three-wicket loss, Rishabh Pant said:
“I don’t have words to express at the moment. We can’t change things after the match. We just kept believing, we tried to stay in the game as long as possible. The bowlers nearly pulled it back. Unfortunately, it didn’t go our way.”
Sent in to bat first, DC limped to 135 on a sluggish Sharjah track. The dew made it easier for the KKR batters as their openers powered them to a 96-run stand off just 74 balls before losing their way until the penultimate ball. Rishabh Pant credited the KKR bowlers for keeping it tight after the powerplay and making scoring difficult.
Pant, who was dismissed for six, added:
“They bowled very well in the middle-overs, especially after the powerplay. We got stuck and were unable to rotate strike. The Delhi Capitals are known to be positive, and hopefully, we’ll come back better next season.”
Hopefully, we will return better next season: Rishabh Pant
One of the most consistent sides in the past three seasons, DC are the only side to have made it to the playoffs in all editions of the competition since 2019. Heaping praise on the franchise, Rishabh Pant summarized the 2021 season positively and said:
“We played really good cricket, yes, there will be ups and downs, but in Delhi Capitals, we stay positive. We are there for each other, care for each other and keep learning. Hopefully, we’ll improve further and come back better next season.”
Three-time IPL champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will now play two-time winners KKR in Dubai in the IPL 2021 final on Friday.
Q. Will DC retain Rishabh Pant in IPL 2022?