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Watch: Rahul Tripathi blasts Ashwin hat-trick ball for six to narrowly avert one of the worst chokes of all time

by Wisden Staff 4 minute read

Watch: Kolkata Knight Riders’ Rahul Tripathi got his side out of the jail after they were on verge of being knocked out of the 2021 IPL on Wednesday.

At the beginning of the 16th over of their innings, a place in the final of the IPL seemed certain for KKR. They needed 23 runs to off 30 balls to defeat Delhi Capitals in the second Qualifier match of the knockout stages.

At the end of the 16th over, which had already cost ten runs, Nitish Rana was dismissed by Anrich Nortje. Now, they needed 13 off 24 deliveries, with eight wickets in the balance. The game was pretty much in KKR’s bag at this stage. Yet, somehow KKR batters weren’t quite able to score off the next 18 balls. Three overs of pace yielded merely six runs as KKR lost three wickets.

Needing seven off the final over, with Tripathi and Shakib Al Hasan at the crease, things still looked in KKR’s favour but only just. But there was another twist in the tale, as Ravichandran Ashwin took the ball.

While Tripathi was able to take a single off the first delivery, Shakib wasn’t able to score off the next ball. He then tried to scoop the third delivery of the delivery, but Ashwin was able to strike the pads and remove the Bangladesh all-rounder LBW.

KKR needed six off three balls with four wickets in hand. The next man in was Sunil Narine, who tried to finish the game in style with a six over long-off – but couldn’t get the desired elevation. The ball landed in Axar Patel’s hands and KKR needed six off the final two balls, with Ashwin on a hat-trick.

Pommie Mbangwa, on air, went, “Now, we are six from two balls. They crossed, Tripathi on a small ground here in Sharjah, can you hit a six? Get your side home.”

The fifth delivery of the over was a wide, good-length ball, which was duly dispatched by Tripathi over Ashwin’s head. The massive six went over the long-off boundary, and KKR, after all the drama, were able to secure a spot into the final.

Pommie Mbangwa, went, “BAM! Out of the ground, there you go. Rahul Tripathi! You’ve settled a lot of nerves. And man, it’s going to be tears of joy in Kolkata.”

Simon Doull, joined in, “Come to Tripathi! Has he what? Has he what!? Yes, sir. You didn’t need two balls. You only needed one.”

You can watch how the final over panned out here:

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