The Kolkata Knight Riders crushed the Rajasthan Royals by 86 runs on Thursday to take a firm grip on the fourth and final IPL playoff spot.
Shubman Gill hit a 44-ball 56 as Kolkata stormed to 171-4 in Sharjah. Shivam Mavi then took four wickets for 21 off just 19 balls as Rajasthan collapsed to 85 all out in 16.1 overs.
Reigning champions the Mumbai Indians could equal Kolkata’s 14 points if they beat the Sunrisers Hyderabad in their final league game on Friday.
But they would need a winning margin of 171 runs to clinch a playoff place with table-toppers the Delhi Capitals, Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Gill and Venkatesh Iyer (38) put on 79 for the first wicket to put Kolkata on the road to an imposing score.
Rahul Tripathi made 21 off 14 balls, while Dinesh Karthik (14) and Morgan (13) all scored quick runs in the death overs.
Mavi won the man-of-the-match award for ripping through the Rajasthan top order, claiming captain Sanju Sansom for one, Shivam Dube when he was starting to score on 18, Glenn Phillips for eight and top-scorer Rahul Tewatia who hit two sixes and five fours in his 44.
New Zealand quick Lockie Ferguson took 3-18 from his four overs.
“It was a convincing performance,” said Eoin Morgan, whose side won three of their last five games to get into the top four. “Venkatesh Iyer and Shubman Gill have been the shining lights for us in the second half. I thought we were brilliant to take the opportunities.”
Morgan said he would probably play golf on Friday and not worry about Mumbai’s game.
“When you are talking about run rate and qualifying you are in the lap of the gods,” he declared.
© Agence France-Presse