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IPL: Kolkata Knight Riders continue play-off push with three-wicket win over Delhi Capitals

Kolkata Knight Riders beat Delhi Capitals by three wickets to boost IPL play-off hopes; KKR captain Eoin Morgan out for a duck but side reach target of 128 with 10 balls to spare in Sharjah; Delhi miss chance to move back top of table

Lockie Ferguson, Kolkata Knight Riders
Image: Lockie Ferguson (left) took two wickets, including Steve Smith, as Delhi were limited to 127-9 in Sharjah

Kolkata Knight Riders beat Delhi Capitals by three wickets to continue their IPL play-off push and prevent their opponents from returning to the top of the table.

Eoin Morgan's men limited Delhi to 127-9 in Sharjah, with Sunil Narine (2-18), Lockie Ferguson (2-10) and Venkatesh Iyer (2-29) impressing as the Capitals failed to hit a solitary six.

Shubman Gill (30 off 33) nailed a maximum eight deliveries into the chase, one of seven sixes fourth-placed Knight Riders managed as they reached their target with 10 balls to spare to move onto 10 points from 11 games.

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KKR were wobbling at 67-4 in the 12th over when Morgan (0) swiftly followed Gill back into the dugout but Dinesh Karthik (12 off 14), Nitish Rana (36no off 27) and Narine (21 off 10) struck a flurry of boundaries to get their side back on track, before Rana cracked the winning four off Anrich Nortje.

Karthik and Rana took Lalit Yadav's 14th over for 20, while Narine blasted two sixes and a four in Kagiso Rabada's 21-run 16th over.

Shubman Gill, Kolkata Knight Riders
Image: Shubman Gill scored 30 from 33 balls in the Kolkata run chase

KKR have now won three of their four matches since the IPL resumed in the UAE earlier this month, with their only blip coming on Sunday when they slipped to a last-ball loss to Chennai.

Chennai remain top of the table on net run-rate with Delhi missing the chance to overhaul them as their four-match winning run was snapped and Avesh Khan's three-wicket haul came in vain.

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Only openers Steve Smith (39 off 34) and Shikhar Dhawan (24 off 20) and captain Rishabh Pant (39 off 36) made double figures for Delhi - Pant becoming Capitals' leading run-scorer in T20 cricket during his innings after overtaking Virender Sehwag's tally of 2,382 runs.

Orange Cap holder Dhawan struck five fours as Capitals reached 35-0 in the fifth over, only to then slash Ferguson to cover-point.

Narine castled Shreyas Iyer (1) through the gate to make it 40-2, while it was 77-3 when Ferguson bowled Smith as he hacked across the line.

Smith, back in the Delhi side for the injured Prithvi Shaw, had been knocked off his feet from Ferguson's previous delivery, inside edging a slower ball into his groin having walked across to the off-side.

Pant took his side into three figures as wickets tumbled around him, with Capitals losing 7-50 in the last seven overs, including Lalit Yadav and Axar Patel for ducks and Shimron Hetmyer for just four.

Ferguson was limited to two overs after picking up a hamstring problem, the same sort of issue that had sidelined team-mate Andre Russell.

Those injuries will concern Morgan but he has far fewer worries about his team's form, with Kolkata firing in the UAE after winning just two of their seven matches in India earlier in the year.

Morgan's own returns with the bat are worrying, though, with the 35-year-old having scored just 15 runs in three innings in the Emirates after edging Ravichandran Ashwin behind for a two-ball duck on Tuesday.

The left-hander is averaging just 11.88 overall for Kolkata in this year's IPL, while, during the summer, he averaged just 12.25 in four Twenty20 internationals for England and 21.57 for London Spirit in The Hundred.

    The IPL action continues on Wednesday as Rajasthan Royals take on Royal Challengers Bangalore in Dubai. Watch live on Sky Sports Cricket (channel 404) from 2.50pm.

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