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IPL 2024: KKR outplay SRH to win final by eight wickets, clinch third title

Chennai, May 26: Kolkata Knight Riders outplayed Sunrisers Hyderabad in all departments to clinch their third IPL championship with a comprehensive eight-wicket win in a relatively one-sided IPL 2024 title clash at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Sunday. KKR’s bowlers, led by stellar spells from Andre Russell (3-19), Mitchell Starc (2-14) & Harshit Rana (2-24), bowled out SRH for just 113, the lowest total in an IPL final. In reply, the batters, led by Venkatesh Iyer’s 52 not out off 26 balls, chased down the total in just 10.3 overs to make it the second time the side won an IPL title in Chennai. On a red-soil pitch, only winning the toss was the lone right thing for SRH as they never got any partnership or momentum to post the lowest total in an IPL final.

Starc and Vaibhav Arora bowled consistently in the good length area, and had the ball swinging continuously, followed by others getting grip to leave SRH in tatters. Such was the fantastic bowling show that every KKR bowler had at least one wicket against their names. Starc gave KKR a bright start from the word go when he hit Abhishek Sharma’s top of off-stump with a delivery which began from leg-stump and then nipped away sharply, reminding everyone of how he began 2015 Men’s ODI World Cup final. In the next over, Arora’s seaming across delivery resulted in Travis Head nicking behind for a golden duck. After early movement, Starc bowled a short cross-seam delivery on which Rahul Tripathi tried to flick, but gave a massive top edge to mid-wicket fielder. Aiden Markram and Nitish Kumar Reddy looked to counter-attack with four quick boundaries.

But there was no stopping KKR as Harshit Rana bowled three slower balls, before bowling a nipping away seam-up delivery which took Reddy’s edge on the drive behind to keeper. Markram was next to fall, pulling to long-on off a short ball with extra bounce from Russell. Wickets continued to crumble for SRH as Shahbaz Ahmed top-edged a sweep to short fine leg off Varun Chakaravarthy, followed by impact player Abdul Samad edging away from his body to keeper off Russell and Heinrich Klaasen played on to his stumps off a slower ball from Harshit. A few boundaries from captain Pat Cummins, who top-scored with 24, took SRH past 100. But he and Jaydev Unadkat fell in quick succession as one of the most attacking batting line-ups of the tournament folded for 113.

Chasing 114, KKR lost Sunil Narine cheaply when he went too early in his flick off Pat Cummins and thick leading edge was caught by deep mid-wicket, after hitting a pulled six. Venkatesh launched a counter-attack by dancing down the pitch to smack Bhuvneshwar Kumar for two successive sixes, after glancing him for a four to take 20 runs off the third over. From the other end, Rahmanullah Gurbaz brought out his cut and loft to take two fours, followed by outside edges giving him two more boundaries. Venkatesh cut and pulled fiercely off T Natrajan for consecutive fours, before flicking and swiping handsomely to take six and four respectively off the left-arm pacer, as KKR reached 72/1 at the end of power-play, also the highest total in a six-over phase of the IPL finals.

Gurbaz took over by sweeping Shahbaz Ahmed for six and lofting the left-arm spinner for another maximum, happening on the either side of pulling Jaydev Unadkat for four. But Shahbaz had the last laugh by trapping a sweeping Gurbaz lbw. Shreyas Iyer opened his account by reverse-sweeping Shahbaz for four, followed by Venkatesh getting his fifty in 24 balls and he fittingly finished off the chase with a single to clinch third IPL title for KKR, undoubtedly the most consistent side in the competition. It also the first time Shreyas becomes an IPL winning captain on his second attempt, something which will be a very sweet triumph for him after being excluded from the Indian Test team and BCCI central contracts earlier this year.

Brief Scores: Sunrisers Hyderabad 113 in 18.3 overs (Pat Cummins 24, Aiden Markram 20; Andre Russell 3-19, Mitchell Starc 2-14) lost to Kolkata Knight Riders 114/2 in 10.3 overs (Venkatesh Iyer 52 not out, Rahmanullah Gurbaz 39; Pat Cummins 1-18, Shahbaz Ahmed 1-22) by eight wickets.



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