Kolkata Knight Riders Overpower Sunrisers Hyderabad to Clinch TATA IPL 2024 Title

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) have emerged victorious in the TATA Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024, defeating Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in a comprehensive all-round performance at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. The victory was reminiscent of KKR’s triumph in the same venue back in 2012, marking their third IPL title after a dominant display that saw them chase down a modest target of 113 in just 10.3 overs with eight wickets in hand.

The match began with Shreyas Iyer, the KKR captain, expressing his preference to bowl first, but fortune favored SRH as they won the toss and chose to bat. The KKR bowlers immediately justified their captain’s confidence with a stunning performance, beginning with Mitchell Starc, who has been in exceptional form throughout the tournament.

Starc, who was previously voted Player of the Match when the teams last met in Ahmedabad, once again proved his mettle. Opening the bowling, he delivered a spell that set the tone for the match. Abhishek Sharma faced the first over, taking the strike instead of Travis Head due to the events of Qualifier 1. Starc asked several probing questions from the outset and dismissed Abhishek with a delivery that pitched on middle-stump and shaped away, clipping the top of off-stump.

Buoyed by this early success, Vaibhav Arora followed Starc’s example. Travis Head, facing his first ball from Arora, could only edge it to the wicketkeeper. Within moments, SRH’s formidable opening pair was back in the dugout with just six runs on the board, dealing a significant early blow to their hopes.

The powerplay proved a struggle for SRH, who managed their first boundary only in the third over. Starc continued his demolition job by dismissing Rahul Tripathi in the fifth over, who skied a ball to mid-wicket attempting a big shot. Despite SRH gaining some respite with 17 runs off the sixth over, bowled by Arora, the damage was substantial. Nitish Reddy managed to lift some SRH spirits by hitting the first six of their innings, but the early momentum was firmly in KKR’s corner.

In the middle overs, the KKR bowlers maintained their pressure. Andre Russell and Harshit Rana further disrupted the SRH innings with vital wickets, while Sunil Narine and Varun Chakaravarthy kept the run rate in check with economical spells.

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. The collapse continued as Reddy fell right after the powerplay, caught behind off Rana, while Aiden Markram was caught at long-on off Russell for just 20.

Shahbaz Ahmed was another casualty, falling early in his innings to Chakaravarthy’s guile. Russell continued to wreak havoc, taking out Abdul Samad, the designated impact player, caught behind. The biggest blow came when Heinrich Klaasen, who had been a beacon of hope for SRH, was bowled by Rana in the 15th over, leaving SRH struggling without crossing 100 runs.

Pat Cummins provided a semblance of resistance towards the end, becoming SRH’s top-scorer with 24 runs. Despite being dropped by Starc at long-on, Cummins couldn’t inject life into the innings. As if destiny, Cummins finally succumbed, finding Starc again at long-on in the penultimate over, ending SRH’s innings at 113.

Chasing the modest target, KKR’s Rahmanullah Gurbaz started the innings in style, hitting the second ball for four through point. Narine also made his mark, smashing the first ball of the second over for a six before falling in the same over while trying another big hit. However, any jitters were quickly dispelled by Venkatesh Iyer, who took charge with two sixes and a four in the next over, showcasing his aggressive intent against Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

The chase accelerated rapidly, with KKR posting fifty within the first five overs. Gurbaz played a steady hand, while Venkatesh continued his all-out attack, particularly targeting the leg-side. By the end of the powerplay, KKR were cruising at 72 for one.

After the powerplay, with the spinners on, Gurbaz shifted gears and took KKR past the 100-run mark within nine overs. He was dismissed for a crucial 39, but the match was all but won by then. Venkatesh, reaching his half-century in just 24 balls, applied the finishing touches, with Shreyas Iyer joining him to score the winning runs.

As the winning runs were hit, KKR players rushed onto the field to celebrate their third IPL title, cementing their legacy in the league. The match will be remembered for the KKR bowlers’ stellar performance and Venkatesh’s fireworks that brought them glory in the TATA IPL 2024.

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