Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) clinched the TATA Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 title with a dominating all-round performance against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the final at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. This triumph is particularly significant as it echoes their remarkable victory at the same venue in 2012 when they won their maiden IPL title. On May 26, 2024, KKR lifted their third trophy, demonstrating their resilience and dominance in the tournament.

The match began with SRH winning the toss and electing to bat first. KKR’s captain, Shreyas Iyer, mentioned he would have preferred to bowl first, trusting his bowlers to make early inroads. His belief was quickly vindicated as the KKR bowlers delivered a stellar performance, restricting SRH to a meager total of 113. The KKR assault was led by Mitchell Starc, who proved to be the nemesis for SRH, repeating his heroics from the two teams’ previous meeting in Ahmedabad.

Opening the innings for SRH, Abhishek Sharma faced Starc’s menacing first over. Starc exhibited exceptional skills with the new ball, getting it to move just enough to challenge the batsmen. Off the very last ball of his over, he bowled an absolute gem that pitched on middle and moved away slightly, uprooting Abhishek’s off-stump. This early scalp set the tone for KKR’s bowling attack.

Vaibhav Arora complemented Starc’s efforts brilliantly from the other end. Facing his first ball, SRH’s Travis Head edged an away-going delivery from Arora to the wicketkeeper. With SRH reeling at six for two, KKR had dismantled the tournament’s most prolific opening pair within the first two overs.

SRH struggled to recover from these early blows. KKR’s bowlers kept up the pressure, making runs hard to come by during the powerplay. SRH managed their first boundary only in the third over. Starc continued his onslaught in the fifth over, dismissing Rahul Tripathi who mistimed a big shot to mid-wicket.

Though SRH found some respite in the sixth over with 17 runs off Arora, the damage was already significant. Nitish Reddy managed a six, providing some momentum, but the middle overs saw the KKR bowlers tightening their grip. Russell and Harshit Rana’s wicket-taking spells further dented SRH’s innings, while spin duo Sunil Narine and Varun Chakaravarthy bowled economically to stifle the runs.

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Reddy’s dismissal to Rana soon after the powerplay was a crucial point. Andre Russell continued the demolition job by removing SRH captain Aiden Markram for 20 runs. Markram’s attempt to break free ended in a mistimed shot to Starc at long-on.

Shahbaz Ahmed fell early, trapped by Chakaravarthy, and the pressure mounted on SRH. The introduction of Abdul Samad, the impact player, did not change their fortunes as he was caught behind off Russell. Heinrich Klaasen, SRH’s potential game-changer, was bowled by Rana in the 15th over with SRH tottering without crossing the 100-run mark.

Pat Cummins emerged as SRH’s top-scorer with a gritty 24, pushing his side just past the 100-run milestone. He found support towards the end of the innings despite being dropped once by Starc. Ironically, it was Starc who concluded SRH’s innings by catching Cummins at long-on in the 19th over.

Chasing a modest target of 114, KKR’s intent was clear from the outset. Rahmanullah Gurbaz initiated the run-chase with an elegant boundary. Narine joined the act, hitting a six off Cummins in the second over, although he fell trying to replicate the shot.

Venkatesh Iyer’s electric batting display soon dispelled any doubts regarding the run-chase. In the following over, he dispatched Bhuvneshwar Kumar for two massive sixes and a four, accelerating the run rate. By the end of the powerplay, KKR had amassed 72 for the loss of just one wicket.

With KKR needing fewer than 50 runs to win, Gurbaz shifted gears, particularly targeting the spinners. His aggressive approach alongside Venkatesh ensured that KKR surpassed the 100-run mark within nine overs. Gurbaz, who scored a valuable 39, was dismissed as the chase neared completion.

The final flourish came from Venkatesh Iyer, who reached his half-century off just 24 balls. He fittingly hit the winning runs, guiding KKR to their third IPL title. The victory sparked jubilant celebrations on the field as KKR’s players and fans reveled in their hard-fought triumph.

By IPL Agent

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