Kolkata Knight Riders secure 4th IPL final spot with dominant win over Sunrisers Hyderabad


Wednesday, 22 May 2024 (09:28 IST)
Ahmedabad: In a commanding performance at Narendra Modi Stadium here on Tuesday, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) secured their place in the IPL final for the fourth time, showcasing their dominance throughout the season. KKR, finishing the league stage as the top team, proved their mettle once again with a convincing victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH).
KKR's formidable batting lineup, combined with their disciplined bowling attack, ensured a comprehensive 8-wicket victory. With such an all-round performance, KKR looks poised to lift the trophy once again.
From the very beginning, SRH found themselves in deep trouble. Mitchell Starc, in his fiery trademark form, dismissed Travis Head for a duck, setting the tone for KKR's dominance. Shortly after, Abhishek Sharma fell for a mere three runs, thanks to an excellent catch by Vaibhav Arora in the covers.
Starc continued his relentless assault, targeting the stumps and consistently troubling the SRH batsmen. Rahul Tripathi, who played a valiant knock of 55 off 35 balls, including seven fours and a six, was trapped in front by Starc, but KKR decided not to review.
Nevertheless, Starc struck again, claiming two more wickets in consecutive deliveries, leaving SRH struggling at 39/4. His spell of 3/34 was instrumental in dismantling SRH's top order.
SRH managed a brief respite in the 9th over when Sunil Narine conceded 18 runs. However, their resurgence was short-lived. Varun Chakravarthy, known for his deceptive spin, dismissed the dangerous Heinrich Klaasen for 32 off 21 balls, including three boundaries and a six. This critical wicket halted SRH's momentum once more.
Rahul Tripathi's composed fifty provided some stability, but a needless runout marked the end of his crucial innings, further stalling SRH's progress. Sanvir Singh, who was sent as an Impact Player, failed to deliver as he was cleaned up for a duck. Despite efforts from a spirited late cameo from Pat Cummins, SRH struggled to post a competitive score.
Chakravarthy proved to be KKR's trump card, delivering an impeccable spell of 2/26 that choked SRH's batting lineup. His strategic bowling and ability to exploit the pitch conditions played a significant role in restricting SRH to a below-par total of 159 on a surface generally favorable for batting.
In reply, the KKR openers, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (23 off 14, 2x4s 2x6s) and Narine (21 off 16, 4x4s), gave a perfect start, setting a strong foundation by adding 44 runs in 20 balls.
The two Iyers, Shreyas and Venkatesh, finished off the run chase with an excellent partnership of unbeaten 97 runs for the third wicket.
Travis Head, who had previously hurt India in the final of the 2023 World Cup, had a night to forget. He was dismissed for a duck and was later smashed all around the park by Shreyas towards the end. A sweet vengeance indeed for KKR.

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