KKR down Sunrisers Hyderabad to claim third title

cricket26 May 2024 17:18| © MWP
By:Neil Manthorp

Kolkata Knight Riders completed an embarrassingly facile eight-wicket victory against the Sunrisers Hyderabad with a humiliating 9.3 overs to spare in the most one-sided IPL final in the competition’s history at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Sunday.

Sunrisers suffered a horrible system failure on the biggest stage of all as they collapsed to a miserable 113 all out in 18.3 overs after choosing to bat first and Venkatesh Iyer’s 52* from just 26 balls (4x4, 3x6) led KKR to 114-2 in just 10.3 overs to conclude a well-deserved third title.

Kolkata bowled out Hyderabad for 113, a total they overhauled with 9.3 overs to spare as Venkatesh Iyer hammered an unbeaten 52 in Chennai.

Afghan opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz anchored the run-chase with 39 from 32 balls after the early dismissal of Sunil Narine (6) allowing Iyer to crash his team to victory in the company of captain, Shreyas Iyer (6*).

KKR delivered a stunning bowling and fielding performance led by league’s most expensive player, Mitchell Starc, who struck in the first over bowling Abhishek Sharma (2) with a brute of an away-swinger before finishing with 2-14 from just three overs.

Harshit Rana (2-24) claimed the wickets of Nitish Reddy (13) and Heinrich Klaasen (16 off 17 balls) who inside-edged a slower ball onto his stumps while Andre Russell (3-19) included the wicket of Aiden Markram (20 off 23) with another slower ball which the batsman pulled straight to long on.

The prized wicket of Travis Head was claimed with another away-swinger from Vaibhav Arora who found the edge with his first ball to the Australian opener who’s mostly stunning tournament ended with a third consecutive duck, ‘keeper Gurbaz taking a simple catch.

Sunrisers skipper Pat Cummins (24) tried valiantly to give his team something reasonable to defend but holed out to countryman Starc at long on against the cunning Russell.

Sunil Narine, too, was at his miserly best with yet another brilliant analysis of 4-0-16-1.

The Knight Riders were the outstanding team throughout the league stage of the tournament, comfortably finishing top of the standings with nine wins and just three losses from their 14 matches finishing three points clear of the Sunrisers in second place.

In the first Qualifier Match between the two teams KKR prevailed by eight wickets to secure direct passage to the final while the Sunrisers took the ‘difficult’ route by beating the Rajasthan Royals by 36 runs in the second Eliminator Match.

Despite an awkward pitch it was a mere formality for the Knight Riders to clinch their third IPL title with Venkatesh clipping, whipping and driving boundaries seemingly at will.

KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS: Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wkt), Sunil Narine, Venkatesh Iyer, Shreyas Iyer (captaun), Rinku Singh, Andre Russell, Ramandeep Singh, Mitchell Starc, Vaibhav Arora, Harshit Rana, Varun Chakaravarthy

SUNRISERS HYDERABAD: Travis Head, Abhishek Sharma, Rahul Tripathi, Aiden Markram, Nitish Reddy, Heinrich Klaasen (wkt), Shahbaz Ahmed, Pat Cummins (captain), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jaydev Unadkat, T Natarajan