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IPL Qualifier 1: Belligerent KKR make SRH bite dust to claim spot in final with 8-wicket win

Sports Wednesday 22/May/2024 07:50 AM
By: ANI
IPL Qualifier 1: Belligerent KKR make SRH bite dust to claim spot in final with 8-wicket win

Ahmedabad : Riding on a combination of Mitchell Starc's red-hot scorching spell, Venkatesh Iyer and Shreyas Iyer's belligerent fifties, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) secured their place in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 summit clash after beating Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) by 8-wicket in a lopsided Qualifier 1 contest at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Tuesday.

Ahmedabad's Twilight witnessed an absolute humdinger match as the big hitters bashed away some of the best bowling line-ups throughout the season but fell flat on Ahmedabad surface, Hyderabad failed to gain ascendancy and settled for a paltry score against Kolkata.

KKR set to play their fourth final in the history of IPL after making their place in 2012, 2014, 2021 and 2024. Unbeaten half-centuries from the two Iyers (Shreyas and Venkatesh) finished off the run chase with 38 balls remaining thanks to an excellent partnership for the third wicket. KKR secured a place in the IPL 2024 final while SRH will get another chance in Qualifier 2.

Chasing a target of 160, opener Sunil Narine led another fearsome KKR batting display as he along with Rahmanullah Gurbaz hammered SRH bowlers early in the innings.

T Natarajan gave his team a big breakthrough as he removed Rahmanullah Gurbaz in the 4th over. After dictating the SRH seasoned bowlers, Gurbaz went back to the pavilion after scoring 23 off 14.

SRH captain Pat Cummins' plan to keep three fielders in the deep on the leg side was fruitful as he sent well-set batter Narine packing for 21.

After the departure of the openers, Venkatesh Iyer and Shreyas Iyer made the SRH bowling attack look helpless and clueless.

Venkatesh then went on to slam a half-century in 28 balls. Iyer single-handedly scorched Travis Head for 6,4,6,6 taking his team to the IPL 2024 final.

Earlier, Mitchell Starc's sheer pace and Varun Chakaravarthy's craftsmanship with spin helped KKR bundle out SRH on 159.

Starc made the Sunrisers regret their decision to bat after winning the toss. SRH are known for their fearless high-scoring approach in the first six overs. But Starc's pace left the Hyderabad batters rattled in the powerplay.

On the second delivery of the first over, with a bit of late outward movement, Starc castled Travis Head for a two-ball duck and drew the first blood.

In the next over, both openers were sitting back in the dugout. Vaibhav Arora took Abhishek Sharma by surprise as the ball didn't come as quickly as the youngster would have expected.

Abhishek (3) miscued his shot and the ball fell into the safe hands of Andre Russell.

Starc rode high on his sheer pace and trapped Rahul Tripathi in front of the stumps with a searing yorker.

Despite the appeal, the umpire didn't raise his finger. KKR decided to not review the decision and the replay after the incident confirmed that the ball was nipping the stumps.

Even after facing a setback, there was no stopping Starc from picking wickets. In his third over in the powerplay, he struck back-to-back wickets to completely put KKR in the driver's seat.

In the fifth over, Nitish Reddy (9) tried to create room for himself. But he ended up pulling off a thick outside edge which went straight to the keeper behind the stumps.

On the next delivery, Starc dislodged Shahbaz Ahmed's middle stump to leave SRH hanging in the dry. SRH ended the powerplay with a score of 45/4 which marked their third-lowest powerplay score for SRH this season.

From that point, Tripathi and Heinrich Klaasen forged a 62-run stand in a mere 37 deliveries to impose control. Tripathi raised his bat for his 12th IPL fifty following a reverse sweep to find the fence for a four.

But Klaasen's Achilles heel came back to sting him. His struggle against spinners was once again on display. Varun Chakaravarthy lured the power hitter to slog but Klaasen didn't find the ideal connection.

He tried to clear the boundary but Rinku Singh made no mistake at deep mid-wicket. Klaasen walked back with a score of 32(21). Abdul Samad came in, tonked a maximum on his first ball and made his clear intent to the KKR bowlers.

On the first ball after the timeout, Samad cleared the ropes once again off Sunil Narine. On the next ball, well-set Tripathi (55) got run out. Samad chopped the ball and continued to run while Tripathi stood watching the ball.

By the time he realised the situation, Russell had dispatched the ball to Gurbaz who comfortably dislodged the bails off the stumps.

In a moment of desperation, SRH brought in Sanvir Singh as the impact substitute. Narine spoiled SRH's plans as Sanvir tried to deflect away the turning ball. The ball deflected off his pads and crashed into the stumps. SRH's impact sub walked back for a golden duck.

With five overs left, the responsibility fell on Abdul Samad's shoulders to take SRH to a competitive total. However, Harshit Rana's slower delivery caught Samad off-guard and ended his stay on the crease for a score of 16(12).

Chakaravarthy went on to remove Bhuvneshwar Kumar for a four-ball duck with a sharp spinning delivery. Skipper Pat Cummins took the fight back to KKR with his knock of 30(24). But he fell to Russell in the final over as SRH bundled out on 159.

Brief score: Sunrisers Hyderabad 159 (Rahul Tripathi 55, Heinrich Klaasen 32; Mitchell Starc 3-34) vs Kolkata Knight Riders 164/2 (Venkatesh Iyer 51*, Shreyas Iyer 58*; T Natarajan 1-22).