Kolkata Knight Riders Won IPL 2024

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.

At the same ground in 2012, KKR had clinched their maiden title, and on May 26, 2024, they scripted an encore to lift their third trophy. The KKR bowlers did extremely well to restrict the dangerous SRH batting line-up to 113 – which was chased down in only 10.3 overs with eight wickets in hand.

At the toss, KKR captain Shreyas Iyer said he would have preferred to bowl first – this after SRH won the toss and chose to bat. The bowlers lived up to the captain’s belief with a dominating display – led up front by Mitchell Starc – the Player of the Match from the two team’s previous meeting in Ahmedabad.

Considering the events of Qualifier 1, Abhishek Sharma took the strike instead of Travis Head as Starc took the new ball. In the very first over, Starc got good shape and asked Abhishek a few questions. Off the fifth ball, he bowled one of the balls of the tournament, a ball that pitched around middle-stump and shaped away from Abhishek ever so slightly. The prolific SRH opener was squared up as the ball went on to hit top of off.

Buoyed by the Starc over, Vaibhav Arora also produced some magic. When Head came on to face his first ball, Arora got it to shape away from him. The left-hander only managed to edge it to the wicketkeeper. At six for two, KKR had delivered two big blows by dismissing the tournament’s most fearsome opening pair.

The runs were hard to come by considering the early jolts as KKR persisted with their opening bowlers in the powerplay. SRH got their first boundary only in the third over. Starc wasn’t done with his early damage. He returned in the fifth over to dismiss Rahul Tripathi, who skied a ball to mid-wicket while attempting a big shot.

There was some respite for SRH in the powerplay when they got 17 runs off the sixth over, bowled by Arora. Nitish Reddy got the first six of the SRH innings in that over. In the middle overs, the KKR bowlers backed the efforts of Starc and Arora. Andre Russell and Harshit Rana dented the SRH innings further with wicket-taking spells. Sunil Narine and Varun Chakaravarthy bowled economical spells.

Reddy was caught behind off Rana soon after the powerplay. Russell dismissed Aiden Markram for 20 as he holed out to Starc at long-on.

Shahbaz Ahmed was caught at short fine-leg early in his innings, off the bowling of Chakaravarthy. KKR tightened their grip further when Abdul Samad, the impact player, was caught behind off Russell. Rana then delivered the biggest blow when Heinrich Klaasen was bowled in the 15th over. SRH hadn’t even crossed 100.

Pat Cummins fought hard until the end to take his team to three figures. He finished as the team’s top-scorer at 24. Cummins managed to extend SRH’s innings, especially after he was dropped by Starc at long-on. Ironically, the innings ended when Cummins found Starc at long-on in the 19th over.

KKR’s run-chase started with Rahmanullah Gurbaz hitting the second ball through point for four. Cummins bowled the second over and Narine smashed the first ball over mid-wicket for a six. However, in an attempt to clear the ground again, he got a top-edge and was caught on the leg-side. Whatever jitters KKR may have felt dissipated in the next over when Venkatesh Iyer hit two sixes and a four. The two sixes made a strong statement as he danced down the track to Bhuvneshwar Kumar and lofted them down the ground.

The run-chase sped away with KKR’s fifty coming up inside five overs. Gurbaz was relatively sedate. It was Venkatesh who seemed in a hurry. The last over of the powerplay, bowled by T Natarajan, was picked for three fours and a six. Venkatesh was dominant from the outset and was particularly aggressive through the leg-side. KKR finished the powerplay on 72 for one.

There was no stopping the KKR batters, Gurbaz shifted gears after the powerplay when the spinners came on. That took KKR past their 100 inside nine overs. Gurbaz was dismissed for 39 as KKR got closer to the total. The Iyer-firm came together to take KKR to their crowning glory. Venkatesh reached his half-century off only 24 balls with the target in sight. He hit the winning runs in the next over as the KKR players ran onto the field to celebrate their third title.

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