Clinical KKR waltz into IPL 2024 final

Date:

Sunrisers Hyderabad’s live by the sword and die by it ideology brought them death in the first qualifier as Kolkata Knight Riders waltzed into the final of IPL 2024. The table-toppers put in a fine bowling display – spearheaded by Mitchell Starc – before Venkatesh Iyer and Shreyas Iyer powered them through in chase of SRH’s paltry 159 with eight wickets and 38 balls to spare. This will be KKR’s first IPL final appearance since 2021.

Where was the game won?

SRH were inferior across phases but KKR pocketed the game with their PowerPlay superiority. While SRH lost their devastating openers and a couple more wickets to head shakily into the middle-overs, KKR were comfortably placed with their ninth 60-plus PowerPlay score of the season.

The PowerPlay difference

Parameters SRH KKR
Runs 45/4 63/1
4s/6s 6/0 9/2
RR 7.5 10.5
Sunrisers Hyderabad

PowerPlay: Mitchell Starc wipes out top-order

Phase score – 45/4 [RR: 7.50, 4s/6s: 6/0]

Two days ago, Arshdeep Singh showed the way that attacking the stumps first up could work against Travis Head. Mitchell Starc took a cue and succeeded as he floored Head’s middle and off-stump on the second ball of the game. Vaibhav Arora followed it up with the wicket of Abhishek Sharma in the second over, courtesy a sharp catch from Andre Russell at cover. Rahul Tripathi looked to take the attack to KKR despite a shaky start but Starc caused more havoc at the other end by taking out Nitish Reddy and Shahbaz Ahmed off successive deliveries in his third PowerPlay over. KKR did not concede a single six as SRH limped to their third lowest PP score this season.

Middle-overs: SRH lose their way after solid counter-attack

Phase score – 80/4 [RR: 8.89, 4s/6s: 5/4]

Tripathi was lucky to survive beyond the third over when KKR didn’t review an LBW shout. He continued to counter-attack, starting with a ramp shot off Harshit Rana in the eighth over. Tripathi and Klaasen then went after Sunil Narine to hit 18 in his over. The duo doubled SRH’s PowerPlay score in just four overs, before Tripathi reached his 30-ball 50 in the 11th while also pushing SRH to 100. Varun CV pulled one back, by having Klaasen caught right at the deep mid-wicket fence by Rinku Singh for a 21-ball 32. Abdul Samad arrived and swore by SRH’s batting ideologies for this season, tonking the first ball he faced for a six off Narine. KKR ended the phase on top with the wickets of Tripathi – run out for a 35-ball 55, impact substitute Sanvir Singh – cleaned up first ball by Narine – and Abdul Samad, caught at long-off, off Harshit Rana.

Death-overs: Pat Cummins drags SRH past 150

Phase score – 34/2 [RR: 7.56, 4s/6s: 2/2]

The SRH captain pierced the off-side field behind point against Rana and then played an audacious reverse scoop for a six off Varun CV to drag his team forward. Vijayakanth Viyaskanth played his role in the last-wicket stand of largely staying away from strike while Cummins added the runs. He then mistimed a ball from Starc for a six behind the wicket and then sliced one through the big gap behind point once again to take the innings into the last over. Three balls in, Rahmanullah Gurbaz got under the a top-edge from Cummins to end the SRH innings on 159.

Kolkata Knight Riders

PowerPlay: Gurbaz falls but KKR fly

Phase-score: 63/1 [RR: 10.50, 4s/6s: 9/2]

Sunil Narine drove Pat Cummins on both sides of the wickets to start off with two fours. There was more carnage in the over, as four came off leg byes before Rahmanullah Gurbaz danced down and top-edged a slog for a six over third man. SRH burned both their reviews by the third over in their desperate bid for early breakthroughs. It didn’t come and KKR openers made merry in the presence of dew and absence of swing. T Natarajan dismissed Gurbaz but that was just one small blemish in KKR’s flying PowerPlay as Venkatesh Iyer walked out and swung for the fences.

Middle-overs: Venkatesh, Shreyas Iyer complete KKR’s gallop

Phase score – 101/1 [RR: 13.17, 4s/6s: 8/8]

Cummins saw the back of Narine but KKR still maintained their gallop towards the target through Venkatesh Iyer. SRH didn’t do themselves any favour by fluffling a few chances that came their way. Venkatesh got to his 28-ball half-century off a six, and forged a big stand with his captain to put the game well beyond SRH’s reach. With SRH bringing a batter as an impact substitute, they were forced to get overs from their part-time options like Travis Head and Nitish Reddy. Shreyas took advantage – particularly against the Australian to go 6 4 6 in the 14th over to get his 23-ball half-century. On the next ball he smashed another six to complete the chase in style.

Brief Scores: Sunrisers Hyderabad159 in 20 overs(Rahul Tripathi 55, Heinrich Klaasen 32; Mitchell Starc 3-34) lost to Kolkata Knight Riders164/2 in 13.4 overs (Shreyas Iyer 58, Venkatesh Iyer 51; T Natarajan 1-22) by 8 wickets

What next?

Both teams travel to Chennai – KKR have four days before the summit clash on Sunday (March 26). SRH will face the winner of the Eliminator between RR and RCB in the second qualifier on Friday (March 24).

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