Dominant KKR brush aside SRH to clinch third IPL title

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Kolkata Knight Riders couldn’t have wanted anything more in the final than how the day panned out for their bowlers. On a red-soil pitch, after they were asked to bowl, every member of the attack had his moment as an imposing Sunrisers Hyderabad batting line up whittled away to be bowled out for 113 – the lowest-total ever in an IPL final – which proved to be a cakewalk in the chase as KKR clinched their third IPL title in imposing fashion.

What made the difference?The powerplays of the two teams

Mitchell Starc, in particular, was the man who set the tone with a stunning spell of 3-0-14-2 that set the cat amongst the pigeons. His first over, against Abishek Sharma, was a series of away-going deliveries that beat the bat or caught the edge. Before the knockout blow. The fifth delivvery of that over saw the ball start on middle and leg, pitch on a good length and square Abhishek up before hitting the off stump. The imagery of that big wicket upfront was akin to what Starc had done in that first qualifier when he had Travis Head bowled for a duck.

In his third over, Starc teased with the movement again and had Rahul Tripathi caught off a leading edge. In between his strikes, KKR had another big wicket with Head being dismissed caught behind for a golden duck against Vaibhav Arora. At 23/3 in five overs, and only one of the two boundaries in this phase being middled, KKR got the dream start that they wanted. With the bat, they showcased similar dominance, leaving SRH reeling and completely outplayed.

Parameter SRH KKR
Score 40/3 72/1
Run Rate 6.6 12
4s/6s 4/1 8/4
Sunrisers Hyderabad

Powerplay (40/3, 1×6, 4x4s)

The sixth bowled by Arora, saw some counterattack which yielded 17 to restore some parity but the damage had already been done. Starc, Arora and KKR were all over SRH not allowing them to get away and reversing that momentum would require more than just one big over. Whenever they tried to come back though, KKR managed to push SRH further back, like they did in the immdediate aftermath of a big over inside the powerplay

The middle overs 50/4 (4x4s, 1×6)

With a six and a four in his short stay, Nitish Reddy had raised hopes of an SRH counterattack, but it was nipped right in the bud. KKR’s third seamer, Harshit Rana cut off Reddy’s momentum with three back-to-back slower ones before having him caught behind with a seam-up delivery. Sunil Narine then strung together a couple of quiet overs only for Andre Russell to come in and strike first ball to have Aiden Markram caught off a shortish delivery. Varun Chakaravarthy came in next and became KKR’s fifth bowler of the night to strike in his first over as he had Shahbaz Ahmed caught at short fine leg. SRH’s hand was forced into getting a batting impact sub in Abdul Samad but he fared no better, edging Russell behind. The final nail in the coffin came when the dangerous Heinrich Klaasen dragged one off Rana to put SRH in a point of no return.

The death overs 23/2 (1×6, 1×4)

After that kind of relentless wicket-taking not even Pat Cummins could fashion a turnaround. The last couple of wickets fell as a matter of routine as SRH were bowled for their second-lowest total ever in IPL, setting up a straighforward chase for KKR.

Kolkata Knight Riders

Powerplay 72/1 (8x4s, 4×6)

Sunil Narine had little impact with the bat in the final but his presence was hardly missed as Venkatesh Iyer came out hammer and tongs. He got going with a four and back-to-back sixes against Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and then hit three fours and a six off an over from T Natarajan as KKR hurtled away at a frenetic pace which carried on right until the end.

With the pace set, Iyer notched up a 24-ball half-century even as Rahmanullah Gurbaz fell after a 91-run stand, and made sure that the team was carried over the line.

Brief Scores: Sunrisers Hyderabad 113 all out in 18.3 overs (Pat Cummins 24; Andre Russell 3-19, Mitchell Starc 2-14) lost to Kolkata Knight Riders 114/2 in 10.3 overs (Venkatesh Iyer 52*) by 8 wickets.

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