TATA IPL 2024: Starc, Shreyas, Venkatesh Power KKR into Final with Win Over SRH

TATA IPL 2024: Starc, Shreyas, Venkatesh Power KKR into Final with Win Over SRH
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) secured a spot in the final of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 with a commanding eight-wicket victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in Qualifier 1 at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Tuesday. Unbeaten half-centuries by captain Shreyas Iyer (58*) and Venkatesh Iyer (51*) propelled KKR to a crushing win, chasing down the target with ease.
Despite the loss, SRH will have another opportunity to reach the final as they will face the winner of the Eliminator match between Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bengaluru in Chennai on Friday.
Chasing a modest target of 160, KKR's openers Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Sunil Narine provided a blazing start, scoring at a run rate of over 10 runs per over in the Powerplay. The first-wicket partnership yielded 44 runs in just 20 balls before T. Natrajan struck in the fourth over, dismissing Gurbaz for 23.
Venkatesh Iyer then joined Narine at the crease and maintained the momentum. The pair added 23 runs before Pat Cummins, in his first over, removed Narine (21) immediately after the Powerplay. KKR was 67/2, still needing 93 runs for victory.
Shreyas Iyer came in at No. 4 and, together with Venkatesh Iyer, built a match-winning partnership. The duo put on an unbeaten 97-run stand for the third wicket, guiding KKR to victory with 38 balls to spare. Both Shreyas and Venkatesh reached their fifties, each hitting four sixes and five fours as they dominated the SRH bowlers.
Earlier in the match, KKR restricted SRH to 159 all out in 19.3 overs after SRH opted to bat first. The start was far from ideal for Hyderabad as they lost aggressive opener Travis Head for a duck. The situation worsened as SRH lost three more wickets within the Powerplay, leaving them reeling at 45/4 after six overs.
Mitchell Starc was instrumental in KKR’s early breakthroughs, claiming three wickets in the Powerplay. He dismissed Abhishek Sharma (3), Nitish Reddy (9), and Shahbaz Ahmed (0), putting SRH under severe pressure. Despite the early setbacks, Rahul Tripathi and Heinrich Klaasen attempted to stabilize the innings with a quickfire 62-run partnership off 37 balls. Tripathi played a fluent knock, reaching his fifty off just 29 balls before Varun Chakaravarthy broke the stand in the 11th over, removing Klaasen for 32.
Abdul Samad then joined Tripathi, aiming to further boost SRH’s total. However, a mix-up resulted in Tripathi’s run-out for 55, a crucial blow to SRH’s innings. His knock included seven fours and a six. SRH continued to struggle in the middle overs, losing wickets at regular intervals. Sunil Narine and Harshit Rana chipped in with vital wickets for KKR. In the end, captain Pat Cummins played a cameo, scoring 30 runs off 24 balls, helping SRH surpass the 150-run mark. Andre Russell ended Cummins' innings in the final over.
For KKR, Starc was the standout bowler with figures of 3-34, while Chakaravarthy took two crucial wickets, finishing with 2-26.
Brief Scores:
Sunrisers Hyderabad 159 all out in 19.3 overs (Rahul Tripathi 55, Heinrich Klaasen 32; Mitchell Starc 3/34, Varun Chakaravarthy 2-26) lost to Kolkata Knight Riders 164/2 in 13.4 overs (Shreyas Iyer 58*, Venkatesh Iyer 51*; T. Natarajan 1-22) by eight wickets.