IPL 2024: KKR demolish SRH, regain title

Venkatesh Iyer and Shreyas Iyer
Venkatesh Iyer and Shreyas Iyer celebrate KKR's triumph. Photo: PTI/R Senthil Kumar

Chennai: Mitchell Starc bowled a sensational opening spell to fire Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to their third  Indian Premier League (IPL) title with an eight-wicket thrashing of Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the final here on Sunday.

KKR bowled out SRH for the lowest total (113) in an IPL final as Australian left-arm quick Starc returned figures of 2/4 to live up to his top billing in the world's most lucrative T20 tournament.

Starc went to KKR for a record Rs 24.75 crore in the December auction and ended the IPL with two stellar performances, including a match-winning 3/34 in the first Qualifier to hammer the same opponents.

KKR batsmen had it easy despite Sunil Narine's early departure. Opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz, who made 39, and Venkatesh Iyer, on 52 not out, helped the team sail home with 9.3 overs to spare after a partnership of 91.

Iyer, a left-handed batsman, reached his 50 off 24 balls and hit the winning runs to trigger celebrations for KKR, who remained the most dominant team after they ended top of the table with 20 points in the league phase.

Skipper Shreyas Iyer was unbeaten on six, and at the other end, when KKR players came rushing on to the pitch.

It was KKR's second title triumph at the venue, after they won their first trophy in 2012, and a near-capacity crowd at the 36,000-seater stadium cheered on.

Apart from the big signing of Starc, they got Gautam Gambhir as mentor after the former Indian batsman led the team to two titles, including the 2014 triumph.

Mitchell Starc, second left, celebrates with teammates after a strike. Photo: PTI/R Senthil Kumar

SRH skipper Pat Cummins won the toss and elected to bat and went with his team's strength of scoring big. They had racked up IPL record totals of 277 and 287 in this year's edition.

But Starc hogged the limelight as he struck in his first over when he bowled in-form opener Abhishek Sharma, for two, on a delivery that pitched in the middle and caught the top of of stump.

Abhishek Sharma
Abhishek Sharma has no clue to this one from Mitchell Starc. Photo: PTI/R Senthil Kumar

Travis Head followed his fellow left-handed opening partner Abhishek to the dug-out, caught behind for his second duck in three matches off fast bowler Vaibhav Arora.

Starc struck again and SRH were in disarray at 47/4 in seven overs after Nitish Reddy (13) was sent back by Harshit Rana.

Andre Russell took down Aiden Markram for 20 and wickets kept tumbling as fellow South African Heinrich Klaasen fell for 16. Cummins, who was dropped on 10 by Starc, took the team past 100 before being dismissed by Russell for 24. Russell ended with figures of 3/19.

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