The Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) have once again proven their mettle by storming into their fourth IPL final, after 2012, 2014, and 2021. Finishing the league stage as the number one team, KKR showcased their dominance in the qualifier match against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), delivering a performance that underlined why they have been the standout team of the season.

Mitchell Starc’s Fiery Spell

KKR’s journey to the final was spearheaded by a phenomenal bowling display from Mitchell Starc. The Australian pacer set the tone for the evening by dismissing Travis Head for a duck on the second ball of the match. This early breakthrough was just the beginning of a devastating spell that saw Starc dismantle SRH’s top order. By the end of the powerplay, SRH found themselves in deep trouble at 39/4, thanks to Starc’s fiery pace and precision.

Starc’s ability to swing the ball both ways and his relentless aggression left the SRH batsmen with no answers. His spell not only rattled the top order but also set the stage for the rest of the KKR bowlers to maintain the pressure.

Middle Order Struggle and SRH’s Mediocre Total

Despite the early blows, Rahul Tripathi and Heinrich Klaasen tried to stabilize the SRH innings with a crucial partnership. Tripathi, who has been one of the most consistent performers for SRH this season, played a valiant knock, while Klaasen provided the much-needed support. Together, they added pivotal runs, giving SRH a glimmer of hope.

However, the middle overs saw a disciplined bowling effort from KKR, with Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine choking the flow of runs. Chakravarthy, in particular, was exceptional, mixing his deliveries and maintaining tight lines. The pressure created by the spinners led to regular wickets, preventing SRH from gaining any momentum.

SRH eventually finished with a below-par total of 159, a score that seemed far from challenging against KKR’s formidable batting lineup.

A Commanding Run Chase

In reply, KKR’s openers provided a solid foundation, setting the stage for a comfortable chase. The opening pair ensured there were no early hiccups, rotating the strike well and punishing any loose deliveries. Their efforts laid a perfect platform for the middle order to build upon.

Shreyas Iyer and Venkatesh Iyer then took charge, forming an excellent partnership for the third wicket that sealed the game for KKR. Shreyas, in particular, was in sublime form, displaying a wide range of shots and impeccable timing. His aggression towards the end of the innings was a sight to behold, especially his assault on Travis Head, who had a forgettable night.

Head, who had earlier been dismissed for a duck, was taken to the cleaners by Shreyas Iyer. The KKR batsman unleashed a flurry of boundaries, ensuring there was no late twist in the tale. Venkatesh Iyer played the perfect supporting role, rotating the strike and ensuring Shreyas had most of the strike during the critical moments.

Key Performances

  • Mitchell Starc: The star of the night, Starc’s spell in the powerplay effectively decided the fate of the match. His figures of 4-0-30-3 reflect his dominance and control.
  • Shreyas Iyer: His unbeaten knock was a masterclass in chasing a modest total. His aggression and placement were spot on, making sure KKR reached the target with ease.
  • Varun Chakravarthy: Once again proved why he is one of the best spinners in the IPL. His economical bowling in the middle overs was crucial in restricting SRH to a low total.

A Night to Forget for SRH

For SRH, this match was a disappointing. Travis Head’s twin failures – a duck with the bat and an expensive over with the ball – epitomized their struggles. Despite the efforts of Tripathi and Klaasen, the team never looked in control, and their bowlers failed to provide the breakthroughs needed to defend a modest total.

Looking Ahead

With this victory, KKR has set up a date in the IPL 2024 final, where they will aim to add another title to their illustrious history. Their form and confidence are peaking at the right time, and they will be a formidable opponent for any team in the final.

For SRH, it’s a moment of introspection. Despite having a talented squad, they fell short in critical moments. However, the performances of players like Tripathi and Klaasen offer hope for the future.


KKR’s march to the final has been nothing short of spectacular. Their comprehensive victory over SRH in the qualifier is a testament to their all-round strength and tactical acumen. As they prepare for the grand finale, KKR will be buoyed by their dominant performances and the belief that they can clinch their third IPL title.

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