KKR Vs SRH, IPL 2024 Final: Starc-Led Bowlers, Iyer Help Kolkata Lift Third Trophy

Andre Russell and Mitchell Starc led Kolkata Knight Riders' demolition job against Sunrisers Hyderabad. Venkatesh Iyer then smashed a 26-ball 52 to guide KKR to an eight-wicket run victory in the Indian Premier League 2024 final in Chennai

KKR vs SRH, IPL 2024 final win, BCCI photo
Kolkata Knight Riders celebrate a Sunrisers Hyderabad wicket during their Indian Premier League 2024 final victory. Photo: BCCI/IPL

An early talking point of Indian Premier League 2024 was Mitchell Starc upstaging Pat Cummins as the most expensive player in the tournament's history. Months later, as the season ends, Starc has one-upped his Australia teammate again. Only this time, on the field, in the grand finale. A Starc-inspired Kolkata Knight Riders blew away the Sunrisers Hyderabad batting to win the final by eight wickets and lift the IPL trophy for the third time, in Chennai on Sunday, May 26. (As It Happened | Full Coverage)

Starc showed why KKR unflinchingly spent big bucks (INR 24.75 crore in all) on him, delivering when it really mattered. After a three-wicket haul against the same opponent in Qualifier 1, the left-arm speedster set the tone with a well nigh unplayable delivery to red-hot SRH opener Abhishek Sharma. The southpaw was beaten all ends up, and soon, so were Hyderabad.

What followed was a clinical demolition job by a charged-up KKR bowling battery, which picked up an unprecedented 57 wickets in Kolkata's last six completed matches. Shreyas Iyer employed six bowlers on Sunday night, and each of them was among the wickets. Senior pro Andre Russell scalped three (3/19) and Starc ended with two (2/14 off three overs) as the Sunrisers were shot out for just 113, which is the lowest-ever total in IPL finals, with nine balls unaccounted for in their quota of 20 overs.

In response, the Knight Riders made a mockery of the target, romping home with 57 deliveries and eight wickets to spare. And thus began the party in Kolkata, which is otherwise bracing for another tropical cyclone (christened Remal).

Venkatesh Iyer finished unbeaten on 52 off just 26 balls, alongside the other Iyer, captain Shreyas (6 not out off 3). Nothing really worked for SRH on the night. Cummins did dismiss Sunil Narine (6 off 2) off his second ball, but it was all downhill after that.

All the seamers (Cummins, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, T Natarajan and Jaydev Unadkat) went for nine-plus runs per over, and by the time Shahbaz Ahmed trapped Rahmanullah Gurbaz (39 off 32) in front, the match was as good as over.

Earlier, Cummins won the toss and chose to bat first at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, a decision that backfired for once. The swinging white ball worked wonders for the Kolkata seamers, who accomplished half the job in the first two overs by seeing the back of dangerous openers Abhishek and Travis Head.

After Starc expertly bamboozled Abhishek, Travis Head fell for his second successive duck against KKR. While Starc had dislodged Head for zero in Qualifier 1, Vaibhav Arora claimed the prized scalp in the final, having Head caught behind for a first-ball blob.

The procession of wickets continued, and no SRH batter could mount a real fight. Captain Cummins (24 off 19) ended up as the highest run-scorer, and a total of 113 was never going to be enough in conditions that were not nearly adverse for batting.