Kolkata cruises into IPL final

Published: May 21, 2024

Two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders pummelled Sunrisers Hyderabad by eight wickets in the qualifier to waltz into the final of the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Tuesday.

Mitchell Starc produced a three-wicket burst to rattle Hyderabad, who managed a below-par 159 before they were all out with three balls left in their innings.

Kolkata romped home with 6.2 overs to spare after unbeaten half-centuries by Venkatesh Iyer (51) and skipper Shreyas Iyer (58).

Hyderabad will get another chance to make Sunday’s final when they clash with the winners of Wednesday’s eliminator between Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bengaluru.

Australian Starc entered the league as its most expensive player following his $2.98 million deal with Kolkata, but he struggled for wickets in the first half of the tournament.

The left-arm seamer was bang on the money on Tuesday though as he removed compatriot Travis Head for a duck and sent back Nitish Kumar Reddy and Shahbaz Ahmed in successive deliveries to rock Hyderabad.

Rahul Tripathi (55), Heinrich Klaasen (32) and skipper Pat Cummins (30) took Hyderabad past the 150-mark but it was not enough to test Kolkata’s formidable batting lineup.

Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Sunil Narine gave Kolkata a flying start before Venkatesh and Shreyas plundered 97 runs off 44 balls to seal an easy victory.

“Credit to the bowlers. It was a really nice wicket to bat on. To get them all out for 160-odd is something we could not imagine,” Venkatesh said.

“So credit to the bowlers for giving us the confidence to just go out there and complete the formalities.”

Hyderabad captain Cummins was confident the 2016 champions could still make the final in Chennai.

“We’ll try to put this day behind us quickly. The good thing is we have another crack at it,” he said.

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