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Mitchell Starc‘s sheer pace and Varun Chakaravarthy‘s craftsmanship with spin helped Kolkata Knight Riders bundle out Sunrisers Hyderabad on 159 in the Indian Premier League Qualifier 1 on Tuesday at the Narendra Modi Stadium. Starc made the Sunrisers regret on their decision to bat after winning the toss. SRH are known for their fearless high-scoring approach in the first six overs. But Starc’s pace left the Hyderabad batters rattled in the powerplay. KKR chased down the target in 13.4 Overs to enter IPl 2024 finl. 

On the second delivery of the first over, with a bit of late outward movement, Starc castled Travis Head for a two-ball duck and drew the first blood.

In the next over, both openers were sitting back in the dugout. Vaibhav Arora took Abhishek Sharma by surprise as the ball didn’t come as quickly as the youngster would have expected.

Abhishek (3) miscued his shot and the ball fell into the safe hands of Andre Russell.

Starc rode high on his sheer pace and trapped Rahul Tripathi in front of the stumps with a searing yorker.

Despite the appeal, the umpire didn’t raise his finger. KKR decided to not review the decision and the replay after the incident confirmed that the ball was nipping the stumps.

Even after facing a setback, there was no stopping Starc from picking wickets. In his third over in the powerplay, he struck back-to-back wickets to completely put KKR in the driver’s seat.

In the fifth over, Nitish Reddy (9) tried to create room for himself. But he ended up pulling off a thick outside edge which went straight to the keeper behind the stumps.

On the next delivery, Starc dislodged Shahbaz Ahmed‘s middle stump to leave SRH hanging in the dry.

The fall of wickets was celebrated wildly by Suhana Khan and Abram Khan, children of KKR co-owner Shah Rukh. SRK looked happy but calmer than his children. KKR mentor Gautam Gambhir, meanwhile. also celebrated wildly. 

SRH ended the powerplay with a score of 45/4 which marked their third-lowest powerplay score for SRH this season.

From that point, Tripathi and Heinrich Klaasen forged a 62-run stand in a mere 37 deliveries to impose control. Tripathi raised his bat for his 12th IPL fifty following a reverse sweep to find the fence for a four.

But Klaasen’s Achilles heel came back to sting him. His struggle against spinners was once again on display. Varun Chakaravarthy lured the power hitter to slog but Klaasen didn’t find the ideal connection.

He tried to clear the boundary but Rinku Singh made no mistake at deep mid-wicket. Klaasen walked back with a score of 32(21).

Abdul Samad came in, tonked a maximum on his first ball and made his clear intent to the KKR bowlers.

On the first ball after the timeout, Samad cleared the ropes once again off Sunil Narine. On the next ball, well-set Tripathi (55) got run out. Samad chopped the ball and continued to run while Tripathi stood watching the ball.

By the time he realised the situation, Russell had dispatched the ball to Gurbaz who comfortably dislodged the bails off the stumps.

In a moment of desperation, SRH brought in Sanvir Singh as the impact substitute. Narine spoiled SRH’s plans as Sanvir tried to deflect away the turning ball. The ball deflected off his pads and crashed into the stumps. SRH’s impact sub walked back for a golden duck.

With five overs left, the responsibility fell on Abdul Samad’s shoulders to take SRH to a competitive total.

However, Harshit Rana‘s slower delivery caught Samad off-guard and ended his stay on the crease for a score of 16(12).

Chakaravarthy went on to remove Bhuvneshwar Kumar for a four-ball duck with a sharp spinning delivery.

Skipper Pat Cummins took the fight back to KKR with his knock of 30(24). But he fell to Russell in the final over as SRH bundled out on 159.

Brief score: Sunrisers Hyderabad 159 (Rahul Tripathi 55, Heinrich Klaasen 32; Mitchell Starc 3-34) vs Kolkata Knight Riders.

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