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RESULT
Qualifier 1 (N), Ahmedabad, May 21, 2024, Indian Premier League
(13.4/20 ov, T:160) 164/2

KKR won by 8 wickets (with 38 balls remaining)

Player Of The Match
3/34
mitchell-starc
Cricinfo's MVP
102.01 ptsImpact List
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Starc shows the way as KKR blow away Sunrisers to march into IPL final

Venkatesh Iyer and Shreyas Iyer made sure the job was done, in quick time, with the bat

Deivarayan Muthu
21-May-2024
Kolkata Knight Riders 164 for 2 (Shreyas 58*, Venkatesh 51, Natarajan 1-22) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad 159 (Tripathi 55, Starc 3-34, Varun 2-26) by eight wickets
Travis Head and Abhishek Sharma are used to going bang, bang and pretty much killing off games in the first six overs at IPL 2024. But in the first qualifier in Ahmedabad, it was Mitchell Starc who went bang, bang, bang in the powerplay to secure Kolkata Knight Riders' spot in the IPL final on Sunday in Chennai.
After Starc scythed through SRH's top order in an opening spell of 3-0-22-3, Varun Chakravarthy took over in the middle overs to help dismiss SRH for 159 in 19.3 overs.
In reply, Shreyas Iyer and Venkatesh Iyer made unbeaten half-centuries as KKR ran down the target with more than six overs to spare.
Sunrisers Hyderabad will face the winner of the Eliminator between Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bangalore, for a shot at a rematch with KKR in the final.

Swingin' Starc

Starc's first ball to Head was an outswinger that was squeezed to extra cover. His second threatened to angle in, but swung and seamed away late to breach the defences of Head and leave his stumps splayed.
Head was gone for a duck. This was the fifth time that Starc had taken out Head across formats - four of those wickets ducks.
In the second over, pacer Vaibhav Arora, who was picked ahead of spinner Anukul Roy on a surface that was a mix of red and black soil and had some early moisture, had Abhishek Sharma scooping a catch to Andre Russell at short cover for 3.
SRH plunged into further trouble when Starc snagged Nitish Kumar Reddy (9) and Shahbaz Ahmed (0) off successive balls in his third over. Starc could have also dismissed Rahul Tripathi in his second over when he speared in a yorker that struck him flush on his boot and would have cannoned into leg stump. But KKR decided against a review and SRH went on to finish the powerplay on 45 for 4. Only twice in 14 innings have SRH scored fewer runs in the powerplay in IPL 2024.

Tripathi counters KKR

Tripathi, who kept his place at No. 3, repaired SRH's innings with a half-century. He combined power with invention to manufacture scoring opportunities. He whacked Arora over midwicket and ramped a bouncer from Harshit Rana for six. He reached his fifty off 29 balls when he reverse-swept Varun for four.
Tripathi, however, could not press on as Russell capitalised on a mix-up to run him out for 55 off 35 balls. Tripathi was so distraught that he sat on the stairs in Ahmedabad, with his head buried in his knee, for a long time. That image of Tripathi summed up SRH's night.

Varun's variations

Heinrich Klaasen had taken Sunil Narine for 16 off eight balls, but KKR's other mystery spinner, Varun Chakravarthy, struck in his first over to cut Klaasen's innings short on 32 off 21 balls. Varun darted one into the pitch and didn't allow Klaasen underneath the length as he dragged a catch to deep midwicket. He then pinned Bhuvneshwar Kumar lbw with a wrong 'un in the 16th over that cost KKR just one run. It was Varun's 40th wicket in 27 IPL innings since the 2023 season started. No other spinner has more wickets than Varun during this period.
At 126 for 9 in 16 overs, SRH were in danger of being bundled out for a sub-140 total, but Cummins' 30 off 24 balls hauled them to a more respectable 159.

KKR ace the chase

After doing a good job behind the stumps, Rahmanullah Gurbaz eased himself in with the bat in what was his first outing this season.
Phil Salt had left the IPL to link up with the England side, and Gurbaz slotted into his role and picked off 23 off 14 balls. He hit four boundaries and when he aimed for a fifth, T Natarajan had him holing out in his first over.
Three overs later, Cummins bounced out Narine for 21 off 16 balls, but KKR's openers had already done enough damage in the powerplay by slashing 63 runs off their target.
The Iyers - captain Shreyas and Venkatesh - then struck up an unbroken 97 partnership for the third wicket off only 44 balls to turn their chase into a cruise. Along the way, both batters posted half-centuries and it was Shreyas who finished it off in grand style in the 14th over, with a sequence of 6, 4, 6, 6 off Head.

Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Language
English
Win Probability
KKR 100%
SRHKKR
100%50%100%SRH InningsKKR Innings

Over 14 • KKR 164/2

KKR won by 8 wickets (with 38 balls remaining)
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Indian Premier League

TEAMMWLPTNRR
KKR1493201.428
SRH1485170.414
RR1485170.273
RCB1477140.459
CSK1477140.392
DC147714-0.377
LSG147714-0.667
GT145712-1.063
PBKS145910-0.353
MI144108-0.318