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Historic Record Shattered as KKR Dominates SRH in IPL 2024 Final

The high-octane IPL 2024 season concluded on a rather unexpected note, with the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) emerging victorious in a dramatic yet low-scoring final against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. KKR’s comprehensive win saw them clinch their third IPL title, adding to their triumphs in 2012 and 2014. However, what took many by surprise was the manner in which they won, as the match broke a 14-year-old historical record in IPL history.

KKR had to chase an exceedingly modest target of 114 after a stellar bowling performance saw SRH bowled out for just 113 in 18.3 overs. The SRH batsmen seemed completely helpless against KKR’s attack, with all six KKR bowlers managing to take at least one wicket. The ease with which the Knight Riders approached their run chase was quintessential of their dominance, barely breaking a sweat to reach the target in just 10.3 overs, with eight wickets in hand.

This final not only secured KKR’s third title but also entered the record books as the shortest playoff or knockout match in the history of the IPL, lasting a mere 29 overs. The previous record, set during the 2010 third-place playoff between Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Deccan Chargers (DC) in Navi Mumbai, had lasted 32.2 overs. In that match, RCB bowled out DC for a paltry 82 and chased down the total in 13.5 overs with nine wickets to spare.

The KKR bowlers were on fire right from the outset, with Mitchell Starc and Vaibhav Arora setting the tone by dismissing SRH’s openers Abhishek Sharma and Travis Head within the first two overs. Travis Head’s dismissal for a golden duck marked a dismal end to his tournament. Starc continued his menacing form, snaring Rahul Tripathi in the 5th over, leaving SRH reeling. As the rest of KKR’s bowlers joined the fray, it became increasingly clear that SRH’s hopes of posting a competitive total were in jeopardy.

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Wickets continued to tumble at regular intervals for SRH. In a lineup that seemed to capitulate under pressure, Pat Cummins stood out as the top-scorer, managing a valiant 24 from the number seven position. However, even his efforts were not enough to steer SRH to a respectable total, as he was the last man out in the 19th over, making SRH’s 113 the lowest ever total in an IPL final.

On the batting front, KKR seemed in no hurry to finish things off. Despite losing Sunil Narine early in the second over to Cummins, Venkatesh Iyer and Rahmanullah Gurbaz ensured there were no further hiccups. Venkatesh Iyer, in particular, was impressive, crafting an unbeaten half-century to steer KKR to victory. Rahmanullah Gurbaz played a supportive role, contributing 39 runs off 32 balls. The win came in the 10th over when Venkatesh secured the winning run with a single off an inside edge, sending waves of jubilation through the KKR camp.

The achievement of KKR in this final goes beyond just another title; it symbolizes their tactical prowess and efficiency. The way they approached both their bowling and batting phases showcased a level of professionalism and control rarely seen in such high-stakes matches.

Mitchell Starc and Vaibhav Arora set the early tone for a dominant performance, but it was a true team effort that saw all bowlers contributing to SRH’s downfall. The strategic use of bowlers at crucial moments and the disciplined batting approach in a low chase were key highlights. This title win restores faith in KKR’s ability to perform under pressure and solidifies their status as one of the powerhouses in the IPL history.

In the broader context, this final will be remembered not just for its brevity but for the exemplary display of cricketing skill, both strategic and physical, by the Kolkata Knight Riders. It highlights the unpredictable nature of the sport where a team known for high scoring can showcase their brilliance with the ball, setting up one of the shortest yet impactful matches the league has ever seen.

As the cricketing world looks back on IPL 2024, the final serves as a testament to the essence of T20 cricket – unpredictable, exhilarating, and occasionally, humbling for even the best teams. KKR’s victory marks a historic and memorable end to a season that had its fair share of thrills all the way to the climax.