KKR crush Sunrisers Hyderabad to win third IPL title

Team Parvasi – Inside

KKR crush Sunrisers Hyderabad to win third IPL title

Chennai: Mitchell Starc was magical. Andre Russell was mesmerising. Gautam Gambhir remained stoic. Shah Rukh Khan hid his emotions behind a mask. Those contrasting pictures vividly conveyed Kolkata Knight Riders’ annihilation of Sunrisers Hyderabad in a lopsided final to bag their third IPL title.

In a season of start-to-finish domination, KKR’s bowling unit was inch-perfect, leaving Sunrisers in a shambles while bowling them out for a paltry 113 in 18.3 overs. It was the lowest-ever score in the tournament’s summit clash.

Venkatesh Iyer (52 not out off 26 balls, with 4 fours and 3 sixes), a forgotten India all-rounder, then helped KKR complete the formalities in just 10.3 overs.

He also ensured that fellow Iyer — skipper Shreyas — had a ‘Knight’ to remember after enduring a difficult last four months.

Rahmanullah Gurbaz (39) was useful with the bat after being effective behind the stumps with three catches. It was a perfect night for him too as he had to leave in the middle of the tournament to attend his ailing mother who is admitted in a Kabul hospital. He came back after Englishman Phil Salt had to report back for national duty.

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The match was one-sided, the victory was clinical and it smelt of one thing — Team Spirit. Everyone had an enticing back story as they got together to become the third team after CSK and MI to win three or more IPL titles.

In 2012, at this very ground, Gambhir had stamped his credentials as an astute skipper leading KKR to their maiden title. A dozen years later, Gambhir, the tactician behind the scenes, ensured that when the T20 World Cup ends next month, the Indian cricket board will be able to convince him to change the colour of his jersey and the dug-out for the next three and a half years.

There is head coach Chandrakant Pandit, whose legend in Indian cricket continues to grow. ‘Chandu Sir’ always knew how to win Ranji Trophies but that feeling of being a coach of an IPL-winning team would taste equally sweet.

In the past few years, Sunil Narine (488 runs and 17 wickets) had lost his mojo as a batter and he rediscovered it this year. Boy! That’s a story for another day.

Just like the qualified architect that he is, Varun Chakravarthy (21 wickets), who was panned for being unfit when he played briefly for India three seasons back, made a crafty comeback.

Brief scores: SRH: 113 all out in 18.3 overs (Cummins 24; Russell 3/19, Starc 2/14, Harshit 2/24) vs KKR: 114/2 in 10.3 overs (Venkatesh 52*, Gurbaz 39).

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