Kolkata routs Hyderabad by 8 wickets to win its third Indian Premier League title

CHENNAI, India (AP) — Kolkata Knight Riders dismantled the batting powerhouse of Sunrisers Hyderabad for only 113 runs to set up an eight-wicket victory Sunday and a third Indian Premier League title.

The $2.9 million signing Mitchell Starc rattled Hyderabad’s top-order with 2-14, and all six Kolkata bowlers took wickets before the most aggressive batting team this season was bowled out for the lowest ever total in the history of IPL finals.

Venkatesh Iyer then led Kolkata to 114-2 in 10.3 overs with a blazing 26-ball unbeaten 52. Rahmanullah Gurbaz scoring 39 in 32.

“It was comprehensive,” said Kolkata captain Shreyas Iyer, who also played in an IPL final for Delhi Capitals in 2020 when his team lost to Mumbai Indians.

“This is what we demanded from the players and they stood up. It’s difficult to express the feelings, so much to cherish right now. There was no one individual who took us here, it was a cumulative effort, it was a flawless season for us.”

Kolkata previously won the IPL titles in 2012 and ’14 and had dominated this season by finishing on top at the end of league stage with nine wins from 14 games.

It even dominated the most aggressive Hyderabad batting lineup by winning both in the league stage and also in the qualifier, where Australian paceman Starc stood out before routing Pat Cummins’ team in a one-sided final.

Starc and Cummins will combine in Australia’s squad at the Twenty20 World Cup, which starts Saturday with the United States taking on Canada in Dallas.

The IPL gave some of the world’s leading players time to prepare for the World Cup in the U.S. and Caribbean.

The six-week tournament culminated with the final, and Cummins had first choice had winning the toss and deciding to bat.

But the Sunrisers were deflated inside the first seven overs as they limped to 47-4 against an impeccable attack of Starc, Harshit Rana (2-24) and Vaibhav Arora (1-24).

Starc started the rout when he clean bowled Abhishek Sharma with a ball that swung away from the left-hander and knocked back the off stump.

Travis Head, who regularly scored quick runs for Hyderabad this season, edged Arora’s first ball and went for a golden duck. At 6-2 in two overs, Hyderabad struggled to recover from that double loss.

Starc’s three-over spell in the power play gave Kolkata another wicket when Rahul Tripathi top-edged the left-arm quick.

There was no power-hitting from the South African pair of Aiden Markram, who made a struggling 20 off 23 balls, and Heinrich Klaasen (16 in 17) as Kolkata kept picking up wickets at regular intervals.

Markram’s weak pull shot against Andre Russell landed in the lap of Starc at long-on and Klaasen departed in the 15th over when he dragged Rana’s off-cutter back onto his stumps.

Russell mopped up the lower order with 3-19 and Hyderabad was in danger of not reaching 100 before Cummins hit 24 off 19 balls and was the last man dismissed in the penultimate over.

“Russell has got a magic wand and he is looking towards me to bowl,” Shreyas Iyer said. “In the majority of the games he gave us breakthroughs.”

Kolkata lost Sunil Narine before Venkatesh Iyer, who smashed three sixes and four boundaries, and Rahmanullah Gurbaz effectively sealed the game with some aggressive hitting in a 91-run stand.

It was heartbreak for Hyderabad, which had toppled IPL batting records throughout the season and three times posted totals exceeding 265.

However, it got bowled out for its lowest total of the season at a venue where Kolkata, owned by Bollywood celebrity Shah Rukh Khan, had happy memories of winning its first IPL title in 2012.

“We were outplayed,” Cummins said. “They didn’t give us anything … they bowled fantastically.”


AP cricket: https://apnews.com/hub/cricket

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