Kolkata Knight Riders vs Sunrisers Hyderabad, road to IPL 2024 final: Narine show for KKR; Head-Abhishek key for SRH | Crickit
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Kolkata Knight Riders vs Sunrisers Hyderabad, road to IPL 2024 final: Narine show for KKR; Head-Abhishek key for SRH

May 25, 2024 01:22 PM IST

Sunrisers Hyderabad face Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL 2024 final, in Chennai on Sunday.

It is the summit clash of the Indian Premier League 2024 and it is the Kolkata Knight Riders up against the Sunrisers Hyderabad at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Sunday. It will be a battle of two former champions of the league with KKR having lifted the title twice in 2012 and 2014 and SRH winning the marquee event once in 2016.

Sunrisers Hyderabad's captain Pat Cummins, left, and Kolkata Knight Riders' captain Shreyas Iyer look at the winners trophy.(AP)
Sunrisers Hyderabad's captain Pat Cummins, left, and Kolkata Knight Riders' captain Shreyas Iyer look at the winners trophy.(AP)

Both the teams couldn’t have asked for a better showdown to their IPL journey after having kickstarted their campaign against each other in their first match of the tournament. This season’s journey encompassed a lot of record-breaking performances which turned out to be an absolute delight for the fans with scores hiking over 200, time and again, which became the major highlight for them this season. After having traversed a challenging path leading to the final of the season, here is how the journey has been for KKR and SRH in the 17th edition of IPL.

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Consistency remained the key for Kolkata Knight Riders

The two-time former champions had a dream start to their IPL 2024 campaign after winning three games on the trot against the Sunrisers Hyderabad, Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Delhi Capitals. Their major highlight this season was their fiery opening duo of Sunil Narine and Phil Salt who made a mockery out of every bowling unit they faced.

However, it was their third win over DC that was exemplary of their real prowess. KKR smashed the Capitals for 272 runs in the first inning where the batting was anchored by their star Sunil Narine who scored 85 off just 39 deliveries as the team registered the second highest total of the season.

However, the team managed to win only two out of the next five matches thereafter. Interestingly their two defeats were registered in high-scoring encounters where the team posted mammoth totals on the board but they ended up in record-breaking run chases.

The two-time former champions posted 223 runs on the board against the Rajasthan Royals. The latter equalled their own record for the highest successful run chase they had set as they achieved the total in a last-ball thriller, finely dethroning the Knight Riders.

KKR would once again go down against the Punjab Kings in a match where they scored a massive 261 runs on the board with the help of fiery knocks from their stalwart openers Sunil Narine and Phil Salt. However, the Punjab Kings went all guns blazing to chase the score with 8 balls and 8 wickets to spare, handing another record-breaking chase to the Knight Riders in the season.

But the side staged a turnaround from thereon, registering five consecutive wins in their last six matches as it finished on top of the table. As KKR crossed paths with SRH once again the Qualifier, they ensured that the latter were of no match to them as they bundled at the Orange Army for 159 runs in the first inning and chased the score with 38 balls to spare to make it to their fourth IPL final.

A season of record-breaking totals for Sunrisers Hyderabad

The 2016 runner-ups set the tone for jaw-dropping scorelines that were witnessed this season. After losing their first match against KKR, the Orange Army did not take too long to blow the five-time former champions Mumbai Indians in their next match. Not only did they break the then-highest total record by posting a mammoth 277 runs on the board, it also marked the arrival of Travis Head, Abhishek Sharma and Heinrich Klassen in the season who propelled the team to the gigantic total.

The Orange Army did not stop there. After winning 2 out of 3 games from thereon, the side shifted attention to yet another record-breaking performance, this time against the RCB. The match saw Travis Head scoring a blistering ton and another carnage from Heinrich Klassen as SRH broke their own record of the highest total to set 287 runs on the board. The RCB did manage to inch closer but it wasn’t enough as SRH won by 25 runs.

The Pat Cummins-led side unleashed devastation once again in their very next match against the Delhi Capitals courtesy of another masterclass from Travis Head (89 off 32) and Shahbaz Ahmed (59 off 29) which led the side to another grand total of 266 which their opponents failed to chase.

Thereafter the side had a bittersweet outing as they won only two games out of five. But a washout against Gujarat Titans in their penultimate match and a win over the Punjab Kings in the last ensured them a top-4 finish and that too at no.2.

In the playoffs, SRH lost to KKR in the first qualifier and were forced to play the second qualifier against the Rajasthan Royals and that was when the team displayed its bowling depth. After posting 175 on the board for their opponents, SRH opted for the services of their spinners Abhishek Sharma and Shahbaz Ahmed in the place of their regular pacers who picked five wickets in total as they propelled their team to the summit clash.

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