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Iyer Fire Destroys Sunrisers!

May 27, 2024 16:53 IST

IMAGE: Venkatesh Iyer celebrates his half-century in the IPL 2024 final on Sunday, May 26, 2024. Photographs: BCCI
 

The IPL 2024 Dinal turned out to be the most one-sided final in the history of the T20 league as Kolkata Knight Riders overpowered Sunrisers Hyderabad by eight wickets.

Electing to bat, SRH crashed for a lowly 113 in 18.3 overs with No. 9 Pat Cummins their top scorer with 24 as only four of their batters managed to score in double digits.

In response, KKR wasted no time in chasing down the runs as Venkatesh Iyer blasted his way to an entertaining half-century as they won with 57 balls to spare.

KKR bowlers were phenomenal earlier, dismissing SRH for a mere 113 -- the lowest total ever in an IPL final.

Often overlooked in national selection discussions, Venky grabbed his chance with both hands. Even though the target was small, the left-hander adopted an aggressive approach from the very first ball, treating the SRH bowlers with disdain.

He launched a brutal assault on Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the third over, smashing a sequence of boundaries -- 4, 6, 6. The onslaught continued in the sixth over against T Natarajan with another barrage of boundaries -- 4, 4, 6, 4. This blitz helped KKR post the highest Powerplay score (72/1) in an IPL final.

Venky continued his rampage, reaching his fifty in just 24 balls, equaling the record for the fastest fifty in IPL play-offs. His knock was a perfect blend of elegance and brute force, comprising four boundaries and three sixes at a staggering strike rate of 200.

He remained unbeaten on a quickfire 52 from 26 balls as KKR raced to victory with a staggering 57 balls to spare. This phenomenal knock not only sealed KKR's third IPL title but also cemented Venky's reputation as a big-match player.

This fifty was just the latest chapter in Venky's sensational run in IPL play-off matches. He had previously notched up scores of 26, 55, 50 not out in the play-off games in 2021, and 51 not out the Qualifier 1 match against SRH earlier this week -- showcasing his exceptional consistency under pressure.

He has undoubtedly been one of the standout performers for KKR this season with 370 runs in 15 matches at a strike rate of 158, with four fifties.

HARISH KOTIAN