Kolkata Knight Riders are through to the Indian Premier League final after cruising to victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad on Tuesday.

A dominant KKR eased to an eight-wicket win with 38 balls remaining, with Mitchell Starc inspiring the victory.

The Sunrisers chose to bat first but were in unfamiliar territory at 13-2 inside two overs as Starc bowled Travis Head, who did not get a single run, before Andre Russell caught Abhishek Sharma.

Starc took two more wickets in his second over, finishing with 3-34 as the pick of KKR’s bowlers.

Pat Cummings ensured SRH did not finish with a sub-140 total, knocking 30 before being caught by Rahmanullah Gurbaz, as they set a target of 160.

Cummings then conceded 20 runs in his first over but eventually bounced out Sunil Narine for 21 after Gurbaz was caught for 23.

Venkatesh Iyer finished with an unbeaten 51 alongside Shreyas Iyer, who top-scored with a 24-ball 58 to comfortably help KKR reach 164-2.

SRH will have another chance to make it to the final in the second qualifier where they will face either the Rajasthan Royals or Royal Challengers Bengaluru on Friday.

Data Debrief: Playoff partners

The Iyers' 97 not out off 44 balls is the second-highest scoring partnership for KKR in the playoffs. 

Cummins and Vijayakanth Viyaskanth's 33-run partnership is SRH's highest for the 10th wicket in IPL, breaking the record of 22 between Dale Steyn and Praveen Kumar, but it was not enough to trouble KKR.

Rajasthan Royals were denied their shot at a top-two Indian Premier League finish after rain saw a clash with Kolkata Knight Riders abandoned without a ball bowled on Sunday.

The Royals finished third in the group stage of this year's IPL after four straight losses preceded the washout in Guwahati.

In-form Royal Challengers Bengaluru awaits in the Eliminator for Rajasthan on May 22, with the former on a six-match winning streak to reach the playoffs.

Pat Cummins' Sunrisers Hyderabad will face leaders Kolkata, whose last two games have been abandoned, in the first qualifier in Ahmedabad the day before.

The first abandoned game of the Indian Premier League ensures Kolkata Knight Riders will finish in the top two and Gujarat Titans’ elimination from playoff contention.

A combination of lightning and rain meant there was not even a toss, with the intense storm ripping banners from the stands, which later wrapped around the floodlights.

KKR had all but ensured a place in the top two due to their dominating net run-rate, but a 19th point of the season confirmed it, leaving them with one game to try and clinch top spot for the first time.

The Titans needed to win their final two games to give themselves any hope of reaching the playoffs, though it would have proven tough for the side with the lowest net run-rate in the league.

It is the first time GT have failed to make the playoffs since they joined the competition before the 2022 season.

Indian Premier League leaders Kolkata Knight Riders extended their winning streak to four matches and sealed their place in the playoffs by defeating Mumbai Indians in a match impacted by rain on Saturday.

A delayed start to the contest meant it was limited to 16 overs per side, and KKR made it to 157-7 with Venkatesh Iyer producing a quick-hitting 42 runs from 21 balls, as Jasprit Bumrah (2-39) and Piyush Chawla (2-28) both made an impact with the ball.

While Sunil Narine went without scoring, Andre Russell contributed a 14-ball 24 toward the backend of the KKR innings, including two fours and two sixes.

The Indians looked likely to chase down their victory target when they reached 65-0 in the early stages, as they looked to improve on a fine 7-3 record at KKR's Eden Gardens.

But the wicket of Ishan Kishan in the seventh over sparked a rapid collapse, with Mumbai – already eliminated from the competition – quickly falling to 92-5 and ultimately losing by 18 runs.

Russell returned to grab 2-34 from three overs, sharing the wickets with Harshit Rana (2-34), Varun Chakaravarthy (2-17) and Narine, who had 1-21 from his three overs.

KKR remain top of the standings. As well as being the first team to seal their progress, they look good to secure a crucial top-two finish which would give them two chances to reach the final. They now have 18 points, two clear of Rajasthan Royals, who play Chennai Super Kings in one of two games due to take place on Sunday.

Data Debrief: Bumrah eyeing Purple Cap

While this was the latest setback in a highly disappointing season for Mumbai, who are second-bottom of the standings, Bumrah has been a prolific threat.

He took another two key wickets in this one, removing KKR dangerman Sunil Narine for a golden duck and halting a charge from Rinku Singh (20 from 12) in the final over.

That took India bowler Bumrah's season tally to 20, putting him level with Punjab Kings' Harshal Patel at the top of the Purple Cap standings.

The final figures could have been even better for Bumrah, who was frustrated to be hit for six by Ramandeep Singh (17 from 8) in the final ball of the KKR innings and earlier had an lbw decision against Nitish Rana (33) overturned on review.

However, a difficult period of form continued for Bumrah's team-mate Rohit Sharma in his team's unsuccessful run chase.

The opener came into the match with scores of 6, 8, 4, 11 and 4 in his last five innings and he was not much better here, struggling to 19 from 24 before falling to the superb Varun Chakaravarthy, who posted economical figures of 2-17 from four overs. That was quite the contrast to partner Kishan, who smashed 40 from 22.

In a sensational display of power hitting, Sunil Narine spearheaded Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to a commanding victory over Nicholas Pooran's Lucknow Super Giants and a place atop of the IPL table with a stunning knock of 81 runs off just 39 deliveries.

Alongside Narine, contributions from Ramandeep Singh (25 off 6 balls), Phil Salt (32), Angkrish Raghuvanshi (32), and Shreyas Iyer ensured that KKR posted an imposing total of 235 for 6 in their allotted 20 overs.

The match, held at one of the lower-scoring venues in IPL 2024, set the stage for a challenging run chase for Lucknow Super Giants (LSG). Despite a 50-run partnership between KL Rahul and Marcus Stoinis, LSG struggled to accelerate the scoring rate, ultimately succumbing to the pressure imposed by KKR's bowlers.

Andre Russell emerged as a pivotal figure in the match, not only with his powerful batting but also with his crucial contributions with the ball. Russell's bowling spell saw him claim the crucial wickets of Marcus Stoinis and Nicholas Pooran, swinging the match heavily in KKR's favor.

As LSG's innings faltered, the required run rate soared out of control, with the last nine wickets falling for just 67 runs. Varun Chakravarthy and Harshit Rana were instrumental in dismantling LSG's batting lineup, each claiming three wickets.

Narine's explosive batting display in the initial overs set the tone for KKR's commanding total. After Salt's aggressive start, Narine took centre stage, unleashing a barrage of boundaries and sixes. His innings featured a total of seven sixes and six fours, demonstrating his ability to accelerate the scoring rate at will.

Despite eventually being dismissed while attempting another big hit, Narine's contribution laid the foundation for KKR's comprehensive victory. The match also witnessed standout performances from Ramandeep Singh, whose quick-fire innings added crucial runs to KKR's total, putting LSG under immense pressure.

With this convincing win, Kolkata Knight Riders continue to demonstrate their formidable form in IPL 2024, buoyed by standout performances from key players like Sunil Narine and Andre Russell, signaling their intent as serious contenders in the tournament.

 

 

 

 

Venkatesh Iyer starred with 70 for Kolkata Knight Riders before Mitchell Starc's four-wicket haul eased his side to a 24-run victory over Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League.

The Knight Riders only managed to post 169 at Wankhede Stadium as Iyer and Manish Pandey (42) were the only Kolkata batters to pass 15 runs on Friday.

Nuwan Thushara registered figures of 3-42 and Jasprit Bumrah picked up three wickets for just 18 runs as Kolkata limped to a target that appeared somewhat reachable for Mumbai.

Yet Ishan Kishan, Rohit Sharma and Naman Dhir all failed to get going in response for the Indians before Suryakumar Yadav's 35-ball 56 promised a tense ending.

However, Andre Russell forced Suryakumar to launch a full toss into the sky for a simple Phil Salt catch – with the West Indian one of three Kolkata bowlers to collect two wickets, along with Sunil Narine and Varun Chakravarthy (both 2-22).

Suryakumer's dismissal teed up Starc's three-wicket blitz to end the innings with 4-33, moving the Knight Riders up to second in the table as Tim David's quickfire 24 proved redundant for Mumbai.

Data Debrief: Iyer the hero as Mumbai play-off hopes stunted

Having been reduced to 57-5 in the first innings, Iyer stood up with his season-best 70 off just 52 balls – including six fours and three maximums – guiding Kolkata to a commendable target.

This defeat left Mumbai ninth in the table, some six points adrift of the play-offs with just three games remaining – they may live to rue not capitalising on a promising first-innings position.

West Indies and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) all-rounder Andre Russell is set to make waves in Bollywood, following in the footsteps of Trinidadian cricketer Dwayne Bravo, who achieved success with his hit song 'Champion' in India.

Known for adding energy and entertainment to the dressing room, West Indian cricketers have a history of making their mark beyond the cricket field, with stars like Chris Gayle, DJ Bravo, Kieron Pollard, and Darren Sammy shining in the IPL. The latest to join this list is Andre Russell, the dynamic KKR sensation.

Russell is stepping into the music world by lending his vocals to a song composed by Palaash Muchhal. He will also be featured alongside actress Avika Gor in the accompanying music video.

What makes Russell's foray into music even more exciting is the backing of Bollywood titan Shahrukh Khan, the owner of Kolkata Knight Riders. Known for his larger-than-life persona, SRK is not just a team owner but also a key figure in the entertainment industry. Russell and SRK share a strong camaraderie, often seen enjoying each other's company and having fun moments together.

Recently, a video of Russell singing SRK's iconic song "Lut Put Gaya" from the movie 'Dunki' went viral, showcasing his passion for music. With SRK's support and Russell's infectious energy, fans can anticipate an exciting collaboration between the cricket star and the Bollywood icon.

Andre Russell's venture into Bollywood music adds a new dimension to his versatile talents and promises to be a delightful treat for his fans in India and across the globe.

Phil Salt inspired Kolkata Knight Riders to get back to winning ways in the Indian Premier League as they beat Delhi Capitals with an emphatic seven-wicket victory. 

The Capitals had surpassed 220 runs in each of their last two matches, but their chances of doing so again were dented early on, Prithvi Shaw walking for 13 before the in-form Jake Fraser-McGurk followed before the end of the third over, his flat drive being taken by Venkatesh Iyer near the boundary for 12.

Varun Chakaravarthy posted figures of 3-16 as Kolkata prevented their visitors from mounting any kind of response, with only Kuldeep Yadav's unbeaten 35 off 26 balls helping them crawl beyond the 150 mark and finish their innings on 153-9.

Salt started brilliantly for Kolkata, plundering his way to a half-century within the first six overs of the chase. He was bowled by Axar Patel, but only after the openers had raced to 79-0, with Sunil Narine and Rinku Singh dismissed shortly after.

Shreyas and Venkatesh Iyer ticked off the remaining runs with ease, securing the win for Kolkata with 21 balls left.

Data Debrief: A sprinkle of Salt 

England all-rounder Will Jacks smashed an unbeaten century off just 41 balls to propel Royal Challengers Bangalore to victory over Gujarat Titans on Sunday, and his compatriot Salt followed up with a stunning knock this time around.

He reached 52 in just 26 balls, with a further two boundaries taking him to 60 and seeing Kolkata reach 79 by the end of the powerplay. His knock included seven fours and five sixes.

Jonny Bairstow saluted "ballistic" Punjab Kings following their historic Indian Premier League victory over Kolkata Knight Riders.

The England batter scored an unbeaten century as the Kings successfully chased down 262 - the highest in T20 history - with eight balls to spare at Eden Gardens.

Bairstow hit a wonderful 108 not out from 48 balls - with nine sixes along the way - while Shashank Singh chipped in with 68 from 28 deliveries as the Kings ended their four-game losing streak.

"We knew that we had to go ballistic after how they batted," said the 34-year-old, who made his second IPL century five years after his first. "We had to take risks, and thankfully they came off.

"I've never been faced with a target like that before. So, we knew the powerplay would be important, and if anything is close to being in your area, you've got to make the most of it."

The performances of Bairstow and Singh contributed towards further history, with the overall tally of 42 sixes the highest recorded in a single T20 match.

"Cricket has turned to baseball, hasn't it?!" Punjab skipper Sam Curran added. "Guys can hit balls for long periods of time, the coaches, training, the dew, dot balls become wide after reviews and you get the extra ball. Stats are going of the window."

KKR skipper Shreyas Iyer was left disappointed to see his side's impressive haul overturned, but urged his team-mates to learn from the experience.

"Both teams played tremendously. You have to go back to the drawing board and see where you went wrong," he said. "Not defending hurts, but it's a great lesson for the players."

Jonny Bairstow scored an unbeaten century to lead Punjab Kings to a magnificent record Indian Premier League run chase against Kolkata Knight Riders.

England batter Bairstow scored a stunning 108 not out off 48 balls with nine maximums as the Kings somehow chased down a victory target of 262 with eight balls to spare at Eden Gardens.

Bairstow was helped by Shashank Singh, who smashed an unbeaten 68 from 28 deliveries with eight maximums of his own in a remarkable display of hitting.

Hosts KKR thought they had done enough for victory when a fast start from Phil Salt (75 from 37) and Sunil Narine (71 off 32) set them up a huge total of 261-6, but the Kings battled back to earn a famous triumph.

Data Debrief

This astonishing IPL 2024 campaign has already seen Sunrisers Hyderabad twice break the record for the highest innings score in the competition and now the Kings have made more history by recording the biggest chase ever seen in T20 cricket.

This was Bairstow’s second IPL hundred, more than five years after he registered his first while playing for SRH in 2019, and it has given the Kings just their third victory of the season to snap a four-game losing streak. 

In a nail-biting encounter in the Indian Premier League on Sunday, Kolkata Knight Riders secured a thrilling one-run victory over Royal Challengers Bengaluru, thanks in large part to a standout performance by Andre Russell.

Batting first, Kolkata Knight Riders posted a formidable total of 222 for 6 in their 20 overs. Shreyas Iyer starred with the bat, scoring a brisk 50, while opener Phil Salt provided a flying start with his explosive 48. The middle order contributed crucial runs, setting up a challenging target for Royal Challengers Bengaluru.

Chasing 223 for victory, Royal Challengers Bengaluru got off to a solid start with Will Jacks (55) and Rajat Patidar (52) leading the charge. Despite losing wickets at regular intervals, Bengaluru remained in contention throughout the innings.

The match took a dramatic turn in the final over bowled by Mitchell Starc. With Royal Challengers Bengaluru needing 20 runs to win, Starc was under immense pressure. Will Jacks launched a fierce assault, smashing three consecutive sixes to bring the equation down to three runs needed off two balls.

Starc, unfazed by the onslaught, kept his composure and executed a crucial wicket-taking delivery to dismiss Karn Sharma. Starc dived low to his right to complete a stunning catch off his own bowling, swinging the momentum back in Kolkata's favor.

In the ultimate twist of fate, with Royal Challengers Bengaluru needing three runs off the final delivery to secure victory, Ramandeep Singh hit the ball to deep point. A misfield raised hopes of a potential match-tying boundary, but Phil Salt displayed exceptional athleticism and awareness behind the stumps. Salt collected the ball and executed a lightning-quick run-out of Lockie Ferguson, denying Bengaluru the opportunity to force a Super Over.

Andre Russell emerged as the hero of the match for Kolkata Knight Riders. Russell not only contributed a vital 27 runs with the bat but also turned the tide in Kolkata's favor with his outstanding bowling performance. Russell claimed three crucial wickets, including the prized scalps of Jacks and Patidar as well that of the dangerous closer Dinesh Karthik for 25 in the penultimate over, which ultimately proved decisive.

"I always back my bowling. Getting the ball in a crucial time, I know I have to come good. Happy for the two points,” Russell remarked after the match.

“When I was batting earlier, change-ups were difficult to hit. As a bowler, that is what I tried - length ball, slower cutters, it was gripping on the surface. I was happy to get the two set batters out and that's what changed the game. When I look at the bowling equation, Harshith had one, Starcy had one, I had two. So my aim was to bowl an important over and give Starcy as much to defend. I was looking to bowl six deliveries at DK and mixing up with the short ones and slower ones. Worked well tonight."

The thrilling contest between Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bengaluru showcased the captivating nature of T20 cricket, with every moment charged with excitement and tension. Kolkata emerged victorious by the slimmest of margins, underscoring the fine margins that separate triumph from heartbreak in the IPL.

 

 

Following an extraordinary display of batting prowess by Sunil Narine, scoring his maiden T20 century with 109 runs for Kolkata Knight Riders, West Indies T20 captain Rovman Powell is making a compelling case for Narine to come out of retirement and represent the West Indies in the upcoming T20 World Cup, scheduled to kick off in the Caribbean and the USA starting on June 1.

Powell's Rajasthan Royals clinched a thrilling victory over Narine's Kolkata Knight Riders by two wickets at Eden Gardens on Tuesday, but it was Narine's exceptional century that captured attention and reignited discussions about his international comeback.

Just days ago, Narine had been adamant about watching the T20 World Cup from home after announcing his retirement from international cricket in November 2023. However, his post-match remarks on Tuesday hinted at a potential change of heart.

"It is what it is, but let's see what the future holds," Narine stated when asked about reconsidering his retirement decision after his stellar performance.

Powell, determined to sway Narine's decision, disclosed his ongoing efforts to convince the seasoned cricketer to return to the West Indies squad.

"For the last 12 months, I've been whispering in his ears, but he's blocked out everyone," Powell revealed. "I've asked Pollard, Bravo, Pooran. Hopefully, before they select the team, they can crack his code," Powell revealed.

Powell's persistence underscores the value Narine could bring to the West Indies team, especially in a high-stakes tournament like the T20 World Cup. Narine's experience, coupled with his remarkable skills showcased in domestic leagues, makes him an enticing prospect for Powell and other team selectors.

As Powell and his counterparts continue to advocate for Narine's return, cricket fans eagerly await Narine's final decision, which could have significant implications for the West Indies' T20 World Cup campaign. Will Narine heed Powell's call and make a dramatic comeback to international cricket? Only time will tell as the tournament approaches and team selections are finalized.

 

Sunil Narine’s maiden T20 hundred was in vain as Jos Buttler produced a gem of an innings to help the Rajasthan Royals defeat the Kolkata Knight Riders in Tata Indian Premier League (IPL) action at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Tuesday.

The Trinidadian left-hander hit 13 fours and six sixes on his way to a brilliant 109 off just 56 balls to propel KKR to 223-6 from their 20 overs after being put in to bat by the Royals.

Angkrish Raghuvanshi and Rinku Singh provided good support for Narine with 30 and 20*, respectively.

Pacer Avesh Khan was the best bowler on the day for Rajasthan with 2-35 from his four overs.

Jos Buttler then produced his second hundred of the season to help the Royals pull off the highest chase in IPL history.

The Englishman made 107* off 60 balls including nine fours and six sixes to help the Royals reach 224-8 off 20 overs.

It was a herculean effort from Buttler who scored the last 46 runs for the Royals.

Riyan Parag and Rovman Powell provided the most support with Buttler with 34 and 26, respectively. Most importantly, Parag’s innings lasted 14 balls and Powell’s lasted 13 balls.

Narine completed a good all-round performance with 2-30 from his four overs with the ball.

Full Scores: Kolkata Knight Riders 223-6 from 20 overs (Sunil Narine 109, Angkrish Raghuvanshi 30, Avesh Khan 2-35, Kuldeep Sen 2-46)

Rajasthan Royals 224-8 off 20 overs (Jos Buttler 107*, Riyan Parag 34, Rovman Powell 26, Sunil Narine 2-30, Varun Chakravarthy 2-36, Harshit Rana 2-45).

Sunil Narine produced a man of the match performance in his 500th T20 game to lead the Kolkata Knight Riders to a seven-wicket win over the Royal Challengers Bengaluru in the Tata Indian Premier League at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Friday.

The hosts won the toss and posted a formidable 182-6 from their 20 overs thanks to 83* from Virat Kohli and 33 from Cameron Green.

Andre Russell was the pick of the KKR bowlers with 2-29 from his four overs while Harshit Rana took 2-39 and Narine took 1-40.

The Knight Riders then sprinted to their target, reaching 186-3 with 19 balls to spare.

Venkatesh Iyer led the way with a 30-ball 50 including three fours and four sixes while Narine, who opened the batting, set the tone for the innings with 47 off just 22 balls including two fours and five sixes.

Kolkata Knight Riders 186 for 3 (Venkatesh Iyer 50, Sunil Narine 47) beat Royal Challengers Bengaluru 182 for 6 (Virat Kohli 83*, Andre Russell 2-29, Rana 2-39) by seven wickets

In a thrilling encounter in the Indian Premier League on Saturday, Andre Russell emerged as the standout performer, leading Kolkata Knight Riders to a nail-biting four-run victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad with a blistering knock of 64 not out and two crucial wickets.

 Russell's explosive innings turned the tide for Kolkata Knight Riders after a shaky start, propelling them to a formidable total of 208 for 7. After a slow start, Russell unleashed his power-hitting prowess, smashing seven sixes in his unbeaten 64 off just 25 balls. His innings proved instrumental in KKR's recovery from 123 for 6, providing the late surge that propelled them past the 200-run mark.

 However, Sunrisers Hyderabad mounted a spirited chase, with Heinrich Klaasen leading the charge with a valiant innings of 63 runs. Klaasen's assault threatened to snatch victory away from KKR, but Harshit Rana's composed bowling in the final over ensured Kolkata's triumph in a last-ball thriller.

Russell took 2-25.

 Sunil Narine's economical spell and crucial breakthroughs kept Sunrisers in check during the middle overs, setting the stage for Kolkata's dramatic victory. Despite a fierce fightback from Sunrisers, Kolkata Knight Riders held their nerve to secure a crucial win in the IPL.

 Twin 32s from Mayank Agarwal and Abhishek Sharma provided Sunrisers with a solid start, but Russell's brilliance with both bat and ball proved decisive in Kolkata's triumph. With his explosive batting display and impactful bowling, Andre Russell emerged as the hero of the match, guiding Kolkata Knight Riders to a thrilling victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad in a contest that will be remembered for its pulsating finish.

 

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