KKR lift IPL trophy for third time after outplaying SRH in final

NEW DELHI — Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) emerged as Indian Premier League (IPL) champions for the third time in their history as they defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the final in Chennai by eight wickets on Sunday.

The Shreyas Iyer-led outfit were clinical in all aspects in the title clash, right from the bowlers’ collective effort to dismiss SRH for a paltry 113 up until the moment when Venkatesh Iyer (52*) scored the winning run in the third ball of the 11th over.

Andre Russell (3/19) was the pick of the bowlers but credit must go to Mitchell Starc (2/14) and Harshit Rana (2/24) as well, whereas Vaibhav Arora, Sunil Narine and Varun Chakaravarthy collected a wicket each.

It was not meant to be for the famed SRH opening duo of Travis Head (0) and Abhishek Sharma (2). While Starc cleaned up Abhishek in the first over, Vaibhav joined the party in the second over with the dismissal of the Australian big-hitter.

Skipper Pat Cummins (24) and former captain Aiden Markram (20) were the top-scorers for SRH but the duo weren’t able to help their side avoid a forgettable collapse.

In reply, KKR lost opener Sunil Narine (6) early to Pat Cummins, but Venkatesh Iyer (52*) and Rahmanullah Gurbaz (39) forged 91 runs for the second wicket to eventually see them home.

KKR had previously won the IPL in 2012 and 2014 under the captaincy of Gautam Gambhir. This time though, the former India opener was the Knight Riders’ mentor.

For KKR captain Shreyas Iyer, lifting the IPL trophy would have come as a moment of redemption after several missed opportunities in the past, as well as enduring a difficult time in international cricket recently. — (Agencies)