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Starc's brilliance puts SRH on backfoot in IPL 2024 Qualifier

Starc's brilliance puts SRH on backfoot in IPL 2024 Qualifier

Ahmedabad, May 21 (UNI) In a highly anticipated first qualifier of IPL 2024, Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) faced a daunting challenge against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). Opting to bat first after winning the toss seemed to backfire for SRH as they managed only a modest total, largely due to the exceptional performance of Mitchell Starc, who spearheaded KKR's bowling attack with remarkable precision.
From the onset, SRH found themselves in trouble. Mitchell Starc, in his trademark fiery form, dismissed Travis Head for a duck, setting the tone for KKR's dominance. Shortly after, Abhishek Sharma fell for a mere three runs to an excellent catch by Vaibhav Arora in the covers, further deepening SRH's woes.
Starc continued his relentless assault, targeting the stumps and consistently troubling the SRH batsmen. Rahul Tripathi, who played a valiant knock of 55 off 35 balls, including seven fours and a six, was trapped in front by Starc, but a review was not taken by KKR. Nonetheless, Starc struck again, claiming two more wickets in consecutive deliveries and leaving SRH struggling at 39/4. His spell of 3/34 was instrumental in dismantling SRH's top order.
SRH managed to catch a brief respite in the 9th over when Sunil Narine conceded 18 runs. However, their resurgence was short-lived. Varun Chakravarthy, known for his deceptive spin, dismissed the dangerous Heinrich Klaasen for 32 off 21 balls, which included three boundaries and a six. This critical wicket halted SRH's momentum once more.
Rahul Tripathi's composed fifty provided some stability, but a needless run-out marked the end of his crucial innings, further stalling SRH's progress. Despite efforts from the Impact substitute and a spirited late cameo from Pat Cummins, SRH struggled to post a competitive score.
Chakravarthy proved to be KKR's trump card, delivering an impeccable spell of 2/26 that choked SRH's batting lineup. His strategic bowling and ability to exploit the pitch conditions played a significant role in restricting SRH to a below-par total of 159 on a surface generally favorable for batting.
The pitch conditions presented challenges with the occasional ball sticking and offering extra bounce, but a total of 159 was deemed insufficient against KKR's formidable batting lineup. With power hitters and consistent performers in their ranks, KKR appeared poised to chase down the target and secure a crucial victory in this high-stakes encounter.
As the match progresses, the pressure now shifts to KKR's batsmen to capitalize on the groundwork laid by their bowlers and steer their team towards a triumphant finish in this IPL 2024 qualifier. UNI BDN AKS

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