KKR vs LSG, IPL 2024: Mitchell Starc, Phil Salt propel KKR to 8-wicket win over LSG

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Eden Gardens was treated to an entertaining batting performance by Phil Salt, whose innings of 89 not out off 47 balls powered Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to an eight-wicket victory over the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG). This is KKR’s second victory in as many games at home in the TATA Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024.

Chasing 162, Salt was attacking from the outset against the LSG bowlers. The first over went for 22 as Salt began his charge on the bowling, with Shamar Joseph running in. The West Indian was making his debut in the IPL and had a tough start with the Salt charge on the bowlers. Although Sunil Narine (6) and Angkrish Raghuvanshi (7) were dismissed early, Salt maintained his dominance.

That said, Salt also benefited, with some fortune going his way. A couple of catches were dropped off Joseph’s bowling – particularly in the seventh over, when he pulled one to deep square-leg, where the fielder parried it over the fence in an attempt to catch it. A few inside edges also missed the stumps and went to the boundary.

Through that, there were some good and well-timed shots, particularly through the off-side. One such drive through point off Arshad Khan got him a boundary and his fifty off only 26 balls. Salt seemed to pick up pace after the Powerplay as KKR raced to 101 for two in 10 overs. Shreyas Iyer had the best seat in the house as he knocked the ball around during his 38-ball 38 – mainly handing the stage to his teammate in-form.

KKR motored along to a victory as Salt kept finding the boundary. LSG had had no answer to Salt’s pyrotechnics on this day as KKR clinched the contest with 26 balls to spare – providing a good boost to an already impressive Net Run Rate. At the end of this game, KKR’s NRR stands at 1.688 – by far the best among all teams so far. They have now won four out of their five games this season.

Earlier in the day, KKR won the toss and chose to bowl first. LSG openers tried providing a quick start to their innings, but the KKR bowling was attacking and looking for wickets. Quinton de Kock started well with two fours off the first two balls of the innings but lost his wicket in the second over when he edged one to short third-man and was caught by Narine off Vaibhav Arora.

KL Rahul was positive through his innings, starting with a classy six over cover. He managed to keep the tempo in the powerplay as LSG finished on 49 for two. Deepak Hooda was promoted to bat at No. 3. Mitchell Starc ended his innings when he dismissed him caught at point – courtesy of a brilliant effort by Ramandeep Singh. Ayush Badoni walked in at No. 4 and set about the task of providing stability to the LSG innings.

LSG got a few boundaries, but run-scoring wasn’t easy as KKR maintained a hold over proceedings. At the half-way mark, LSG were 72 for two and in need of acceleration. Rahul showed that intent when he smashed the first ball of the 11th over for a six – with a powerful upper cut. However, Andre Russell struck the next ball when Rahul hit one straight to Ramandeep at deep mid-wicket.

LSG lost wickets at regular intervals, and that hindered their prospects of putting a big score on the board. Narine was economical with one for 17 in his four overs and Varun Chakaravarthy also contributed with one for 30. Nicholas Pooran’s efforts largely drove LSG’s innings in the last 10 overs. The attacking left-hander hit 45, featuring two fours and four sixes to take LSG past 160.

KKR did not let LSG finish well as Mitchell Starc returned to deliver a good last over. He had Pooran caught behind first ball and then dismissed the Impact Player, Arshad. Starc finished with 3/28 – his best performance in the TATA IPL 2024.

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