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Kolkata Knight Riders thrash Sunrisers Hyderabad to claim third IPL title
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Kolkata Knight Riders thrash Sunrisers Hyderabad to claim third IPL title

Kolkata Knight Riders lifted their third Indian Premier League (IPL) title with an eight-wicket thrashing of Sunrisers Hyderabad in a lop-sided final in Chennai on Sunday. Kolkata, who topped the group stage of the 10-team league, had beaten Hyderabad in the first playoff on Tuesday and were even more dominant in the final, which lasted 29 overs.

The Hyderabad captain, Pat Cummins, was left to rue his decision to bat first as his side were skittled for 113 runs in 18.3 overs. Mitchell Starc produced a double strike while his new ball partner, Vaibhav Arora, dismissed the dangerous Travis Head for a first-ball duck to rattle Hyderabad.

Kolkata’s talismanic all-rounder Andre Russell claimed three crucial wickets, including those of the South African Aiden Markram and Cummins, as Hyderabad wilted inside 19 overs.

Defending the lowest total in an IPL final, Cummins removed Sunil Narine in the second over but the miracle they needed did not materialise. Venkatesh Iyer, who smashed an unbeaten 52 off 26 balls, and Rahmanullah Gurbaz (39) helped Kolkata romp home in 10.3 overs in front of a sea of purple jerseys that included the franchise co-owner and Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan.

“No words to describe [the feeling]. It means so much,” the West Indies stalwart Russell said, wiping away tears. “I am happy that all of us were very disciplined and worked towards one goal. This franchise has done a lot for me. It’s a big gift from all of us to them.”

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It was a special night for the Kolkata mentor Gautam Gambhir, who captained the franchise to IPL titles in 2012 and 2014.

Source: theguardian.com