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IPL 2024: Starc’s wicket of Abhishek Sharma ended the match for SRH, says Matthew Hayden

IANS | May 27, 2024 02:11 PM

NEW DELHI: Former Australia cricketer Matthew Hayden opined that Mitchell Starc’s wicket of Abhishek Sharma ended the match for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the final against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at MA Chidambaram Stadium on Sunday.

The final saw KKR dominate from the outset, starting with Mitchell Starc's stunning dismissal of Abhishek Sharma with a ball that pitched on middle and leg and zipped past the outside edge to hit off stump. This wicket initiated a collapse; Vaibhav Arora removed Travis Head for a first-ball duck with an excellent away-swinger, and Starc struck again to dismiss Rahul Tripathi, leaving SRH at 21 for 3 inside five overs.

"The moment that ball bowled to Abhishek Sharma came out of Mitchell Starc's hands, it was game over. It was destined to be the best ball of the IPL, an absolute peach at a time when it was so important. We all talked about how crucial the power play would be for winning this IPL final and this tournament. And after that ball from Mitchell Starc, it just meant that KKR were on a roll, " said Hayden to Star Sports Cricket live

The fast Aussie bowler came into the IPL season with a price tag of Rs 24.74 cr, the heftiest there has ever been in the history of the tournament. Many criticized the acquisition of the 2023 ODI World Cup winner throughout the tournament but the 34-year old’s experience proved to be the difference maker in the Playoffs with the pacer picking up five of his 17 wickets in the two playoff games against Hyderabad which earned him the man of the match accolade for both games.

"There are two schools of thought. You come to a ground, think about runs on the board, and aim for 180–200 runs. Then there is another school of thought that focuses on the 11 of us taking on those two in-form players. Because you can't really lose the game when you are out there as a collective fielding unit. And you saw that with KKR.

Mitchell Starc was averaging around 136-137 kmph during the majority of the season. But in the last two weeks, he has gone above 140 kmph, and that is his average. He is bowling fast. We never saw him swing the ball for the first seven, maybe even eight, weeks of this tournament. In the last few weeks, he has got his wrist in a good place and started to swing the ball back, ” added former England skipper Kevin Pietersen.

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