Ball of the tournament? Mitchell Starc leaves Abhishek Sharma baffled with absolute peach in IPL 2024 Final | Crickit
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Ball of the tournament? Mitchell Starc leaves Abhishek Sharma baffled with absolute peach in IPL 2024 Final

May 26, 2024 09:27 PM IST

Mitchell Starc bowled a dream ball in the first over of the IPL 2024 Final to dismiss Abhishek Sharma.

Mitchell Starc might have faced challenges during the league phase of the 2024 Indian Premier League, but it seems he has reached peak form in the knockout stages of the tournament. Following a match-winning performance in Qualifier 1 against Sunrisers Hyderabad, where he delivered impressive figures of 3/34 in four overs, Starc once again rose to the occasion in the grand finale against the same team on Sunday.

Mitchell Starc bowled out Abhishek Sharma in the IPL 2024 Final(IPL)
Mitchell Starc bowled out Abhishek Sharma in the IPL 2024 Final(IPL)

Starc struck in the very first over of the final; unlike Travis Head, who didn't strike initially, Abhishek Sharma faced Starc's brilliant setup and paid the price. The left-arm pacer bowled a superb delivery that moved away just enough to hit Abhishek's stumps, dismissing him for just 2 runs.

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Starc's strategy was evident from the start; he bowled four balls wide outside the off-stump, the fourth being so far outside it would have been called a wide if Abhishek hadn't stretched to get a toe-end on it. After beating Abhishek with two away swingers, the batter managed a double and narrowly avoided a run-out at the keeper's end.

However, it was the fifth delivery which did the trick for Starc. Starc bowled a delivery angling into the left-hander and drew Abhishek forward, but the ball nipped away sharply and beat the batter's outside edge by a country mile. It eventually hit the off-stump, ending the dangerous SRH batter's knock early in the innings. The ball was labelled the ‘ball of the tournament’ on-air and by many fans on social media platforms, and there's no reason to believe otherwise.

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Troubles mounted for the Sunrisers further as Travis Head also departed off the next over. Head fell on a first-ball duck against Vaibhav Arora as he was caught behind chasing a delivery wide outside the off-stump.

SRH skipper Pat Cummins had won the toss and opted to bat in humid conditions in Chennai. The side had won their previous match at the venue—the Qualifier 2—batting first, too, as they defeated the Rajasthan Royals by 36 runs to book a berth in the final.

KKR high-flying throughout the league

The Kolkata Knight Riders are the most consistent side in the tournament, as they finished at the top of their league stage with 20 points, too. This was despite their last two matches being washed out.

In the Qualifier 1 against Sunrisers, KKR swept past Pat Cummins' men, bowling them out for just 159 before chasing down the target in just 13.4 overs, losing only two wickets.

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