Cassian Baliarsingh

Terrific spell by Mitchell Starc and unbeaten half-centuries by Shreyas Iyer and Venkatesh Iyer guided Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to a crushing eight-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in Qualifier 1. The Shah Rukh Khan-owned franchise is now the first team to cement its place in the final of the IPL 2024.

SRH did not get the ideal start of the match as they lost best openers Travis Head and Abhishek Sharma too soon. Things got worse during the Powerplay as they lost four wickets in the first six overs. Starc was on a roll as he got three main wickets out of the four in the powerplay. 

Abhishek Sharma, Nitish Reddy, Travis Head and Shahbaz Ahmed faltered in the high-pressure game. However, it was Rahul Tripathi who came as a saviour for SRH. The talented batsman top scored for SRH with 55 runs off just 35 balls.

His partnership with Heinrich Klaasen helped SRH post a decent total. The partnership between Tripathi and Klaasen was the lone positive in an otherwise underwhelming batting effort by SRH. He was playing fiercely and could have easily scored a century and changed the fate of SRH. Tripathi not only survived the fiery spell of Starc but also took SRH back into the game from nowhere.

However, Tripathi was run out in the middle, due to a silly mistake leaving him teary-eyed. Later, he was spotted crying on the stairs of the dressing room. He was completely devastated after getting run-out on 55. A picture of him devastated and sitting in tears on the stairs has gone viral on social media.

Fans sympathized with him and cheered him up on his excellent half-century under pressure. Former veteran player Irfan Pathan also came out in his support and wrote, “It's not easy to sit out and not be part of the playing XI regularly, but coming in and playing like this takes real courage. Well done #RahulTripathi on your excellent 50! An amazing knock under pressure.”

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Hopefully, he plays well when Hyderabad will get another chance to face KKR in the final as they will next take on the winner of the Eliminator match between Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challengers Bengaluru in Chennai on Friday.

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