Mitchell Starc's clutch moment in final over after more ugly scenes in IPL for cricket star

Starc's form since his record-breaking return to the competition has been concerning.

Mitchell Starc has made amends after another ugly showing in the Indian Premier League, with the Aussie bowler's crucial late wicket helping to seal a thrilling one-run win for the Kolkata Knight Riders over bottom side, Royal Challengers Bengaluru. Starc has faced calls to be dropped after a horror run of form for KKR since his record-breaking $4.43 million return to the IPL in 2024.

The Aussie cricket star has failed to live up to his tag as the most expensive buy in the competition's history and it looked like being another match to forget for Starc against Bengaluru. The Aussie quick had been belted all around the ground at Eden Gardens in Kolkata and came in to bowl the final over, with Royal Challengers needing a whopping 21 runs for victory.

Pictured right, Mitchell Starc taking a brilliant catch in the final over for KKR in the IPL.
Mitchell Starc took a brilliant catch in the final over after the Aussie fast bowler struggled with the ball against for KKR in the IPL. Pic: Getty/IPL

No.9 batter Karn Sharma smacked Starc's first four balls for three sixes as the Aussie bowler once again conceded more than fifty runs for an innings in the IPL and Bengaluru looked on course to snatch victory. But the left-arm quick finally redeemed himself on the penultimate ball after taking a brilliant return catch to remove Sharma for 20, stooping low to snaffle the attempted drive from the batter.

Starc's finally delivery was good enough that Lockie Ferguson could only scramble a single and the Knight Riders survived to win by the solitary run. The win put KKR back up to second on the table and the great escape could be exactly what Starc needs to get his campaign up and running.

Mitchell Starc makes amends after more ugly figures

The stats don't make pretty reading for the Aussie after his first seven games though, with Starc taking just six wickets and conceding 287 runs off 25 overs at an economy rate of 11.48. He has also been smashed for 44 boundaries, the most of any bowler in this year's competition and has the 11th worst economy rate for bowlers who have bowled at least five overs in the IPL.

KKR's narrow victory came after they made 6-222 batting first in Kolkata, with Shreyas Iyer (50 off 36 balls) building on Phil Salt's explosive 14-ball 48. Another Aussie Cameron Green took 2-35 in his four overs, including Iyer's wicket.

Starc's latest underwhelming spell with the ball started off badly when he began with a wide and conceded 14 runs in the second over of f RCB's innings. Starc's third legal ball was belted over wide long-on by Virat Kohli (18), while Faf du Plessis (7) also hit the Aussie to the boundary in an expensive over.

Seen here, Virat Kohli walking off for RCB in the IPL match against KKR.
Virat Kohli scored a quick-fire out for RCB before getting out in the IPL match against KKR. Pic: Getty

KKR scrape home to take second spot in IPL

Starc returned to bowl the fifth, with RCB 2-52 and both openers being dismissed. Kohli was controversially given out caught-and-bowled off a waist-high full toss. Will Jacks (55) pulled Starc's first ball over mid-wicket for six then, with whipped him deep into the crowd for a massive six after the Aussie shifted to bowl around the wicket.

After two dot balls Jacks drove a Starc thunbderbolt into the stands over extra cover, then took four more off his legs to make it 22 off the over. Starc retreated into the outfield and his team''s chances appeared to be receding with him when RCB reached 2-137 after 11 overs.

But Dre Russell and Sunil Narine took four wickets in the next 12 balls. The big wicket of Jacks came when he was caught on the long-on boundary off Russell for a 32-ball 55 and Green (6) was also caught out off Narine trying to repeat the six he hoisted off the spinner on the previous ball. Russell returned to dismiss Dinesh Karthik (25 off 18), before Starc's heroics at the death completed the great escape for the home side.

with AAP