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KKR's Varun Chakaravarthy made things difficult for MI batters: Brett Lee

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Kolkata Knight Riders' Varun Chakravarthy celebrates with captain Shreyas Iyer after taking the wicket of Mumbai Indians' captain Hardik Pandya during an Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 T20 cricket match

Kolkata Knight Riders' Varun Chakravarthy celebrates with captain Shreyas Iyer after taking the wicket of Mumbai Indians' captain Hardik Pandya during an Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 T20 cricket match

Kolkata: Varun Chakaravarthy's ability to be consistently among wickets for Kolkata Knight Riders drew praise from former Australian tearaway bowler Brett Lee, who said he made life difficult for Mumbai Indians batters in a rain-shortened low-scoring game.

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Chakaravarthy bowled miserly and took two wickets for 17 runs as KKR won by 18 runs to become the first team to seal an IPL playoff berth on Saturday.

Chakaravarthy (18 scalps) is the third-highest wicket-taker so far this season behind MI's Jasprit Bumrah and PBKS's Harshal Patel, both of whom are on 20 wickets.

"He bowled beautifully. He made efforts to pick the hard length, he banged the ball short in the wicket which did not allow the batsmen to get underneath the ball and made the cross-bat shots difficult," Lee told JioCinema on Sunday.

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Former Royal Challengers Bengaluru high-performance director Mike Hesson said KKR batter Venkatesh Iyer seems to be relishing punishing the Mumbai Indians bowlers.

Venkatesh has struck two half centuries this season and came close to striking a third before he was dismissed on 42 (21 balls) as he emerged the highest run-getter on both sides at the Eden Gardens on Saturday.

"He seems to love playing against Mumbai Indians. He got hit on the knee earlier but that did not seem to stop him. He timed everything beautifully, batted with a strike rate of over 200 and when everybody else was struggling because of the seaming ball, he played a match-winning hand," said Hesson.

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