Head, DK headline record-breaking evening in Bengaluru as Hyderabad comes on top

Head smashed the fourth fastest IPL hundred. (Source: X)

During the toss, Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) skipper Pat Cummins suggested that 240 would be just par on a flat-looking Chinnaswamy pitch. His batters took his words seriously, and their performance exceeded expectations. If SRH managed to score 277 in their previous match, they surpassed it by 10 runs against Royal Challengers Bengaluru. The batting display witnessed was nothing short of brutal, with sixes raining down and runs flowing at a rocket pace. This onslaught resulted in an IPL record being broken, as SRH collectively put up the highest total in the tournament’s history – 287 for 3, shattering their own record of 277. While an Australian shone with the bat, another Aussie excelled with the ball. Pat Cummins delivered a sensational spell, aiding his team in defending the target and securing a 25-run victory.

Head-ache for RCB bowlers

RCB bowlers bore the brunt of Travis Head’s ferocious batting display, as the SRH opener blazed to a 39-ball century – the fastest by an SRH batter in IPL history and fourth quickest overall. The soutpaw hammered 102 runs off just 41 deliveries at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium. Head showcased his aggressive intent from the outset, relentlessly taking on the bowlers. Except for Will Jacks’ first two overs in the powerplay, he showed no hesitation in attacking.

His opening partner, Abhishek Sharma (34), provided excellent support, and together, they propelled SRH to 76/0 at the end of the powerplay, with a partnership of 108 runs. Head maintained his aggressive approach and reached his century, leaving the bowlers stunned. His innings came to an end when he was dismissed by Lockie Ferguson after scoring a scintillating 102 off just 41 balls.

Throughout his innings, the 30-year-old displayed a wide array of shots, including ferocious pull shots, backfoot punches through cover, and powerful shots down the ground. Although he couldn’t carry on, his remarkable strike rate of 248.78 laid a solid platform for the middle-order batsmen such as Heinrich Klaasen, Aiden Markram, and Abdul Samad to capitalise on. Head’s exceptional performance against RCB may have been astonishing, but it was not entirely suprising.

SRH’s Middle-order goes berserk

Following Head’s relentless onslaught, Klaasen strode in at number three, and started from where Head left. Boundaries flew deep into the stands, some even reaching the roof, as Klaasen compounded Mumbai Indians’ misery with an unbeaten 67 off just 31 deliveries. Markram ensured the run rate stayed high, fueling hopes of reaching 280. Once Klaasen got out, many believed SRH would fall short by 10-15 runs. It seemed RCB might contain SRH to around 250. However, Abdul Samad had other ideas. He unleashed a barrage of lusty blows in the 19th over, hammering Topley for 24 runs, propelling SRH to their highest IPL total ever.

Defining spells from Markande and Cummins

The pitch had something for the spinners: grip and enough turn. Abhishek Sharma bowled the first over and almost dismissed Virat Kohli. That ball turned sharply. Even the one bowled two balls before caught Faf du Plessis by surprise. RCB capitalised on the powerplay, smashing 79 runs (the highest for RCB in IPL history). Then came Mayank Markande, who bowled a googly to outfox Kohli. It was bold of him to toss it up to a set batter as he showed courage and reaped the reward. Rajat Patidar, who has impressive numbers against leg-spin, also failed to read Markande’s googly and was dismissed while attempting a big shot towards the cow corner. Markande mixed his lengths really well. From the other end came Pat Cummins. His mantra from the start was simple: bowl off-cutters and bowl into the wicket. He did that and did that pretty successfully. The Aussie quick got two wickets in his second over. In his subsequent over, he got rid of Mahipal Lomror with an off-pace delivery. Cummins and Markande’s overs in the middle phase didn’t allow RCB to match the required run-rate.

DK’s late blitzkrieg

In every sense of the word, Dinesh Karthik’s innings was truly breathtaking. His audacious and unbelievable shots left spectators astounded. Every time he made contact with the ball, it seemed destined for the boundary. Yet, it wasn’t merely wild slogging; he carefully selected his shots, targeting specific bowlers and lengths with precision. With years of experience, DK showcased his cricketing wisdom on the field. The uncontrolled required run-rate resulted in RCB’s defeat, but Karthik’s innings of 83 off 35 balls surely brought smiles to the faces of RCB fans, who rewarded him with a well-deserved standing ovation. Furthermore, his performance ensured that RCB didn’t suffer a significant defeat in the game.