Head, Klassen’s whirlwind innings sweep RCB away

By BD Narayankar

Bengaluru, (UNI) Sunrisers Hyderabad delivered a commanding performance in the 30th match of IPL 2024, securing a 25-run victory over Royal Challengers Bengaluru at Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Monday. Travis Head’s explosive century, scoring 104 runs off just 41 balls, and Heinrich Klaasen’s aggressive 67 runs in 31 balls set up a formidable total of 288 runs for Sunrisers Hyderabad.

RCB had a promising start in their chase of 288 runs. The opening pair added 80 runs for the first wicket, providing a solid foundation for the team’s innings.

However, Mayank Markandey struck a crucial blow for SRH by dismissing Virat Kohli in the seventh over. Kohli played a brisk innings, scoring 42 runs off just 20 balls, smashing six fours and two sixes before getting bowled by Markandey.

Following Kohli’s dismissal, RCB faced another setback as Will Jakes was run out after contributing seven runs to the team’s total. These quick wickets put RCB under pressure, but captain Faf Du Plessis and other batsmen tried to keep the chase alive.

Despite losing early wickets, RCB continued to fight, with Du Plessis leading the charge with a blistering innings of 67 runs off 28 balls. Following his dismissal, RCB faced a collapse with Rajat Patidar departing after scoring nine runs. Saurav Chauhan failed to open his account and was dismissed without troubling the scorers. This flurry of wickets put RCB in a precarious position, with the team struggling at 122/5.

Karthik and Mahipal Lomror then took charge of the innings, trying to stabilise the chase. They built a partnership and tried to keep RCB’s hopes alive. However, Lomror was dismissed after scoring 19 runs off 11 balls, adding to RCB’s woes.

Markandey claimed another crucial wicket by ending Karthik’s brilliant innings. Karthik played a magnificent innings of 83 runs off just 35 balls, smashing five fours and seven sixes. His dismissal was a significant blow to RCB’s chances, as he was their last hope for a comeback.

With Karthik’s wicket, RCB’s hopes of victory faded, and they ultimately fell short by 25 runs, finishing at 262/7 in their 20 overs. Despite the loss, Karthik’s innings were a standout performance, showcasing his batting prowess under pressure.

Pat Cummins and Markandey were the standout bowlers for SRH. Cummins delivered a superb bowling performance, taking three crucial wickets to put pressure on the RCB batting lineup. His ability to pick up wickets at crucial moments played a vital role in restricting RCB’s scoring rate and preventing any significant partnerships.

On the other hand, Markandey picked up two important wickets to support Cummins in putting the brakes on RCB’s chase. His accurate bowling and ability to maintain pressure on the batsmen contributed significantly to Sunrisers Hyderabad’s victory.

Earlier, SRH broke their record by scoring 287/3. Scoring 277 against a strong team like Mumbai Indians was already a remarkable achievement, but surpassing that total with 287/3 against RCB shows the depth and firepower in their batting lineup.

Head and Klassen’s quickfire batting provided a strong foundation for SRH. Abdul Samad’s explosive innings towards the end added the finishing touches, ensuring SRH reached an imposing total. RCB bowlers had a tough day at the office, with Reece Topley, Lockie Ferguson, Vijaykumar Vyshak, and Yash Dayal all going for plenty of runs.

Scoring 76/0 in the first six overs with Head leading the charge and Abhishek Sharma supporting set the tone for SRH’s dominant batting display. Taking advantage of the powerplay and maximizing the field restrictions was a key strategy for them.

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