IPL: Head, Klaasen power SRH to 25-run win over RCB in high-scoring affair

NEW DELHI: Travis Head‘s explosive century combined seamlessly with skipper Pat Cummins’ steely determination as Sunrisers Hyderabad secured a well-executed 25-run triumph over Royal Challengers Bangalore in a high-scoring showdown on Monday.
Head’s maiden T20 hundred, a scorching 102 off just 41 balls, embellished with 9 fours and 8 sixes, alongside Heinrich Klaasen‘s aggressive 67 off 31 deliveries, propelled Sunrisers to a record-breaking total of 287 for three.This achievement surpassed their own milestone of 277/3 against Mumbai Indians in Hyderabad on March 27.
The visiting bowlers, spearheaded by Cummins with figures of 3/43, exhibited exceptional skills on a challenging pitch, outshining their counterparts and restricting RCB to 262 for seven. This IPL encounter also witnessed the highest combined runs scored – 549 in any single T20 match.
Although skipper Faf du Plessis (62 off 28 balls, including 7 fours and 4 sixes) and the inventive Dinesh Karthik (83 off 35 balls, featuring 5 fours and 7 sixes) played commendable innings, they ultimately faded into the background on the night.

Nevertheless, RCB kicked off their pursuit of 288 with fervor, with Du Plessis and Virat Kohli (42 off 20 balls, comprising 6 fours and 2 sixes) reaching 50 in just 3.5 overs, surpassing SRH’s timing for the same milestone in 4.3 overs.

The Faf-Kohli pair reached 79 in the Power Play overs and 80 in 6.2 overs but the introduction of leg-spinner Mayank Markande changed the complexion of the game.

Kohli’s attempt to slog sweep Markande saw the ball sneaking under his bat to rattle the stumps. From that point, the Royal Challengers lost four wickets in the span of 41 runs to slip to 121 for four that also saw a steep climb in the asking rate.
The fourth wicket to fall during that phase was that of Du Plessis. The South African batter smashed Cummins for a four and six in successive balls but feathered a well-directed slower bouncer to Klaasen behind the stumps.
In the same over, the Aussie pacer also trapped Saurav Chauhan in front of the wicket for a naught.

Karthik and Mahipal Lomror (19), who together punished Markande for 25 runs in his last over, milked 59 runs off 29 balls for the sixth wicket, and the former also made 63 for the seventh wicket with Anuj Rawat as RCB moved along briskly.
But in the end, it was sufficient only to provide some artificial excitement to the full house.
Earlier, Head’s destructive hundred was the driving force behind Hyderabad’s imposing total.
The South Australian added 108 runs off 49 balls with his opening partner Abhishek Sharma (34, 22b) and 57 off 26 balls with Klaasen for the second wicket as the hosts’ bowlers wilted under sustained firing.
Head’s batting does not carry the traditional elegance of a left-hander but he more than compensates it with effectiveness.
His innings at the Chinnaswamy Stadium was a telltale example of the simple principles he follows in batting — anything in his hitting arc will disappear far and wide.
The 30-year-old displayed that chilling efficiency against RCB pacers Reece Topley and debutant Lockie Ferguson, who walked in for out-of-form of Glenn Maxwell.
But Ferguson’s first over was an eminently forgettable one, conceding 18 runs. The Kiwi pacer slanted one to Head’s pads and it was flicked over square leg for a six.
Ferguson tried for course correction in the next ball, going a wee bit short.
But Head was up for the challenge, hoisting the ball over mid-on for a massive maximum.
In between, Abhishek, who also played a couple of fine shots, fell to Topley, an uppish flick snaffled by Ferguson at square leg.
But that brought together Head and Klaasen together as RCB were put under the cosh further by SRH’s second-wicket pair.
Head soon fetched his hundred with a brutally-driven boundary off pacer Vysakh Vijayakumar.
However, he perished soon as a mistimed slice off Ferguson was taken by Du Plessis at mid-off.
But the dismissal did not slow down Hyderabad as Klaasen assumed the role of battering ram, bringing up his fifty in just 23 balls.
As is his wont, the South African was severe on spinners and clobbered the part-time left-arm spin of Mahipal Lomror for 18 runs in his only over.
SRH soon went past their own record score of 277 despite Klaasen getting dismissed by Ferguson.
The landmark moment came when Aiden Markram (32, 17b) took a single off Vysakh to long-off.
Markram also added 56 runs for the unbroken fourth wicket alliance with Abdul Samad (37, 10b, 4×4, 3×6) as Hyderabad also smoked 22 sixes, the highest in an IPL innings.
(With inputs from PTI)

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