Recent Match Report – Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Lucknow Super Giants, Indian Premier League 2024, 57th Match

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Sunrisers Hyderabad 167 for 0 (Head 89*, Abhishek 75*) beat Lucknow Super Giants 165 for 4 (Badoni 55*, Pooran 48*, Bhuvneshwar 2-12) by ten wickets

Sunrisers Hyderabad obliterated Lucknow Super Giants, first stifling them with the new ball and then sensationally chasing down 166 in just 9.4 overs – the highest 10-over score in any T20. The massive win lifted them to No. 3 on the points table with 14 points in 12 matches, and also gave them a much-needed net-run-rate boost. The chase was so brutal that LSG didn’t even bother with their Impact Player.

A lot will rightly be spoken of the explosive batting of Travis Head and Abhishek Sharma, who got to their fifties in 16 and 19 balls respectively, putting on a hundred between them inside the powerplay for the second time this IPL, both times the highest powerplay scores in all T20 cricket.

However, it was with the ball that SRH set up the win. Bhuvneshwar Kumar led the way with figures of 4-0-12-2, conceding only singles, completely shutting down the LSG top order, which scored just 66 in the first 11.2 overs. That the top order had not been enterprising enough was underscored by the unbroken 99-run stand off 52 balls between Ayush Badoni and Nicholas Pooran, which eventually proved to be hopelessly inadequate.

Mumbai Indians were collateral damage on the night, knocked out of contention for the playoffs by this result, the first team at IPL 2024 to be officially out.

Bhuvneshwar gets stuck in

A word about the fear surrounding the SRH batters first. It was that fear which, in part, prompted LSG to bat first. And then they ran into Bhuvneshwar, who was unerring in his length and drew movement off the pitch. Quinton de Kock – 66 off 66 off Bhuvneshwar in T20 cricket overall – managed just 1 off 4 off him, those four balls inclusive of a near-dismissal and his wicket, caught superbly by Nitish Reddy at deep-square leg.

It was a sensational catch made to look easy as Reddy took it over his head, threw it back in the field of play, stepped out and came back to complete the catch, but Sanvir Singh soon outdid him with a low catch diving forward at mid-on to send back Marcus Stoinis. Bhuvneshwar ended the powerplay with 3-0-7-2. Add Shahbaz Ahmed’s 2-0-9-0 to that, and LSG had had their worst powerplay of the year: 27 for 2.

IPL debutant, the Sri Lanka legspinner V Viyaskanth, kept the lid on after the powerplay only for Krunal Pandya to inject some momentum into the innings by hitting Jaydev Unadkat for successive sixes, the tournament’s 999th and 1000th. The first one was an extraordinary straight hook to a head-high slower bouncer over long-on. Little did we know the shot would become a mere footnote by the time the night was done.

Badoni, Pooran rescue LSG

KL Rahul, 29 off 33, perished trying to hit the pace of Pat Cummins, and Krunal was run out by the SRH captain and birthday boy as he tried to steal a single when the boundaries were not coming. It had taken 9.1 overs for the first four of the innings, but Badoni and Pooran found the boundary regularly. Badoni led the charge by moving around in the crease and manipulating the field, getting to a fifty in 28 balls. Pooran joined in towards the end, using the pace of T Natarajan and Cummins. Two of the quickest bowlers on display, Cummins and Natarajan, went for 97 between them.

Head, Abhishek deliver the knockout punch

LSG tried to make use of the slow pitch by bowling K Gowtham’s offspin to the two left-hand openers, which was a sound-enough plan. With Head and Abhishek, though, plans hardly seem to matter. Head pulled Gowtham away for four in the first over, and Abhishek took down Yash Thakur in the second. Again, even Thakur seemed to be bowling to a sound plan: sweeper cover and deep-square leg, bowl into the pitch, but Abhishek pulled him in front of square. So he put two men back on the leg side, and Abhishek made room and carved him through point. By the time they had reached 25 in two overs, plans ceased to matter at all.

Head and Abhishek just picked their spots and sent the ball there no matter the pace on the ball, no matter the length, no matter the fields. All told, the ball took that journey to the boundary once every second ball. You can take your pick from among Head’s kneel-down six into the sight screen, Abhishek’s languid pick-up over wide long-on off Badoni’s offspin, or his extra-cover drive for six to end the game… But try as you may, you will struggle to find a shot more incredible than Head off-driving Ravi Bishnoi off the back foot for a huge six over long-off.

Head ended up with 89 off 30, and Abhishek, 75 off 28. Gowtham’s economy of 14.50 was the best among all the LSG bowlers.

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