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Australian star explodes during IPL demolition

Travis Head went into turmoil during a dazzling IPL demolition job as captain Pat Cummins celebrated his birthday with a monstrous 10-wicket win.

IPL: Travis Head unleashed a flurry of sixes in Sunrisers’ huge win over Lucknow in Hyderbad.

Chasing a modest 166 for victory, Head, who hit 89* off 30, and fellow left-hander Abhishek, who hit 75, charged into the opposition attack to romp home with 10.2 overs left at their home in Uppal.

‘I’m out of words. We saw that batting on TV but it was surreal,” Lucknow skipper KL Rahul said about the batting by the Hyderabad openers.

“Everything hit the middle of the bat, kudos to their skill, they worked really hard on their six-hitting.”

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Australia’s Head attacked with a flurry of fours and sixes as he reached fifty in 16 balls and went past 500 runs this season.

Head is now third in the batting chart behind Virat Kohli (542) and Ruturaj Gaikwad (541) with his fourth half-century – he also has a ton – in this edition.

He took on the spinners with aplomb and said his skill will be invaluable on the slow pitches in the West Indies during the T20 World Cup in June.

Sunrisers Hyderabad’s Travis Head went wild.

“Something I’ve been working on with spin, something I’ve been working hard on. It will play a big role in the Caribbean,” said the race director.

“Nice to get 360 degrees and reach the parts of the ground I haven’t been to yet. We want to maximize the power play. It won’t always work, but we want to go for it.”

Head, 30, praised his younger partner Abhishek, 23, and said: “His spin game is something else. We complement each other so well.”

Abhishek joined the attack as he reached his fifty in 19 balls after the pair took Hyderabad to 107 in the first six overs of the powerplay, in which only two fielders are allowed outside the inner circle.

Hyderabad, who won the IPL in 2016 under David Warner, recorded their seventh win in 12 matches, handing a perfect gift to birthday boy and captain Pat Cummins, who turned 31 on Wednesday.

Abhishek hit the winning six as Hyderabad moved to third place in the 10-team table with 14 points. Lucknow remains sixth after the painful loss.

Travis Head (L) and Abhishek Sharma of Sunrisers Hyderabad celebrate their win against Lucknow Super Giants.

The top four teams will reach the play-offs with the final on May 26 in Chennai.

Cummins said Head’s unconventional striking no longer “surprises” him and praised Abhishek for being “an incredible player of spin” and pace.

Seam bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar secured the victory with impressive bowling figures of 2-12 in his four overs, restricting Lucknow to 165-4 after they opted to bat first.

Lucknow lost regular wickets (including Marcus Stoinis for just three) until Nicholas Pooran, who hit 48, and Ayush Badoni, who hit 55, posted an unbeaten stand of 99 in 52 balls to boost the team’s total.

But the score proved too low against a team that posted record totals of 277 and 287 in this high-scoring edition of the T20 tournament.