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Head, Abhishek steers SRH to a 10-wicket win over LSG

The brutal dominance of Travis Head and Abhishek Sharma, who played blistering fifties, helped Sunrisers Hyderabad to the fastest chase of a target of over 160 en route to their convincing 10-wicket win over Lucknow Super Giants in the IPL match in Hyderabad on Wednesday (May 8).

Chasing a modest target of 166, Head (89 not out, 30 balls, 8×4, 8×6) and Sharma (75 not out, 28 balls, 8×4, 6×6) played with LSG bowlers, finding boundaries and sixes at will to in just a few minutes to gallop home. 9.4 surpluses.

The win lifted SRH to the third position in the standings with 14 points from 12 matches, while LSG are struggling at the sixth spot with 12 points from the same number of matches.

The result also meant that five-time champions Mumbai Indians, currently ninth with eight points from 12 matches, are out of the play-off race.

Head and Sharma’s dance of destruction made even the legendary Sachin Tendulkar gush.

“A destructive opening partnership would be an understatement tonight. If these guys had batted first, they would have scored 300,” Tendulkar wrote in his X account.

Spinners clubbed

The Head and Sharma show came after SRH bowlers started off brilliantly before losing the plot a bit.

Ayush Badoni (55 not out off 30 balls) and Nicholas Pooran (48 not out off 25 balls) scored crucial 95 runs off 55 balls for the unbeaten fifth wicket stand and guided LSG to a competitive 165 for four on a slow delivery.

But Head and Sharma removed any hint of competition from the match after smashing 107 runs in the Power Play.

It was a great batting display from the Indo-Australian duo as they did not spare any LSG bowlers and hit them to all parts of the ground.

LSG’s decision to start with Krishnappa Gowtham also had a bad effect as both Head and Sharma, who are very good against spin, dismantled the off-spinner.

Such was the brutal attack that people like Yash Dayal, Ravi Bishnoi and Naveen-ul-Haq were also taken to the cleaners, during which it rained.

Pitch imperfect

Earlier, LSG struggled at 27 for 2 at the end of the powerplay after opting to bat.

The visitors lost Quinton de Kock, who replaced an injured Mohsin Khan early on, caught brilliantly by Nitish Kumar Reddy with deep backward square leg off Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2/12) in the third over.

Bhuvneshwar struck again in the fifth over, dismissing the dangerous Marcus Stoinis, but credit for the dismissal should go to young Sanvir Singh, who took a stunning diving catch just inches off the ground at mid-off.

The pitch didn’t help LSG’s cause either as the ball came a bit slow on the bat as their batters found it difficult to find the timing.

While skipper KL Rahul (29) held up one end, Krunal Pandya (24) took it upon himself to raise the bar.

Krunal hit Jaydev Unadkat for a six over long-on and then hit the bowler straight over his head for another maximum, collecting 15 runs in the eighth over.

Rahul is not at his best

Rahul hit the first boundary of LSG innings in the 10th over, slamming SRH skipper Pat Cummins at mid-on.

But Rahul never looked at his usual best as he struggled to get his timing and eventually departed in search of quick runs, caught by T. Natarajan at deep backward square leg in the final delivery of the same over.

SRH were brilliant on the field as Cummins’ direct throw from center saw Krunal pack in quickly as the batsman hit a quick single.

Badoni soon put their feet on the accelerator with three boundaries off the 14th over from left-arm pacer Natarajan, making 17 runs.

The Lucknow side finally got going when Pooran and Badoni hit a six and a four to collect 12 runs off the 15th over off a bowl from leg-spinner Vijayakanth Viyaskanth.

They showed intent from the start and did not hesitate to play their shots when the opportunity presented itself.

It was a brilliant batting from Badoni as he swept two consecutive boundaries in the 17th over to cut off Natarajan.

Badoni showed off some cheeky shots as the right-hander scored his fifty in 28 balls.

Scoreboard

Sunrisers Hyderabad: Abhishek Sharma not out 75 Travis Head not out 89 Extras: (LB-1, W-2) 3

Total: (For no loss in 9.4 overs) 167

Bowling: Krishnappa Gowtham 2-0-29-0, Yash Thakur 2.4-0-47-0, Ravi Bishnoi 2-0-34-0, Naveen-ul-Haq 2-0-37-0, Ayush Badoni 1-0-19 -0.

Lucknow Supergiants: KL Rahul (c) c Natarajan b Cummins 29 Quinton de Kock c Reddy b Bhuvneshwar 2 Marcus Stoinis c Sanvir b Bhuvneshwar 3 Krunal Pandya run out 24 Nicholas Pooran not out 48 Ayush Badoni not out 55 Extras: (LB-1, W-3) 4

Total: (For 4 wickets in 20 overs) 165 Fall of wickets: 1-13, 2-21, 3-57, 4-66.

Bowling: Bhuvneshwar Kumar 4-0-12-2, Pat Cummins 4-0-47-1, Shahbaz Ahmed 2-0-9-0, Vijayakanth Viyaskanth 4-0-27-0, Jaydev Unadkat 2-0-19-0, T Natarajan 4-0-50-0.

(With input from the agency)