‘Unreal’ Hyderabad crush Lucknow without any scratch

AFP || Shining BD

Published: 5/9/2024 5:34:05 AM

Openers Travis Head and Abhishek Sharma smoked half-centuries as Sunrisers Hyderabad crushed Lucknow Super Giants by 10 wickets on Wednesday to boost their play-off hopes in the IPL.

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

"I'm lost for words. We've watched that batting on TV but that was unreal," Lucknow skipper KL Rahul said of the bludgeoning by the Hyderabad openers.

"Everything was hitting the middle of the bat, kudos to their skill, they've worked very hard on their six-hitting."

Australia's Head attacked with a flurry of fours and sixes as he reached his 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 the skill will be invaluable on the slow pitches in the West Indies during the T20 World Cup in June.

"Something I have been working on with spin, something I have been working hard on. It will be a big part in the Caribbean," said man of the match Head.

"Nice to get 360 (degrees) and get to the parts of the ground I have not been to. We want to maximise the powerplay. It is not going to work every time but we want to go for it."

- 'Incredible' -

The 30-year-old Head lauded his younger partner Abhishek, 23, and said: "His spin game is something else. We complement each other so well."

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

Hyderabad, who won the IPL in 2016 under David Warner, registered their seventh win in 12 matches to hand 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 in the 10-team table with 14 points. Lucknow stay sixth after the bruising loss.

Top four teams will make the play-offs with the final on May 26 in Chennai.

Cummins said Head's unconventional hitting does not "surprise" him anymore and praised Abhishek for being "an incredible player of spin" and pace.

Seam bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar set up victory with impressive bowling figures of 2-12 in his four overs to restrict Lucknow to 165-4 after they elected to bat first.

Lucknow lost regular wickets until Nicholas Pooran, who hit 48, and Ayush Badoni, who smashed 55, put on an unbeaten stand of 99 in 52 balls to boost the team total.

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

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