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HomeSportIPL 2024: Fifties from Klaasen, Abhishek and Head set up SRH’s 31-run...

IPL 2024: Fifties from Klaasen, Abhishek and Head set up SRH’s 31-run win over MI in six-hitting run fest

Hyderabad, March 27: Sizzling half-centuries from Heinrich Klassen, Abhishek Sharma and Travis Head helped Sunrisers Hyderabad beat Mumbai Indians by 31 runs in a six-hitting run-fest in the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Wednesday.

The SRH batters unleashing an absolute batting massacre on MI’s bowlers meant they set a new record for the highest-ever total in the IPL via a mammoth 277/3 and broke the record of Royal Challengers Bengaluru who made 263/5 against Pune Warriors India in 2013.

Their 277/3 is also the third-highest total in all men’s T20 games. Head began the blitzkrieg by reaching his fifty in 18 balls to eventually make 62, before Abhishek brought out his onslaught to get the fastest half-century of the ongoing competition in 16 deliveries.

Though Klassen got his fifty in 23 balls, he unleashed big hits to further entertain the capacity crowd by remaining unbeaten on 80 off 34 balls, proving why he’s one of the best batters in T20 cricket.

For MI, their bowlers bowled too many short balls and their bowling changes didn’t make for the smartest moves in the face of a never-ending onslaught from the trio of Head, Abhishek and Klassen. Moreover, they conceded a lot of extras and fielding wasn’t up to the mark in what is already turning out to be a forgettable match for them.

MI looked to get the chase done thanks to heroics of Tilak Varma, who made a stunning 64 off 34 balls at his home ground, and other batters like Ishan Kishan and Tim David chipping in. But SRH’s bowlers shined by giving no pace and keeping the scoring rate in check in the middle overs to keep MI to 246/5.

With this being MI’s second defeat in a game where many records tumbled in front of 35,080 fans, questions will be asked of their listless bowling and changes made in the line-up, as well as of captain Hardik Pandya’s performance and decision making.

Electing to bat first, SRH lost Mayank Agarwal when he top-edged a pull to mid-on off Hardik. But Head was stirring up carnage from the other end – getting off the mark with a cracking drive off the teenaged debutant pacer Kwena Maphaka and being dropped by David on five at mid-off.

Head turned the heat on Maphaka in a 22-run third over, smacking two sixes and two overs, with a 98m clubbed six over deep mid-wicket being the standout. Head then teared into Hardik by hitting three stunning fours to take 13 runs off the over.

After Jasprit Bumrah gave away only five runs in his first over, Head hit two fours – second of which got him his 18-ball fifty and as many sixes after Abhishek hit a maximum to take 23 runs off Gerald Coetzee, as SRH made 81/1 in six overs, the best-ever power-play score for the franchise in their history of IPL.

Thanks to Head’s 62 off 24 balls, before being dismissed while trying to upper cut off Coetzee, SRH brought up their 100 in just the seventh over. If MI felt they would some respite, they were mistaken as Abhishek stepped up to continue raining boundaries at the Uppal.

Abhishek carted Piyush Chawla for three humungous sixes, before taking back-to-back boundaries off Coetzee. He added more misery to Maphaka’s tough night by two fours and as many sixes to get his fifty off just 16 deliveries – overtaking his team-mate Head’s record of the fastest-ever fifty of the competition and by an SRH batter set 20 deliveries ago.

Chawla was carted for another six, before the leg-spinner took Abhishek out with a short ball which he pulled straight to deep mid-wicket. Klassen joined the powerful boundary-hitting party by launching a six each off Hardik, Bumrah and Shams Mulani.

He then took a four and six off Maphaka, who finished with 0/66 in four overs, the most expensive spell by a debutant in the IPL, before launching Coetzee for a six over long-off fence and then take a brace to get his fifty in 23 balls.

Klassen brought up SRH’s 250 by smacking a Bumrah full-toss over the non-striker for four and drove the pacer for another boundary. He went on to smash a four and two sixes off Mulani in the final over to set a new record for the highest-ever score in the IPL.

Chasing a mammoth 278, Rohit Sharma and Kishan were off the mark from the word go. Rohit hit Unadkat for two leg-side sixes in the second over, while Kishan smacked Bhuvneshwar Kumar for a four and three maximums in the third over as MI reached 50/0.

But Shahbaz Ahmed struck with his second ball in the fourth over to have Kishan slog-sweeping to deep mid-wicket and fall for a 13-ball 34. Rohit was dropped by Abdul Samad at mid-on, but couldn’t make much of the reprieve as his top-edge on the pull was caught by backward square leg off Pat Cummins.

Naman Dhir and Tilak began to deal in hitting sixes regularly off SRH’s bowlers to keep MI in the hunt of a massive chase. The standout point came when Tilak scooped, switch-hit and swept Shahbaz for three sixes in the tenth over, before slamming a four off Jaydev Unadkat through extra cover to get his fifty in 24 balls.

The 84-run stand off 37 balls for the third wicket ended when Dhir slashed straight to extra cover off Unadkat. Tilak and Hardik hit three boundaries between themselves, before the former was tricked by a slower delivery from Cummins and was caught at long-on, after the strategic timeout.

MI went 20 balls without a boundary, before David flicked, slashed and smashed Bhuvneshwar for a four and two sixes. David would hit Unadkat for a six and four each, before the pacer bounced back by having Hardik top-edge a pull to keeper behind.

Impact Player Romario Shepherd hit a six and two fours in the final over, but it wasn’t enough to deny SRH a win in an absolute run-fest of a match which had the most runs scored collectively (523) and most sixes ever hit in a T20 game (38).

Brief Scores: Sunrisers Hyderabad 277/3 in 20 overs (Heinrich Klassen 80 not out, Abhishek Sharma 63; Piyush Chawla 1-34, Hardik Pandya 1-46) beat Mumbai Indians 246/5 in 20 overs (Tilak Varma 64, Tim David 42 not out; Pat Cummins 2-35, Jaydev Unadkat 2-47) by 31 runs

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