Head, Abhishek power SRH to commanding 10-wicket win over LSG

Hyderabad, May 8 (PTI) The remorseless domination of Travis Head and Abhishek Sharma, who carved lightning fast fifties, helped Sunrisers Hyderabad mount the fastest chase of a 160-plus target en route their convincing 10-wicket win over Lucknow Super Giants in the IPL match here on Wednesday.

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) toyed with LSG bowlers, finding boundaries and sixes at will to canter home in just 9.4 overs.

The win propelled SRH to the third position in the standings with 14 points from 12 games, 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.

The dance of destruction by Head and Sharma even left the legendary Sachin Tendulkar gushing.

“A destructive opening partnership would be an understatement tonight. Had these boys batted first, they would’ve scored 300,” Tendulkar wrote in his X account.

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

Ayush Badoni (55 not out off 30 balls) and Nicholas Pooran (48 not out off 25 balls) stitched crucial 95-runs off 55 balls for the unbeaten fifth-wicket stand to guide LSG to a competitive 165 for four on a sluggish pitch.

But Head and Sharma took any hint of competition out of the match once they bludgeoned 107 runs in the Power Play.

It was an awesome hitting display from the Indo-Australian pair as they didn’t spare a single LSG bowler, clobbering them to all parts of the ground.

LSG’s decision to start with Krishnappa Gowtham also backfired badly as both Head and Sharma, who are really good against spin, dismantled the off-spinner.

Such was the brutality of their assault that the likes Yash Thakur, Ravi Bishnoi and Naveen-ul-Haq were taken to the cleaners, as sixes and fours rained at the Uppal stadium.

Earlier, LSG were struggling 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, caught brilliantly by Nitish Kumar Reddy at 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 the credit for the dismissal should go to young Sanvir Singh, who took a stunning diving catch just inches from the ground at mid-on.

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

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

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

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

But Rahul never looked at his usual best as he struggled to get his timing and finally 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 mid-on sent Krunal packing soon when the batter went for a quick single.

Badoni pressed the feet on the accelerator soon with three boundaries of left-arm pacer Natarajan’s 14th over which yielded 17 runs.

The Lucknow side finally got going as Pooran and Badoni struck a six and a four to accumulate 12 runs off the 15th over bowled by leg-spinner Vijayakanth Viyaskanth.

They showed intent from the word go and didn’t hesitate to play their strokes when the opportunity was presented to them.

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

Badoni displayed some cheeky shots as the right-hander notched up his fifty in 28 balls.

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