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SRH pip RCB in runathon

Given the poor form RCB batters have been in, a Sunrisers victory looked nothing but a formality at the innings break.
Last Updated : 15 April 2024, 20:53 IST
Last Updated : 15 April 2024, 20:53 IST

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Bengaluru: What happens when you pit a bruised and battered bowling line-up against a marauding batting unit that just wants to play with the foot always on the pedal? Nothing but a carnage! That’s exactly what happened on a manic Monday as Sunrisers Hyderabad downed battling Royal Challengers Bengaluru.

Opener Travis Head kick-started the onslaught with a blistering 41-ball 102, one-drop Heinrich Klaasen then maintained the high tempo with a scorching 31-ball 67 before Aiden Markram (32, 17b) and Abdul Samad (37, 10b) gave a grandstand finish with electrifying cameos as Sunrisers broke their own record for the highest IPL total — posting a humungous 287/3 in 20 overs. It was also the second highest total in all T20 cricket, behind 314/3 Nepal scored against Mongolia at the Hangzhou Asian Games last year.

Given the poor form RCB batters have been in, a Sunrisers victory looked nothing but a formality at the innings break. It was just a question of how big they would win that would give their run-rate a massive boost. RCB, however, showed stomach for a fight through Virat Kohli (42), Faf du Plessis (62) and Dinesh Karthik (83) but the target proved too big and they fell short by 25 runs.   

Right from the get-go Sunrisers were all about aggression. Knowing RCB bowlers are ripe for the taking, Head and his opening partner Abhishek Sharma kept swinging at everything and given the form they’ve been in, they pretty much connected everything. Balls kept flying into the stands or racing away to boundaries.

Abhishek and Head, already batting in top gear, then hit the nitro mode from the fifth over. They creamed 18 runs in that over, then raked up 20 in the sixth before scoring 21 in the seventh. RCB skipper Faf du Plessis, who had  said his bowling unit lacks penetration and ideas, looked forlorn as everyone kept leaking runs left, right and centre.

Things kept getting worse for Du Plessis as every Sunrisers batter kept attempting a big shot literally every ball. At an extremely compact M Chinnaswamy stadium where even half-decent shots can send the ball into the stands, they preferred the aerial route and were successful at that too. They clobbered 22 sixes — an IPL record for most maximums in an innings. They also smashed 19 boundaries, reducing RCB fielders to bystanders.

While Sunrisers batters deserve all the credit for their blistering performance, RCB bowlers need to cop a lot of flak for another insipid show that has now left their playoff hopes in absolute peril. Yes, the pitch was as flat as a highway but they were guilty of lacking imagination. Pacers Reece Topley, Yash Dayal, Lockie Ferguson and Vyshak Vijaykuamar kept bowling several slot balls, allowing Sunrisers batters a free swing of their arms.

Their Plan B was to try bowling wide on the off-side but they failed to execute that also properly, conceding 12 wides. They bowled just about two yorkers, barely varied their pace and their lengths and even the short balls were poorly directed, landing mostly in the hitting zone. Sunrisers, whose batters need no second invitation to go big, accepted the freebies gladly. 

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Published 15 April 2024, 20:53 IST

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