Travis Head, Heinrich Klaasen smash records and RCB with brilliant power-hitting performance at IPL 2024 | Crickit

Travis Head, Heinrich Klaasen smash records and RCB with brilliant power-hitting performance at IPL 2024

By, Mumbai
Apr 15, 2024 11:30 PM IST

SRH smashed the highest total in IPL history on the back of a brilliant power-hitting performance.

There wouldn’t have been a dearth of motivation. Royal Challengers Bengaluru were sitting at the bottom of the IPL 2024 points table after just one win in six matches. With three consecutive away games coming up next, a win at home on Monday would’ve offered a semblance of hope to their fans. They even took the plunge by dropping the out-of-form duo of Glenn Maxwell and Mohammed Siraj.

Sunrisers Hyderabad's Heinrich Klaasen and Aiden Markram (L) run between the wickets(AFP)
Sunrisers Hyderabad's Heinrich Klaasen and Aiden Markram (L) run between the wickets(AFP)

However, it wasn’t to be for RCB as they ran into a Sunrisers Hyderabad side that’s compelling us to reimagine what’s possible in T20 batting. With Travis Head slamming a 39-ball century, SRH amassed 287/3 – the highest total in the tournament’s history – after being asked to bat first. The hosts rode on a Dinesh Karthik special and put on an impressive fight to finish with 262/7, but it wasn’t enough as they lost by 25 runs.

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Keeping current form in mind, RCB’s bowling attack against SRH’s batting lineup, that too at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, was always going to be interesting. While SRH had smashed the highest-ever IPL total earlier this season, RCB, in their last game, had seen Mumbai Indians chase down 197 with 27 balls to spare. Social media was abuzz with the prospect of absolute carnage, and that’s exactly how things turned out.

The Sunrisers got to 103/0 in 7.1 overs, 205/2 in 15 overs, and surpassed the total of 277 they had set against MI three weeks earlier. They hit 22 sixes – the most in an IPL innings – and registered the second-highest total ever in T20 cricket.

Opener Abhishek Sharma played his part with a 22-ball 34 before Head produced another sensational exhibition of power hitting. The left-hander, whose centuries had helped Australia beat India in the finals of the ODI World Cup and World Test Championship finals last year, hit nine fours and eight sixes in his 41-ball 102. With the pitch having a layer of grass and the ball coming on nicely, Head made room for himself as he usually does and struck a number of boundaries square of the wicket.

Heinrich Klaasen, promoted to No.3, kept the momentum going and hit seven sixes in his 31-ball 67. The South Africa keeper-batter got his third half-century of the season and showed once again why he’s rated by many as one of the finest T20 batters going around. Aiden Markram (32* off 17) and Abdul Samad (37* off 10) then capped off a truly forgettable outing for the RCB bowling attack.

With pacers Reece Topley (1/68), Vijaykumar Vyshak (0/64), Lockie Ferguson (2/52) and Yash Dayal (0/51) being taken to the cleaners, it was the first time in IPL history that four bowlers conceded 50-plus runs in an innings.

“It was proper batting,” said Head during the mid-innings break. “We wanted to take the game on, maximise the powerplay and then keep going. We’ve got some power through the middle and wanted to just keeping putting the foot down as much as we could.”

Skipper Faf du Plessis and Virat Kohli provided some cheer for the RCB fans by adding 79 runs in the powerplay. Kohli was dropped on zero by Abhishek Sharma but struck the ball well thereafter for a 20-ball 42. Du Plessis got his second successive half-century (62 off 28) but was dismissed by his counterpart Pat Cummins, who also removed Saurav Chauhan in the same over and finished with impressive figures of 3/43.

It them came down to a incredible knock by Karthik at No.6 to keep SRH on their toes. The 38-year-old keeper-batter, who had slammed a quick-fire half-century against MI in the previous game, scored just five runs off the first eight deliveries he faced. But he turned it on in style from thereon and hit five fours and seven sixes in his 35-ball 83. RCB were perhaps never really in with a realistic chance of achieving the target, but their effort with the bat ensured the highest-ever aggregate of runs (549) in a T20 match.

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