RCB Vs SRH: Records tumble as SRH beat RCB after posting highest IPL total of 287


RCB Vs SRH: It is said that lightning doesn’t strike twice! Ask the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). They may not only disagree but also say that it could come harder. Against the Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB), SRH smashed their way to the highest team total in the history of the TATA Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 – 287 for three – beating their record of 277 set against the Mumbai Indians (MI) earlier in the season. The M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru now has two out of the top three team totals in the IPL history.

To break the TATA IPL record once is fantastic, but to do it twice in a season is fantabulous. It only reflects the quality of batting that SRH possess. From the outset, they were in a mood to take the attack to the bowling. On a wicket that is known to produce big scores, SRH were put in to bat. Many fans would have expected a great performance, with a total over 200, but not many would have imagined that the record would be broken for the second time in the season.

Abhishek Sharma and Travis Head started the innings and looked in dominating form. The off-spinner, Will Jacks started proceedings for RCB, but the pace bowling at the other end was earmarked for special treatment. Reece Topley’s first over was picked for 20 runs. Lockie Ferguson was welcomed with an 18-run over. Yash Dayal’s second over went for 20. All of this as SRH raced away to 76 inside the powerplay. Head raced away to his half-century off only 20 balls.

If Head was batting in fifth gear in the powerplay, one had to come up with more terms to describe his effort in the next phase. When Jacks returned for the seventh over, Head welcomed him with two sixes and a four. It didn’t matter if it was a spinner or a pacer, Head seemed to have an answer to everything. Anything short was met with the horizontal bat. If the bowler pitched it full, he would go onto the front foot and cart it down the ground. SRH’s 100 was up in the seventh over when Abhishek hit a six off Vijaykumar Vyshak. Topley got rid of Abhishek soon after, but that brought Heinrich Klaasen to the crease, who only piled on the questions for RCB.

In comparison, Klaasen took some time to get settled as Head raced away to a century off only 39 balls. It is the fourth fastest century in the history of the TATA IPL. Ferguson bowled a good slower ball to get rid of Head for 102. At that stage, SRH were 165 in the 13th over. That was no respite for RCB though as Klaasen decided to emulate Head.

The 14th over by Mahipal Lomror went for 18 with two sixes by Klaasen. By the end of the 15th over, SRH were way past 200 and were possibly entertaining thoughts of breaching their own record. SRH kept building on the last few overs, with Klaasen speeding off to 67 off 31 balls until he was dismissed by Ferguson in the 17th over.

In 18 overs, SRH were 241 for three. That is when Abdul Samad turned it on for SRH. Powered by the energy created by Head and Klaasen, Samad channeled it and smashed 37* off only 10 balls. The record was achieved in the last over when Markram took a single off Vyshak.

For RCB, it was an Everest to climb, but one can say that they made a very spirited effort of it. To start off, Virat Kohli and Faf du Plessis were ready to take the charge to the bowlers and help set the tone for the innings. RCB raced to 79 in the powerplay – comparable to SRH at a similar stage.

Kohli, backed by the home crowd, looked in great touch as he smashed his way to a 20-ball 42 with six fours and two sixes. Mayank Markande, the leg-spinner and Impact Player for SRH, got them the first breakthrough as he bowled Kohli in the seventh over.

Du Plessis continued the charge as he got to his fifty in only 23 balls. For RCB, it was always going to be difficult, and it only got tougher when they lost wickets at regular intervals in the middle order. Jacks, Rajat Patidar and Saurav Chauhan contributed only 16 runs between them. At the half-way stage, RCB were 122 for five – in terms of runs one would say it was a fantastic rate, but not on the day considering the SRH challenge in front of them.

The second half of the innings saw a vintage performance by Dinesh Karthik, who’s aggressive batting lit up the Chinnawasamy Stadium. The wicketkeeper batter almost single-handedly kept the hosts in play – even if the hopes were faint. Like his captain, he too got to a fifty off only 23 balls and smashed his way to a 35-ball 83 with seven sixes. On any other day, it would have been a match-winning contribution but today, it only reflected the enormity of the task before RCB.

RCB finished at 262 for seven. The margin of victory for SRH was 25 runs – a good one in T20 cricket. However, if you consider the huge target, RCB fought and they could be proud of their effort.

For SRH, this is another memorable performance, where their batters entertained all the IPL fans. To put things in perspective, one must note the fact that none of the bowlers, on both sides, maintained economy rates in single figures during the game.

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