Match Report:


Head bludgeons Sunrisers to lightning quick IPL win

Aussie opener slams 16-ball half-century to help Sunrisers Hyderabad see off Lucknow's 4-165 with 10 overs remaining

Travis Head has surpassed even his own remarkable brilliance in the 2024 edition of the IPL, blasting a match-winning knock which proved the perfect birthday gift for his captain Pat Cummins.

The Australian left-hander, who's taking daredevil opening to new heights in this year's IPL slugfest, smashed an "unreal" 89 not out off just 30 balls, with eight sixes and eight fours, to help bludgeon Sunrisers Hyderabad to a lightning-quick win on Cummins' 31st birthday.

With his young Indian teammate Abhishek Sharma teeing off just as manically at the other end, with 75no off 28 balls, the pair's astonishing fireworks ensured Sunrisers chased down Lucknow Super Giants' 4-165 before the halfway mark of their innings.

They put together an unbeaten 167-run opening partnership off just 9.4 overs in Hyderabad's Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium to see off a reasonably challenging target on Wednesday with an astounding 62 balls still remaining.

Amid all the carnage, KL Rahul, the Lucknow captain, was left marvelling: "I'm lost for words. We've watched that batting on TV – but that was unreal. Everything was hitting the middle of the bat, kudos to their skill."

It would have been extraordinary if the IPL hadn't witnessed this sort of opening platform from the pair so often already this season, with captain Cummins saying of Head's performance: "It certainly doesn't surprise me anymore.

"He's been like this for the last few years. He might not be super-conventional but he's got a great eye, hits the middle of the bat a lot and he's having a wonderful tournament."

Looking in the sort of form that will have all Australia's T20 World Cup opponents concerned, Head cracked 22 off Krishnappa Gowtham's second over, and then pulverised the fifth over of the innings, bowled by Naveen-ul-Haq, for another 24, to race past his half-century in just 16 balls, finishing his innings with an incredible strike rate of 296.

He went past 500 runs for the IPL season, moving on to 533 runs at an average of 53.30 and a strike-rate of 201.89.

"The last 12 months being back in the Australian team, that's how they've wanted me to play and I'm not trying to change anything, just trying to maximise that Powerplay," Head said post-match. 

"It's not going to work all the time but I'm going to try to be as consistent as I can, give myself the best opportunity and hopefully do my part for the team."

Head's daring has helped the 20-over game explore new limits this IPL season. Incredibly, he and 23-year-old Abhishek plundered 107 in just the six-over Powerplay alone.

"It's difficult coming up with answers when the batters are running so hot. It seems like it's happening more and more often, unfortunately," said Cummins, who'd earlier taken the key wicket of Rahul in his 1-47 and also ran out Krunal Pandya brilliantly with a direct hit.

But these astonishing 'Head starts' are putting his Sunrisers in a good position to make the playoffs, with Hyderabad now third in the table on 14 points and with their net run-rate having been seriously boosted.

For the Justin Langer-coached Lucknow, though, for whom Marcus Stoinis fell early for three, it was a big setback as they now lie sixth.

IPL 2024 standings

Matches played
No results
Net Run Rate
Total points
1 Kolkata Knight Riders Kolkata Knight Riders KKR 14 9 3 0 2 1.428 0 20
2 Sunrisers Hyderabad Sunrisers Hyderabad SUN 14 8 5 0 1 0.414 0 17
3 Rajasthan Royals Rajasthan Royals RAJ 14 8 5 0 1 0.273 0 17
4 Royal Challengers Bengaluru Men Royal Challengers Bengaluru Men RCB 14 7 7 0 0 0.459 0 14
5 Chennai Super Kings Chennai Super Kings CSK 14 7 7 0 0 0.392 0 14
6 Delhi Capitals Men Delhi Capitals Men DEL 14 7 7 0 0 -0.377 0 14
7 Lucknow Super Giants Lucknow Super Giants LSG 14 7 7 0 0 -0.667 0 14
8 Gujarat Titans Gujarat Titans GUT 14 5 7 0 2 -1.063 0 12
9 Punjab Kings Punjab Kings KXI 14 5 9 0 0 -0.353 0 10
10 Mumbai Indians Mumbai Indians MI 14 4 10 0 0 -0.318 0 8

M: Matches played

W: Wins

L: Losses

T: Ties

N/R: No results

NRR: Net Run Rate

Ded.: Deductions

PTS: Total points

Australians in IPL 2024

Delhi Capitals: Mitch Marsh (A$1.2m), David Warner (A$1.16m), Jhye Richardson (A$890,000), Jake Fraser-McGurk (A$92,000)

Gujarat Titans: Spencer Johnson (A$1.78m), Matthew Wade (A$446,000)

Kolkata Knight Riders: Mitchell Starc (A$4.43m)

Lucknow Super Giants: Marcus Stoinis (A$1.7m), Ashton Turner (A$178,000)

Mumbai Indians: Tim David (A$1.53m)

Punjab Kings: Nathan Ellis (A$135,000)

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Cameron Green (A$3.15m), Glenn Maxwell (A$2m)

Sunrisers Hyderabad: Pat Cummins (A$3.67m), Travis Head (A$1.2m)

*Prices in AUD, conversions correct at time of auction