Match Report:


Cummins-Starc set for Aussie showdown in IPL playoffs

The knockout stage of the IPL has been finalised – and it will start with a duel between the league's two most expensive overseas stars

Pat Cummins has overseen one last group-stage win for his Sunrisers Hyderabad charges – and it's enough to set up an IPL playoffs head-to-head between the Australian captain and fellow mega-rupee signing Mitchell Starc.

Cummins' team sealed a four-wicket win over Punjab Kings on Sunday in front of their home fans to ensure they finished second in the table.

It meant they will play Starc's Kolkata Knight Riders, the league's top team in the group stages, in Tuesday's opening finals match in Ahmedabad, with the winners guaranteed a place in next Sunday's final.

The defeated side will still get a second chance in an effective semi-final on Friday against the winners of Wednesday's eliminator between third-placed Rajasthan Royals and fourth-placed Royal Challengers Bengaluru.

But Cummins is beguiled by the prospect of Tuesday's clash against his fast-bowling buddy, with a direct route to the tournament showdown in Chennai an irresistible prize.

Cummins congratulates teammates Abdul Samad (L) and Sanvir Singh (R) after their team's win over Punjab Kings // AFP

Between them, Cummins ($3.67 million) and Starc (a record $4.43 million) were sold for eye-watering figures in last December's IPL auction.

"I haven't played in the IPL finals before. It's satisfying and exciting," said Cummins, whose side finally sealed the No.2 seeding when Sunday's second match between Kolkata and Rajasthan was washed out.

"That's a shame," Cummins had grinned when he had learned of the weather in Guwahati, knowing it would ensure Sunrisers would avoid the eliminator.

Hyderabad prevailed on Sunday despite a rare failure for Travis Head, who's dazzled all tournament only to end the group stage with a golden duck, clean bowled by a beauty from Arshdeep Singh.

Even so, it couldn't stop the hosts chasing down Punjab's formidable 5-214, which was centred on a 45-ball 71 from Prabhsimran Singh, as Head's partner-in-mayhem Abhishek Sharma led the way, clouting 66 off 28 balls, with five fours and six sixes.

It was Sharma's third quickfire half-century of the season, coming off only 21 balls. 

Amazingly, Sharma (467) and Head (533) have crushed exactly 1000 runs between them at a rate of more than two runs per ball.

There will be plenty of Australian interest too in the eliminator with Cameron Green and a resurgent Glenn Maxwell ready to propel RCB past the Royals after winning six matches on the trot.

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