Sunrisers Hyderabad reach IPL final against Kolkata Knight Riders, news, Pat Cummins, Travis Head, scores, results

Sunrisers Hyderabad beat Rajasthan Royals by 36 runs on Friday to set up an IPL final against Kolkata Knight Riders, as spinner Shahbaz Ahmed accounted for three wickets.

Heinrich Klaasen hit 50 off 34 balls to help Sunrisers score 175-9 and his bowlers combined to restrict Rajasthan to 139-7 as they reached their third IPL final, which will be played in Chennai on Sunday.

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Ahmed came in as an impact substitute in Hyderabad’s batting innings to score 18 runs and then returned figures of 3-23 with his left-arm spin to flatten the opponents’ chase.

Kolkata, who thrashed Hyderabad in the first playoff match to reach their fourth final, will face Pat Cummins’ team again in the decider.

Cummins, who cost Hyderabad $2.5 million at the auction, remains on the cusp of another title after leading Australia to the Test Championship trophy and then the ODI World Cup in India last year.

“You’ve seen it in the way we played,” Cummins said of his team’s turnaround from last year, when they finished last in the 10-team standings. “The final was the goal and we achieved it.”

Cummins took 1/30 from his four overs, while his Australian teammate Travis Head steadied his batting innings with 34 for 28 as an opener, as wickets fell around him.

Sunrisers Hyderabad's Travis Head was up to his usual fireworks.
Sunrisers Hyderabad’s Travis Head was up to his usual fireworks.Source: AFP

Ahmed was named man of the match and Cummins said it was coach Daniel Vettori’s decision to have the all-rounder as an impact substitute.

It took time to fill the 36,000-capacity MA Chidambaram Stadium and local fans were still missing the presence of local team Chennai Super Kings.

Chennai veteran MS Dhoni remains a hero in the south Indian city and many fans wore his number 7 jersey during the third playoff match.

The IPL was hit by a heat wave in the last two playoff matches in Ahmedabad, where temperatures soared to over 44 degrees Celsius (111 degrees Fahrenheit), but Chennai remained much cooler at 32 degrees.

Rajasthan failed in their chase despite Yashasvi Jaiswal’s quickfire 42 before the opener fell to Ahmed and captain Sanju Samson soon departed for 10.

Ahmed scored twice in one over, including the in-form Riyan Parag for six, and despite Dhruv Jurel’s unbeaten last 56, inaugural champions Rajasthan fell well short.

“We’ve had some brilliant games, we’ve had a great project as a franchise,” Samson said. “We have produced great talent for the country. Parag, Trevally, exciting not only for RR but also for team India.”

Sunrisers Hyderabad captain Pat Cummins (L) celebrates the victory.Source: AFP

Hyderabad’s Abhishek Sharma scored 12 but returned with his mid-time spin to take two wickets, including big batsman Shimron Hetmyer bowled for four.

The previous Sunrisers, who had racked up IPL record totals of 277 and 287 this season, lacked power in their batting until Klaasen increased the score with his fourth fifty of the season.

Rajasthan’s Trent Boult made early inroads as he trapped Abhishek in the first over and struck twice in the fifth to return Rahul Tripathi, for 37, and Aiden Markram, for one.

Fast bowler Avesh Khan took two wickets in two balls, prompting Hyderabad, who won the IPL in 2016 with Australian David Warner, to bring in Ahmed.

South Africa’s Klaasen held firm to reach his fifty off 33 balls and posted a key seventh-wicket stand of 43 with Ahmed for a total that proved sufficient.