Cummins' Ashes double helps Sunrisers to IPL victory

Mohali, near the Himalayan foothills, is a long way from any Ashes venue, literally and metaphorically, but cricket's oldest rivalry nevertheless intruded as Punjab Kings hosted Sunrisers Hyderabad in the north Indian city.

Pat Cummins, captain of both Australia and Sunrisers, proved a key figure, dismissing Punjab's two English batters as the visitors won the Indian Premier League match by two runs.

Opening the innings as Sunrisers defended a total of 9-182, 21 of them made by Travis Head, Cummins struck in his first over to take the key wicket of Jonny Bairstow for a duck.

Keeps his eyes on the ball ✅
Times his jump to perfection ✅
Takes a stunning catch ✅

That was some grab from @SunRisers captain @patcummins30 👏 👏

Watch the match LIVE on @StarSportsIndia and @JioCinema 💻📱#TATAIPL | #PBKSvSRH

— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) April 9, 2024

As another Englishman, Sam Curran, later threatened to swing the match in Kings' favour Cummins intervened again, taking a spectacular catch to dismiss the allrounder for 29.

Pat Cummins
Sunrisers Hyderabad's captain Pat Cummins takes the catch to dismiss Punjab's Sam Curran in the IPL.

That seemed game over but Shashank Singh (46 off 25) and Ashutosh Sharma (33 off 15) added an unbeaten 66 off 27 balls for the seventh wicket to take it to the wire.

Kings needed 29 off the last over and three dropped catches, two of which went over the rope for six, a further six and three wides meant they fell agonisingly short, finishing on 6-180. As victory was secured captain Cummins smiled a wry grin of relief.

Both teams had gone into the match with a record of won two, lost two, needing a win to maintain their push for the four play-off places. 

Put into bat Travis Head should have been dismissed first ball, but the umpire didn't notice the Australian had feathered Kagiso Rabada to wicketkeeper Jitesh Sharma and Bairstow, at slip, was unable to persuade his skipper Shikhar Dhawan to review.

Head then slashed Rabada over Bairstow for four and, in the next over, found the boundary again from an inside edge. It seemed he would ride his luck to a big score but, aiming to knock Arshdeep Singh (4-29) out of the park he was well caught off a skier by Dhawan.

After that the innings belonged to Nitesh Reddy, aged 20 and in only his second match, who became the latest young Indian batter to make a mark in this tournament. He cracked a 37-ball 64 including hooking Rabada for six.

"He was awesome," said Cummins. "Fantastic in the field, bowled three overs too. To get us to 180 off his bat, it was amazing."

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