Cummins, Head play key roles in thrilling Hyderabad win

Captain Pat Cummins and Travis Head have again come up trumps in a thrilling final-ball win that's thrust Sunrisers Hyderabad into the playoff places in the Indian Premier League.

Head cracked his fourth half-century of his brilliant IPL campaign while Cummins came up with two big overs near the death to then help his side squeeze to the most dramatic of one-run wins over league leaders Rajasthan Royals on Thursday.

In front of their home fans, Hyderabad found a last-gasp hero in the shape of 34-year-old veteran seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who trapped big-hitting Rovman Powell lbw last ball with the West Indian power hitter having needed just two to win.

Travis Head
Travis Head celebrates his fourth half-century of the IPL season in Hyderabad. (AP PHOTO)

"Amazing game, didn't think we'd get that one until, literally, the last ball," beamed Australian skipper Cummins, whose side were on the back foot for much of the contest at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium before snatching the win that's thrust them to fourth in the table.

Cummins himself kept cool under pressure and, doubtless, felt he needed to after scolding himself for dropping a relatively routine chance to get rid of star Indian batter Yashasvi Jaiswal when he was on just seven.

Jaiswal went on to make 67 and Rajasthan appeared to be cruising to victory as they chased Sunrisers' 3-201, needing 45 to win off five overs with seven wickets in hand.

But bringing himself back into the attack, Cummins (2-34) was brilliant, ensuring the 16th over went for just three runs while also getting rid of the potential matchwinner Riyan Parag, who was motoring along on 77.

With the equation then down to 20 needed off 12 balls, Cummins also sent down an excellent penultimate over, dismissing Dhruv Jurel and conceding only one run until one final bad ball was deposited into the crowd by Rovman.

Then it was the 21-Test veteran Bhuvneshwar who held firm after Rovman had managed to hit the Royals to within one run of at least a Super Over with one more delivery left.

"That last ball, I was forgetting we could still win with the wicket, I was just thinking 'Super Over'," admitted Cummins.

Instead, Bhuvneshwar's full toss was missed by the free-swinging Jamaican and Sunrisers were left celebrating the most unlikely win with the Royals stranded on 7-200.

"It was the class at the end of two of the old boys," said a delighted Head, even if the description might not have impressed his 30-year-old captain. "Very, very satisfied with the win."

The left-hander had played a big part himself earlier, not firing on all cylinders as he's done in earlier in the tournament but, on a more difficult surface, still cracking three sixes in his 44-ball 58.

By his recent standards, Head's half-century, off 37 balls, was positively pedestrian.

In contrast, his previous IPL 50s this term had come off 18, 20 and 16 balls, yet this one felt even more valuable as it helped provide the platform for Nitish Kumar Reddy to tee off for the unbeaten 76, featuring eight sixes, that did most to propel Sunrisers past the 200 mark.