Pat Cummins to face Mitchell Starc in $8.1m Aussie cricket development in IPL finals

The IPL's most expensive players will go head-to-head for a guaranteed place in the final.

Australian cricket fans will get a dream match-up between Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc when the IPL finals kick off with a blockbuster clash on Tuesday (Wednesday morning Aussie time). Cummins helped Sunrisers Hyderabad to a four-wicket win over Punjab Kings on Monday morning to ensure they finished second on the table behind Starc's Kolkata Knights Riders.

It means Cummins and Starc will go head-to-head in the opening finals match in Ahmedabad, with the winners advancing straight through to Sunday's final. The losing team will still get a second chance on Friday against the winners of the eliminator between third-placed Rajasthan Royals and fourth-placed Royal Challengers Bengaluru.

Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins in the IPL.
Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins will face off for a spot in the IPL final. Image: Getty

Cummins and Starc are the highest-paid players in the history of the IPL, getting $3.67 million and $4.43m respectively to play the lucrative T20 tournament this year. Between them they are earning a whopping $8.1 million for around three months' work, and Cummins is beguiled by the prospect of Wednesday morning's clash against his long-time Test teammate.

"I haven't played in the IPL finals before. It's satisfying and exciting," said Cummins, whose side sealed the No.2 seeding when the day's other match between Kolkata and Rajasthan was washed out. Cummins said "that's a shame" with a smile when he had learned of the weather in Guwahati, knowing it would ensure Sunrisers would avoid the eliminator.

Pat Cummins.
Pat Cummins celebrates after Sunrisers Hyderabad beat Punjab Kings in the IPL.


Cummins' side prevailed on Monday morning despite a rare failure for Travis Head, who has been brilliant all tournament but suffered a golden duck when he was clean-bowled by a beauty from Arshdeep Singh. The rare failure couldn't stop the hosts chasing down Punjab's formidable total of 5-214, with Head's opening Abhishek Sharma smashing 66 off 28 balls, with five fours and six sixes.

Amazingly, Sharma (467) and Head (533) made exactly 1000 runs between them in the group stage at a rate of more than two runs per ball. "He is amazing. I wouldn't want to bowl to him," Cummins said of his team's player of the match. "It's scary as he plays with freedom, not only against pacers but also against spinners."

The eliminator will feature fellow Australians Cameron Green and a resurgent Glenn Maxwell, who will attempt to propel RCB past the Royals after winning six matches straight. Green and Maxwell both played key roles as RCB knocked out defending champions Chennai Super Kings by 27 runs in their final group game and snuck into the playoffs.

Chennai needed 219 runs to win the game but only needed 201 to reach the playoffs. But they fell 10 runs short as left-arm paceman Yash Dayal held his nerve while bowling the last over.

Green blasted three sixes in an unbeaten knock of 38 off 17, while Maxwell provided a cameo of 16 off five balls. RCB snuck into the finals on net run-rate ahead of three other teams with the same 7-7 win-loss records.

  • Qualifier 1 - Kolkata Knight Riders v Sunrisers Hyderabad (Wednesday 12am)

  • Eliminator - Rajasthan Royals v Royal Challengers Bangalore (Thursday 12am)

  • Qualifier 2 - Loser of Qualifier 1 v Winner of Eliminator (Saturday 12am)

  • Final - Winner of Qualifier 1 v Winner of Qualifier 2 (Sunday 12am)

with agencies