Cricket

IPL 2024 Qualifier 2: Pat Cummins Gives Credit To Staff, Team Members For Successful Season

Batting first, SRH posted a total of 175 for nine, thanks to Heinrich Klaasen's quickfire 50 off 34 balls, with Travis Head (34) and Rahul Tripathi (37) also contributing

Abhishek Sharma and Pat Cummins during IPL 2024 Qualifier 2. AP Photo
Sunrisers Hyderabad's Abhishek Sharma celebrates with captain Pat Cummins the wicket of Rajasthan Royals' captain Sanju Samson during the Indian Premier League second qualifier cricket match between Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad in Chennai. AP Photo /Mahesh Kumar A.
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Pat Cummins, captain of Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), expressed his immense satisfaction on Friday after leading the team to the IPL 2024 final, following a woeful 2023 season. (As It Happened | Scorecard)

SRH, who had finished at the bottom last year, saw a dramatic turnaround under Cummins, who was acquired for a staggering Rs 20.50 crore in the auction. The team secured their spot in the final with a comprehensive 36-run victory over Rajasthan Royals (RR) in Qualifier 2 on Friday.

"The boys have been fantastic all season. There's a great vibe in the squad as you can see and the final was the goal at the start of the season and we made it," Cummins said at the post-match presentation.

"It is for the whole franchise, probably 60 or 70 of them who put their heart and soul into this. It is really gratifying and hopefully one more left."

Batting first, SRH posted a total of 175 for nine, thanks to Heinrich Klaasen's quickfire 50 off 34 balls, with Travis Head (34) and Rahul Tripathi (37) also contributing.

The spinners then took centre stage, with Shahbaz Ahmed (3/23) and Abhishek Sharma (2/24) sharing five wickets between them, restricting RR to 139 for 7 in 20 overs. Cummins (1/30) and T Natarajan (1/13) claimed one wicket each.

"We knew our strength was our batting and we wouldn't underestimate the experience we have in this squad, it's a dream having Bhuvi, Nattu and Unadkat, makes my job easy.

On Abhishek's bowling, he said: "That was a surprise, tried to stick one out of him with a couple of right-handers and he bowled beautifully and those two won it with their bowling in the middle overs.

"170 was a tough chase and had we got a couple of wickets we knew we had a chance."

Rajasthan captain Sanju Samson lamented his side's inability to counter SRH's spinners.

"It was a big game. I am really proud of the way we bowled in the first innings. We were found short of options in the middle overs against their spin, that's where we lost the game," he said.

"It's very hard to guess actually when we are expecting some dew or when we are not. The wicket started behaving differently in the second innings, the ball started turning a bit, and they used that advantage really well.

"They bowled their spin in the middle overs against our right-handed batsmen, that's where they were one-up against us."

Samson suggested that his batters could have approached the spinners differently.

"Against their left-arm spin, when the ball was stopping, we could have tried a bit more reverse-sweep or maybe use of the crease a bit more. They also bowled really well."

On Sandeep Sharma, who bowled effectively on the slow track, Samson added: "I am really happy for him. From not being picked in the auctions and coming back as a replacement, the way he bowled, he has definitely delivered.

"If we look at the numbers, Sandeep Sharma in the last two years, he will be the next guy after Bumrah. He has done a great job."

Samson also praised the young talents in his squad.

"We have had some brilliant games not only this season but from the last three years, it has been a great project for our franchise. We have found some really great talent for the country.

"Riyan Parag, Dhruv Jurel and a lot of them are looking really exciting not only for RR but definitely for the Indian cricket team. We have had some great seasons from the last three years."

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