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IPL 2024: Punjab fall two runs short as Sunrisers record nervy win



Mullanpur, April 10: Despite a valiant fightback from Shashank Singh and Ashutosh Sharma after some early wickets, Punjab Kings (PBKS) fell two runs short of another memorable win against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in their Indian Premier League (IPL) match at Mullanpur Stadium on Tuesday.

SRH has climbed up to fifth place with three wins and two losses, giving them six points. PBKS is at the sixth place, having won two and lost three matches, giving them four points.

In the run-chase of 183, Punjab Kings was off to a nightmarish start as skipper Pat Cummins cleaned up Jonny Bairstow’s stumps, giving him a three-ball duck. PBKS was 2/1 in 1.4 overs.

Later, veteran pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar delivered two more deadly blows to Punjab. First, he got Prabhsimran Singh caught for just four runs at cover-point by Nitish Reddy, then he ended skipper Shikhar Dhawan’s struggling 16-ball 14-run knock with a stumping by Heinrich Klaasen. PBKS was 20/3 in 4.4 overs.

At the end of six overs at powerplay, PBKS was struggling at 27/3, with Sam Curran (8*) and Sikandar Raza (0*) unbeaten.

The duo helped PBKS reach the 50-run mark in 8.2 overs, attacking Nitish Reddy, and hitting him for three fours in the seventh over.

Just when it seemed that Curran-Raza had built a foundation for the chase and would pick up the attacking, Cummins took a wonderful catch at mid-off to give T Natrajan the wicket of Curran for 29 in 22 balls, consisting of two fours and two sixes. PBKS was 58/4 in 9.1 overs.

At the end of 10 overs, PBKS was 66/4, with Raza (11*) joined by Shashank Singh (7*), who had scored an unbelievable fifty in the last match for Punjab.

Raza briefly put up a fight against SRH bowlers, hitting Jaydev Unadkat and Shahbaz Ahmed for sixes. Unadkat had the last laugh though, stumping Raza for 28 in 22 balls, with two fours and two sixes. PBKS was 91/5 in 13.1 overs.

Punjab touched the 100-run mark in 14.3 overs.

Shashank and Jitesh kept fighting for Punjab before Nitish Reddy ended Jitesh’s cameo at 19 in 11 balls, with a four and six each. Abhishek Sharma took the catch, reducing PBKS to 114/6 in 15.3 overs.

The 17th over bowled by Bhuvneshwar proved to be a game-changing one, infusing some life into it. The over gave away 17 runs, including three fours by Shashank and some extras coming through wides. It brought down the equation to 50 in the final three overs.

The next over by Cummins also produced 11 more runs, including two fours by Ashutosh Sharma, reducing the deficit to 39 in the final two overs.

Shashank and Natrajan kept their attacking ways intact, smashing Natrajan for two fours and gathering 10 more runs in the 19th over. Punjab was left with 29 to chase in the final over.

The final over bowled by Unadkat looked disastrous as Ashutosh hit him for a six, followed by two wides, then another six by Ashutosh. It left the team with 15 runs to be chased in four balls. In the next two deliveries, Ashutosh took two runs on each ball, bringing it down to 11 runs in two balls. The next ball was a wide, making it 10 runs to be made in two balls. On the penultimate ball came only one run. Shashank nonetheless finished off the game with a six, losing the game by two runs.

PBKS finished at 180/6 in 20 overs, with Ashutosh (33 in 15 balls, with three fours and two sixes) and Shashank (46 in 25 balls, with six fours and a six) unbeaten.

Bhuvneshwar took 2/32 in four overs to emerge as the pick of the bowlers. Cummins, Natrajan, Reddy and Unadkat got a wicket each.

Earlier, despite Nitish Reddy’s counter-attacking fifty and Shahbaz Ahmed’s late flourish, a heavy dose of pace from Arshdeep Singh overwhelmed Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) batters as Punjab Kings (PBKS) restricted SRH to 182/9 in their Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 match here at the Maharaja Yadavindra Singh International Cricket Stadium on Tuesday.

It was a good day at work for Arshdeep who returned with a figure of 4-29 with two wickets in the powerplay and 2 scalps in the back-end as the pace-favoured pitch in Mullanpur only came to his advantage. Sam Curran and Harshal Patel bagged two wickets each while Kagiso Rabada took one. Reddy scored the highest for SRH with 64 off 37 deliveries while Abdul Samad played a blitz cameo of 25 in 12 balls.

Put to bat first, SRH opener Travis Head was left bamboozled on the very first ball of the game by Kagiso Rabada, which only reflected the possibility of his pitch being immensely favourable for the pacers.

Both Kagiso Rabada and Arshdeep Singh started their bowling spells with promise, with Head and Abhishek Sharma struggling to follow their pace. However, the star opener Head shifted gears as he started to showcase his big-hitting abilities, slamming 16 runs off Rabada’s second over of the match, including 3 back-to-back boundaries.

In the 4th over of the game, Head was sent back to the pavilion off Arshdeep’s delivery as Shikhar Dhawan ran back a considerable length to carry out a sensational catch, which marked the end of the Head threat that was looking likely increasingly dangerous.

In the save over, Arshdeep dismissed Aiden Markram for a duck. Sam Curran gave big-hitting SRH a big blow as he dismissed Abhishek Sharma. SRH batters went back into the pavilion after scoring 16 off 11 having already hit a six and a boundary in the same over.

In the 7th over Dhawan brought his spin ace Harpreet Brar into the attack, taking a slight step away from the pace dependency. Nitish Reddy brought up the 50 for SRH with a boundary.

Reddy smoked Brar for two cracking boundaries and one six in the 11th over of the game. A brilliant DRS call due to Curran’s eagerness gave another blow to SRH with the wicket of Tripathi on 11(14).

Harshal Patel bagged the big wicket of Henrich Klaasen in the 14th over of the game. Reddy brought up his maiden IPL half-century. Reddy single-handily hammered Brar for 22 runs with the help of two boundaries and two maximums.

Arshdeep bagged his third wicket of the night which ended the blitz of Abdul Samad, who was looking dangerous with his 25(12) knock. In the same over Arshdeep got PBKS right back on track as he bagged the big wicket of Reddy, but not before the batter played a phenomenal 64(37) innings.

Rabada joined the wicket-taking party as he removed SRH captain Pat Cummins on 3(4). Jaydev Unadkat’s last ball six helped SRH post 182/9 in 20 overs.

Brief score:

Sunrisers Hyderabad 182/9 (Nitish Reddy 64, Abdul Samad 25; Arshdeep Singh 4-29) won against Punjab Kings: 180/6 (Shashank Singh 46*, Ashutosh Sharma 33*, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 2/32).

(ANI)