Mohammed Shami (2/14) and Ravi Bishnoi (3/24) helped Punjab Kings overcome Sunrisers Hyderabad by five runs in a low-scoring thriller here on Saturday. With this win, Punjab are now at fifth place in the points table. With 126 successfully defended by Punjab, it is also the lowest score successfully defended in an IPL match in Sharjah.
Having restricted Punjab Kings for 125/7, Sunrisers Hyderabad was hoping to chase the small total successfully. But they had a horror start as David Warner (2) nicked behind to keeper KL Rahul on third ball of the innings. Shami had his second wicket of the match when captain Kane Williamson (1) chopped on to his leg-stump while going for the drive.
Hyderabad’s troubles increased as Manish Pandey (13) was bowled through the gate by a googly from Ravi Bishnoi in the eighth over. Five overs later, Bishnoi had his second scalp of the match with Kedar Jadhav (12) getting a bottom edge to the stumps. Four balls later, Bishnoi had his third wicket with Abdul Samad (1) slicing to short third man.
Jason Holder smacked a six in Bishnoi’s final over hitting back-to-back sixes off debutant Nathan Ellis to infuse life into Hyderabad’s chase. Wriddhiman Saha (31) was run-out after a terrible mix-up on the first ball post timeout. Holder smashed another six in Shami’s final over to make equation easy.
Arshdeep Singh got Rashid Khan to top-edge a pull for a return catch to his right in the 19th over. With 17 needed off final over, Holder cracked a six off Ellis on the second ball. With seven needed off the final ball, Ellis kept his calm in giving a single run off a slower full toss to help Punjab emerge victorious. SRH finished on 120/7 in 20 overs.
Earlier, Punjab didn’t have the best of starts with only 26 runs scored in four overs. KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal struggled to time the ball. Bhuvneshwar Kumar threatened Rahul’s outside edge but with no success as Rahul got away with streaky boundaries.
Rahul’s sluggish stay at the crease came to an end when he flicked straight to mid-wicket off Jason Holder’s first ball of the match in the fifth over. On the fifth ball, Holder had his second wicket as Agarwal chipped a drive straight to mid-off.
Chris Gayle’s quiet time at the crease ended with Rashid Khan getting one to turn in and trapping him lbw in the eleventh over. Nicholas Pooran slammed Sandeep Sharma for a six over deep mid-wicket. But Sharma’s slower delivery on the next ball saw Pooran getting into the hoick early and went straight back to the bowler off the toe-end of the bat, grabbing the catch on second attempt.
Aiden Markram, dropped on three, holed out to long-off on a juicy full toss from Abdul Samad in the 15th over. Holder had his third wicket of the day when Deepak Hooda’s loft was snapped by substitute fielder J Suchith flying to his left to complete a stunning one-handed catch at cover.
Ellis smacked Kumar for a six on the first ball of the final over. Kumar had his revenge on the next ball as Ellis sliced to third man before a boundary from Harpreet Brar took Punjab past 120, which was enough to pocket two crucial points.
Brief scores: Punjab Kings 125/7 in 20 overs (Aiden Markram 27, KL Rahul 21, Jason Holder 3/19, Abdul Samad 1/9) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad (Jason Holder 47 not out, Wriddhiman Saha 31, Ravi Bishnoi 3/24, Mohammed Shami 2/14) by five runs.