Punjab Kings held their nerve to beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by five runs in a low scoring thriller at Sharjah. Nathan Ellis, debutante for Punjab, bowled an excellent over. He was defending 13 in the final over and gave away a six on the very first ball, only to come back really strong. He suffocated Jason Holder in the next two deliveries, giving nothing away. SRH needed 7 off last ball which meant a six would have forced a super over. However, Ellis made sure tie breaker was averted. Meanwhile the West Indian almost led his team to an improbable win with his all-round show. He batted brilliantly to rekindle hope of SRH win who were languishing in points tally. With this loss, however, their IPL 2021 is all but over.
Coming back to Holder, the West Indian set up the chase beautifully, taking singles and then changing gears when it mattered the most. He remained unbeaten at 47 off 29 balls. He had earlier bowled well to restrict Punjab to 125/7. The only blip on his performance was—that he was involved in a run out with Wriddhiman Saha. SRH were at a precarious position when Holder walked into bat—60/5 to be precise, but the stand between him and Saha was threatening to take the game away from Punjab.
Earlier Punjab Kings bowled really well as SRH kept losing timely wickets. None of their stars, including Kane Williamson and David Warner stood upto the challenge of chasing a decent total on a sluggish pitch; they were reduced to 10/2 in the third over. Young Ravi Bishnoi took full use of the pitch to register figures of 3/24.
Hyderabad’s bowlers restrict Punjab to 125/7
Sunrisers Hyderabad made regular strikes with the ball as Punjab Kings could manage only a meagre 125/7 in 20 overs here on Saturday. On a pitch that aided slower deliveries, Hyderabad took full advantage of it and kept Punjab on a tight leash throughout the innings. Sent in to bat first, Punjab didn’t get the best of the 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, trapping him lbw in the eleventh over. Nicholas Pooran slammed Sandeep Sharma for a six over deep mid-wicket. But Sharma’s slower delivery next up 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.