A thoroughly professional performance saw Sunrisers Hyderabad beat the Punjab Kings rather easily in their Indian Premier League 2022 clash at the DY Patil Stadium on Sunday.
SRH won the toss and opted to bowl first but because it was a day game, the decision was not a big factor in the eventual result.
As things would have it, it wasn’t an easy pitch to bat on for most batters. PBKS, whose all-out approach to batting has earned the admiration of many, were without skipper Mayank Agarwal for the game and that didn’t help matters either.
The team from Punjab reached 48/2 at the end of their powerplay and it was Liam Livingstone, who once again gave them an aggressive boost. The right-hander, who has already scored 164 runs at an SR of 186.36, was in business again.
His 60 off 33 balls was the top score by a distance as none of the other batters got going. Shahrukh Khan scored 26 and helped get PBKS into a decent position.
But SRH came back well at the death. They had made a good beginning but then with Livingstone on the attack, the middle phase got away from them. However, Bhuvneshwar Kumar (3/22) and Umran Malik (4/28) made sure they finished well.
Malik became just the fourth bowler to bowl a maiden in the 20th over in the IPL and the four wickets that fell in the over were the cherries on the top.
PBKS managed to put 151 on the board at the end of their 20 overs but it seemed like a below-par total.
In reply, SRH knew that they needed to be smart about the chase. They didn’t need to go all out from the start but they needed to ensure that the scoreboard pressure wouldn’t tell on them later.
Kane Williamson fell early but Rahul Tripathi was once again in top form. The latter used to make telling contributions for KKR but this season, he is emerging as a batter who seems to have truly understood the demands of the IPL.
He quickly made his way to 34 off 21 balls. The highlight of his knock being just how he picked the gaps. This wasn’t mad-hitting, rather it was smart cricket. But it didn’t last. Abhishek, at the other end, was struggling to get going and that probably made Tripathi go for one shot too many.
A little later Abhishek was dismissed at left and that meant the responsibility of finishing the game fell to Aiden Markram (41 off 27) and Nicolas Pooran (35 off 30) and they did that in a very professional manner to win by 7 wickets with 7 balls to spare.
They didn’t panic or try too many things. Rather, they just waited for the bad ball and punished it when it came along. With this win, SRH have now won four matches on the trot.
On the bowling front, no one really stood out for Punjab. Rahul Chahar had a decent outing but the rest of the line-up was unable to exert any real pressure on SRH.