What, at one stage, seemed would be a straight-forward contest in the Indian Premier League on Tuesday turned out to end in a nail-biting finish. The Sunrisers Hyderabad, put into bat first against the Punjab Kings, struggled to get to 66/4 in 10 overs.

At that point it seemed like the Kings, playing at home at the Maharaja Yadavindra Singh Stadium in Mullanpur, were well on top and could clinch their third win of the season. But Hyderabad bounced back and managed to put up a competitive total of 182 for 9 in their 20 overs, and managed to hold onto a two-run win with the Kings falling just short on 180/6.

This was the first win away from home for the Pat Cummins-led Sunrisers, and it came in thrilling fashion with the match still open till the penultimate delivery of the game.

Hyderabad started their batting innings slowly, but managed to up the scoring in the second half of the innings, courtesy player of the match Nitish Kumar Reddy first-ever T20 half-century.

Similarly, the Kings had a slow start in the run-chase but cameos from Sam Curran (29 off 22) and Sikandar Raza (28-22) got them back into the match, before Shashank Singh’s 46 off 25 and Ashutosh Sharma’s 33 off 15 nearly got them over the line.

Turning point of the match

The Sunrisers struggled to get to 66/4 after their first 10 overs, and the wickets continued to fall. They lost their powerful openers Travis Head and Abhishek Sharma early, and Aiden Markram was dismissed for naught. The dangerous and in-form Heinrich Klaasen was also out cheaply – just nine runs from him on the night.

But they found an unlikely hero in 20-year-old Nitish Kumar Reddy, who was playing in only his second IPL match. He played clever and powerful cricketing shots to up the scoring. He was joined at the crease by Abdul Samad for the sixth wicket.

Together, they stitched together a quickfire 50-run partnership that got Hyderabad back into the match.

Reddy scored his first-ever T20 half-century, scoring an important 64 off 37, with four fours and five sixes. Samad meanwhile scored 25 off 12 with five boundaries.

The Field’s player of the match

There was a stand-out performer from either team today. Nitish Reddy did very well to pick up his first ever T20 half-century. But despite being on the losing team on the night, Arshdeep Singh’s contribution cannot be overlooked.

The left-arm pacer from the Kings started the match having taken four wickets earlier this season, and doubled that count on Tuesday with impressive figures of 4/29.

In his second over, he dismissed the dangerous Travis Head for 21. Two balls later, a delivery that pitched on good line and length moved a bit away from the batter and Aiden Markram edged behind to wicket-keeper Jitesh Sharma.

In his third over, the 17th of the innings, he holed out Abdul Samad at deep backward point at a time when the batter had started to look dangerous with his five fours. Two balls later, aided by some luck, a full toss saw Reddy try to hit big down the ground, but he did not get a good connection. It gave Kagiso Rabada a simple catch out at long-off.

‘It got pretty close’

The win keeps the Hyderabad team in fifth place in the league table with six points from five matches. This was their third win of the season and first away from home. But they did it the hard way, eventually coming on top in a match that almost did not go their way.

“They bowled really well at the start, we did well to get to 180. In the end, [we did] pretty well to defend, but it got pretty close.

“They bowled exceptionally well with the new ball, but you’ve got to aggressive. If you get 150-160, you’re probably going to lose nine times out of 10 games. I thought [getting to 182] was pretty good. We knew the new ball is going to be a key time, so we’re pretty happy we got to 180.”

— Sunrisers Hyderabad Pat Cummins after the match
League table after the match on April 9