Sunrisers Hyderabad defeated Punjab Kings by four wickets at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad on Sunday to cap off the league phase of the Indian Premier League with 17 points. The Sunrisers successfully chased down a formidable target of 215 runs, achieving the feat with five balls to spare.

Abhishek Sharma led the charge with a blistering 28-ball 66, smashing six sixes and five fours in his innings. Contributions from Rahul Tripathi (33), Nitish Reddy (37), and Heinrich Klaasen (42) further solidified Hyderabad’s chase.

Shashank Singh dismissed Sharma but with SRH cruising at 129/2 halfway through the innings, the chase appeared to be a mere formality, and Klaasen continued to bolster their strong momentum, striking three fours and two sixes.

In an attempt to secure the victory, the South African wicketkeeper-batter was bowled by Harpreet Brar in the final over. However, by that point, SRH required just seven runs from 10 balls, and Sanvir Singh clinched the win with a boundary off the first ball of the final over.

The win took Hyderabad to the second position in the table, accumulating 17 points from 14 matches. However, their final position hinges on the outcome of the match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals. If Rajasthan, currently with 16 points, secure a win over Kolkata in Guwahati, they could surpass Hyderabad to claim the second spot.

Earlier in the match, Punjab Kings put up a strong fight, powered by Prabhsimran Singh's quickfire 71. Opener Atharva Taide also made a significant contribution with 46 runs, while Rilee Rossouw added 49 runs to the total.

The partnership between Prabhsimran and Taide yielded 97 runs from just 55 balls, Rossouw's explosive innings of 49 off 24 balls, supported by stand-in skipper Jitesh Sharma's unbeaten 32, propelled Punjab Kings to a challenging total of 214/5.

Turning Point of the Match

Although Sunrisers suffered an early blow with the dismissal of Travis Head in the first over of the run chase with impact player Arshdeep Singh providing Punjab with a dream start. He bowled a good length delivery to Head who was slow to react and bring his bat down, allowing the ball to slide through and clip the off-stump.

However, Sharma and Tripathi swiftly launched a counterattack during the powerplay, putting the Punjab bowlers under pressure once again. After being 0/1, they raced to 72/1 before Tripathi was dismissed by Singh in the fifth over.

Player of the Match

Abhishek Sharma has been phenomenal this season, batting at a strike rate of over 200 and accumulating 467 runs in 13 matches at an average of 38.92. Sunrisers Hyderabad have broken the record for the highest total in the IPL three times this season and it is largely down to the explosive approach of the openers Sharma and Head.

Sharma shone today after Head was dismissed for nought making sure that the team’s chase did not suffer much despite that. Following Sharma, the rest of the batters also ensured the scoring rate remained consistently high until the target looked achievable. What initially appeared as a competitive score had become effortlessly attainable.

‘I was clear that I would dominate during IPL’

Sunrisers skipper Pat Cummins was all praise for Sharma and even mentioned that he wouldn’t want to bowl to him. He rightly said that he bats with freedom not just against pacers but also against spinners and that has been on display throughout the season.

The 23-year-old spoke about his form and intent for the season.

It's a matter of time for any batsman. My days are going good so I should utilize it for my team. I wanted to contribute as the target was big today. I think I have told this before, during Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy I was clear how I was going to play and dominate [during the IPL]. Brian Lara was our coach as well and I have done some work with him, he's in touch. That's helping me now. I was just waiting for the loose balls, I am going hard against them and trying to put them [bowlers] under pressure.

— Abhishek Sharma in the post-match presentation

Points table after PBKS v SRH

1 KKR 13 9 3 1 1.428 19
2 SRH 14 8 5 1 0.414 17
3 RR 13 8 5 0 0.273 16
4 RCB 14 7 7 0 0.459 14
5 CSK 14 7 7 0 0.392 14
6 DC 14 7 7 0 -0.377 14
7 LSG 14 7 7 0 -0.667 14
8 GT 14 5 7 2 -1.063 12
9 PBKS 14 5 9 0 -0.353 10
10 MI 14 4 10 0 -0.318 8