IPL 2024: Abhishek, Klaasen power SRH to four-wicket win over Punjab

Hyderabad, May 19 (IANS) A scintillating half-century by opener Abhishek Sharma guided Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) to a comfortable four-wicket win over Punjab Kings PBKS) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) match at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here on Sunday. SRH finished their league stage campaign with 17 points in 14 matches and is currently placed at second spot in the points table. However, the final standings will be decided after the conclusion of the second match between table toppers Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals.

Chasing 215 on their home ground, Hyderabad suffered an early blow as they lost opener Travis Head (0) on the first ball of the innings — Arshdeep Singh clinching the wicket for Punjab in the power-play.

Rahul Tripathi came in to bat at No. 3 and joined Abhishek in the middle. The duo kept the scoring rate high, firing boundaries at regular intervals. In no time, SRH crossed the 50-run mark and went on in cruise mode before Harshal Patel gave PBKS a slight respite with the wicket of Tripathi in the fifth over. He was dismissed for 33 runs which included four fours and two sixes.

Nitish Reddy walked out to bat and kept the momentum going as SRH posted their third-highest power-play total after finishing 84-2 in six overs.

Meanwhile, Abhishek slammed his third fifty of the season, off 21 balls. He scored 66 runs in 28 balls including six sixes and five fours before losing his wicket to Shashank Singh in the 11th over. During his knock, he also created history by becoming the first Indian batter to smash 39 sixes in an IPL season. Previously, Virat Kohli held the record with 38 maximums in the 2016 edition of the tournament.

Nitish and Heinrich Klaasen continued the onslaught as SRH controlled the pace of the match throughout their innings. Reddy played a 37-run knock while Klaasen scored 42 off 26 runs to keep them ahead in the chase. Despite losing Shabaz Ahmed (3) and Klaasen (42) in the death overs, the win was a cakewalk for the home franchise. In the end, Abdul Samad (11*) and Sanvir Singh (6*) remained unbeaten as Hyderabad chased the target with five balls to spare.

For Hyderabad, Arshdeep and Harshal bagged two scalps apiece.

Earlier, Prabhsimran Singh’s half-century coupled with Rilee Rossouw’s 49 powered Punjab Kings to 214/5.

Playing his second game of the season, the left-handed opener Atharva Taide along with partner Prabhsimran gave PBKS a blazing start. The duo set the foundation for Punjab’s total by unleashing carnage in the power-play. The openers scored at the rate of over 10 runs per over to make the most of the field restriction. After six overs, Punjab were 61 for no loss. Pacer T. Natrajan finally broke the partnership in the 10th over as Taide hit the ball into the hands of Sanvir Singh at point.

Rilee Rossouw joined Prabhsimran in the middle and carried the momentum forward in the middle overs. Meanwhile, the latter also completed his second half-century of the season. The batters steered Punjab to the 150-run mark and stitched a 54-run partnership for the second wicket before Prabhsimran departed after scoring a 45-ball 71 studded with seven fours and four sixes. This time, Sri Lanka spinner Vijayakanth Viyaskanth did the job for the home team.

The in-form Shashank Singh (2) failed to make his final game of the season memorable as his stay at the crease only lasted for four balls following a mix-up with Rossouw between the wickets in the 16th over.

Meanwhile, SRH skipper Pat Cummins trapped Rossouw on a slow full-toss in the 18th over and left Punjab without a set-batter for the final overs. The South African batter played a knock of 49 runs off 24 balls including four sixes and three fours.

Ashutosh Sharma (2) lost his wicket cheaply to Natrajan in pursuit of scoring at a brisk pace.

In the end, stand-in captain Jitesh Sharma’s cameo of 14-ball 26 not out, laced with two sixes and as many fours, enabled them to touch the 200-run mark in the final over of the innings. For Hyderabad, Natrajan bagged two wickets while Cummins and Viyaskanth claimed one scalp each.

Brief scores:

Punjab Kings 214/5 in 20 overs (Prabhsimran Singh 71, Rilee Rossouw 49; T. Natrajan 2-33, Pat Cummins 1-36) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad 215/6 in 19.1 overs (Abhishek Sharma 66, Heinrich Klaasen 42; Arshdeep Singh 2-37) by four wickets.

–IANS

ab/bsk/

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