SRH ride on another Abhishek blitz to finish second in league-stage ...

25 days ago
PBKS vs SRH

Sunrisers Hyderabad 215 for 6 (Abhishek 66, Klaasen 42, Arshdeep 2-37) beat Punjab Kings 214 for 5 (Rossouw 49, Taide 46, Natarajan 2-33) by four wickets

Prabhsimran Singh and Atharva Taide put on 97 for the first wicket off 55 balls, Rilee Rossouw hit 49 at a strike rate above 200, and Jitesh Sharma provided the closing fireworks, with 32 not out off 15. They set Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) 215 to win.

And still it wasn't enough for Punjab Kings (PBKS). Not nearly enough to halt the batting juggernaut that SRH have been in IPL 2024. They lost their best batter Travis Head first ball, but raced through the powerplay thanks to Abhishek Sharma and Rahul Tripathi, who hit 66 off 28 and 33 off 18 respectively, propelling the team to 84 for 2 at the end of their first six overs.

From then, the scoring didn't really slow until the target was within sight. Heinrich Klaasen led SRH to the brink of victory with 42 off 26. The winning runs were hit with five balls to spare.

Dare we say something about the bowlers? Only SRH's T Natarajan escaped with decent figures, taking 2 for 33.

SRH now move into second on the points table. That they would finish their and play the Qualifier 1 against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) was confirmed after Rajasthan Royals' last league match against KKR in Guwahati was washed out.

Abhishek lights up Hyderabad one last time in IPL 2024

In what was their last home game this season, Abhishek gave the SRH faithful a show to remember a batting-powered season by. He smashed his first two sixes over fine leg, when bowlers delivered short-of-a-length balls into the body, and went on to hit six sixes in all, in addition to five fours. Most of these relied on excellent timing, but there was luck there too - one of the sixes came off the outside edge.

He sped past 50 off 21 balls, but this was only his third-fastest half-century this season - he had hit fifties off 16 and 19 balls in the weeks gone by.

Abhishek's 72-run partnership with Tripathi, which came off 29 balls, was the foundation of SRH's chase. Even after they were parted, the required rate seemed tame.

Klaasen plays a measured innings

As good as Abhishek's fireworks were, SRH still needed 86 off the last 59 balls after he was out, and Klaasen delivered one of his more chilled-out innings. He still hit sixes when it felt good, of course, the most spectacular being the back-foot six down the ground off the bowling of Harpreet Brar, who had just delivered a standard length ball outside off stump.

But as wickets fell around him, it needed someone to take responsibility and massage the chase home. Klaasen was bowled by Brar with SRH needing seven to win off 11 balls. But he had got them close enough.

Prabhsimran and Taide's opening mayhem

PBKS had reason to hope they would get a closing win for this season, though, and finish outside the bottom two, mainly because of the start they had in the game. Prabhsimran was outstanding on the leg side, hitting all his four sixes there in his 71 off 45. Taide made 46 off 27.

A match-defining four overs

There was something of a slowdown after Vijayakanth Viyaskanth, the young legspinner from Jaffna, took Prabhsimran's wicket in the 15th over. Although Jitesh finished strong, perhaps overs 15 to 18 (both inclusive) was when PBKS lost their way. They had been 151 for 1 at the start of that passage, looking poised to push 250. By the end of the 18th over, they were 186 for 5.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is a senior writer at ESPNcricinfo. @afidelf

Read more
Similar news
This week's most popular news