MY KOLKATA EDUGRAPH
ADVERTISEMENT
regular-article-logo Saturday, 22 June 2024

Abhishek Sharma muscles Sunrisers up to second spot with smart win over Punjab Kings

Abhishek's 28-ball 66 was studded with six sixes and five boundaries as he raised his IPL tally to 427 runs. His strike rate? 209.41. With Yashasvi Jaiswal not in the best of forms, one wonders if the Ajit Agarkar-led selection panel could have included him in the India squad for the T20 World Cup

Our Bureau Calcutta Published 20.05.24, 08:44 AM
Sunrisers Hyderabad’s Abhishek Sharma during his innings of 66 off 28 balls against Punjab Kings in Hyderabad on Sunday. Abhishek has so far aggregated 427 runs in this IPL at an explosive strike rate of 209.41.

Sunrisers Hyderabad’s Abhishek Sharma during his innings of 66 off 28 balls against Punjab Kings in Hyderabad on Sunday. Abhishek has so far aggregated 427 runs in this IPL at an explosive strike rate of 209.41. PTI

A good pair of openers who are in form is almost half the job done, that has mostly been the trend in this IPL.

Kolkata Knight Riders have benefitted from Sunil Narine and Phil Salt, Royal Challengers Bengaluru’s late charge owes much to the starts given by Virat Kohli and Sunrisers Hyderabad have looked threatening all season because of Travis Head and Abhishek Sharma.

ADVERTISEMENT

Travis couldn’t give his team a headstart on Sunday being dismissed for a first-ball duck, but his opening partner, Abhishek, once again went hammer and tongs at the top of the order as Sunrisers Hyderabad won by four wickets, overcoming a 215-run target set by Punjab Kings with five balls to spare.

With the Rajasthan Royals-KKR match in Hyderabad being washed out, Sanju Samson's team and the Sunrisers finished on the same number of points — 17. But Sunrisers were placed second in the final standings with a better net run-rate. That also earns them an extra shot at making the final.

For that, the Sunrisers will have to thank Abhishek, who has been one of the finds of the season as an opener. The 23-year-old, who also bowls left-arm spin, has been terrifying at the top, dismantling opposition attacks.

His 28-ball 66 in Hyderabad on Sunday was studded with six sixes and five boundaries as he raised his IPL tally to 427 runs. His strike rate? 209.41. With Yashasvi Jaiswal not in the best of forms, one wonders if the Ajit Agarkar-led selection panel could have included Abhishek in the India squad for the T20 World Cup.

Sunrisers Hyderabad's T Natarajan celebrates with Sanvir Singh and wicketkeeper Heinrich Klaasen after taking the wicket of Punjab Kings’ Atharva Taide

Sunrisers Hyderabad's T Natarajan celebrates with Sanvir Singh and wicketkeeper Heinrich Klaasen after taking the wicket of Punjab Kings’ Atharva Taide PTI

With Abhishek providing the thrust, Sunrisers reached 84/2 after the Powerplay overs. They maintained the tempo even after Abhishek was dismissed in the 11th over, with Nitish Reddy (37 off 25 balls) and Heinrich Klaasen (42 off 26 balls) making useful contributions.

Earlier, Punjab were boosted by a 97-run opening stand between Atharva Taide (46 off 27 balls) and Prabhsimran Singh (71 off 45 balls). Rilee Rossouw then hit a 49 off 24 balls as Punjab pushed their total past 200.

Follow us on:
ADVERTISEMENT