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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 22 May 2024

Indian Premier League: Punjab attempt jailbreak but Sunrisers stand firm

Chasing 183, Sunrisers Hyderabad looked in control when Punjab Kings were reduced to 114/6 in the 16th over

Our Bureau Calcutta Published 10.04.24, 07:29 AM
Sunrisers Hyderabad’s Bhuvneshwar Kumar celebrates after dismissing Punjab Kings captain Shikhar Dhawanfor 14 in Mullanpur on Tuesday.

Sunrisers Hyderabad’s Bhuvneshwar Kumar celebrates after dismissing Punjab Kings captain Shikhar Dhawanfor 14 in Mullanpur on Tuesday. PTI

Shashank Singh and Ashutosh Sharma once again raised Punjab Kings’ hopes of an improbable victory but fell short of the target by two runs in Mullanpur
on Tuesday.

Chasing 183, Sunrisers Hyderabad looked in control when Punjab Kings were reduced to 114/6 in the 16th over. Shashank and Ashutosh then got together and nearly repeated their feat against Gujarat Titans.

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Man of the Match Nitish Kumar Reddy after completing1 his half-century on Tuesday, becoming the second youngest at 20 years 319 days to score a 50 for Sunrisers Hyderabad, in a picture shared on X.

Man of the Match Nitish Kumar Reddy after completing1 his half-century on Tuesday, becoming the second youngest at 20 years 319 days to score a 50 for Sunrisers Hyderabad, in a picture shared on X. X

Against the Titans, Shas­hank had walked in at 70/4 in the ninth over in pursuit of 200. He finished unbeaten on 61 from 29 balls, during which he made Rashid Khan and other bowlers look ordinary.

On Tuesday, Shashank came with the required rate at almost 12 an over. He finished on 46 not out off 25 while Ashutosh remained 33 not out off 15. The unbroken pair put together 66 off just 27 amid high drama.

T. Natarajan did well to give away only 10 in the 19th over. With 29 needed off the last over, Ashutosh hit the first and second balls from Jaydev Unadkat for two sixes. Three catches were dropped but Unadkat held his nerves in the end.

Eleven were needed off the last two balls. While Ashutosh survived with a single off the penultimate delivery, Shashank hit a six off the last ball but that wasn’t enough in the end.

Earlier, 20-year-old Nitish Kumar Reddy played a stellar role for the Sunrisers. In his first IPL game earlier this month the Andhra batter pulled off their chase against Chennai Super Kings with a six off Ravindra Jadeja.

On Tuesday, it was mainly because of his pyrotechnics that they managed to reach 182/9. The ball was moving in the first half and Sunrisers were reduced to 66/4.

Reddy began on a sedate note but picked up momentum. From 14 off 18 balls at one stage, he moved to 64 off 37 balls, which included five sixes — three off Harpreet Brar while the other two off Kagiso Rabada and Sam Curran.

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