Indian Premier League

It was not a memorable day at work for the PBKS boys, who suffered their third loss in six games of the Tata Indian Premier League 2022 at Mumbai’s DY Patil Stadium. Punjab’s late collapse meant that despite a brilliant 60 (33) from in-form all-rounder Liam Livingstone, PBKS could only post 151 and the Sunrisers Hyderabad sealed the chase by seven wickets.

The Punjab Kings took the field in the absence of captain Mayank Agarwal for the first time in Tata Indian Premier League 2022, with Shikhar Dhawan being named the stand-in captain. SRH captain Kane Williamson won the toss and put PBKS to bat first.

Prabhsimran Singh played for the first time this season, opening with the stand-in captain. However, Dhawan departed early to leave the scoreboard at 13/1 at the end of three overs. At the end of the powerplay, PBKS were at 48/2, having lost their other opener as well, and with Englishmen Jonny Bairstow and Liam Livingstone at the crease.

Two deliveries into the seventh over, PBKS lost Bairstow for 12 off 10, and an over later, Jitesh Sharma, the team’s newest find, followed suit despite two boundaries after scoring 11 from 8 deliveries. Big-hitting Shahrukh Khan joined Livingstone in the middle, and the duo took it on themselves to steady the ship for the team.

While other batters found timing the ball hard thanks to the slow bounce, Livingstone scored a fluent 26-ball fifty, his third in six games. Khan survived a caught-at-point scare, but a review revealed that the ball had landed in the fielder’s hands off the batter’s helmet. The duo put on a 61-run partnership before Khan departed for a 26 (28).

The standing English batter helped push the team’s total to 151/6, falling at the end of the 19th over with a sizzling knock of 60 (33). The final over was forgettable for PBKS, with young pacer Umran Malik claiming three wickets and finishing with a run-out, to force a maiden and keep PBKS’ scoreboard at 151/10.

Chasing down 152, the PBKS had SRH at 22/1 in four overs, with Kagiso Rabada sending Williamson away for just three off nine deliveries. It was a good powerplay for the Kings, restricting the Orange Army to 39/1 with Abhishek Sharma and Rahul Tripathi batting.

Tripathi looked threatening, but Rahul Chahar prevailed in the battle of the Rahuls, forcing Tripathi to push a delivery to Khan at long-off, sending him away for 34 (22). At the halfway mark, SRH were at 74/2, with Sharma and his new partner, Aiden Markram in the middle.

Chahar once again struck in his next over, taking out Sharma for 31 (25), bringing in Nicholas Pooran. The leggie once again put up an impressive performance, finishing with numbers 4-0-28-2, with just five off his last over.

With the score at 111/3, SRH needed 41 from the last 30 deliveries but PBKS fumbled the chances that came their way in the form of run-outs. Markram and Pooran stood steady in a 75-run partnership for the fourth wicket to take their team past the victory line with seven wickets and seven deliveries remaining.

With this game, the Punjab Kings have three wins and three losses, while the Sunrisers Hyderabad move to the fourth position with eight points. The game may not have gone the Shers’ way but here’s hoping the boys will script a comeback soon enough.