KL Rahul’s side ended on the wrong side of the result on Wednesady in the 2021 VIVO Indian Premier League, as Sunrisers Hyderabad triumphed over Punjab Kings in a low scoring game at the Chepauk Stadium. The Kings batted first, but managed to get just 120 runs on the board, which David Warner and co. managed to chase it down with an over to spare despite a resolute bowling effort. 

Opting to batting first, Punjab Kings openers started cautiously as the first three overs yielded just 15 runs. Seeing the slow start, skipper KL Rahul tried to free his arms against Bhuvneshwar Kumar, but his shot fell straight into the hands of Kedar Jadhav at mid-wicket. 

With the ball stopping on the surface, boundaries continued to be at a premium for the Kings, as they got just two more fours in the powerplay to end at 32/1. Things got worse for the batting side, as Mayank Agarwal had to walk back to the pavilion in the next over, thanks to a good low catch by Rashid Khan. New man Nicholas Pooran also didn’t stay long in the middle, as he was run out without facing a ball to further compound the batting team’s problems. 

The introduction of Rashid into the attack induced another wicket for Sunrisers, as he trapped Chris Gayle in front of wicket to leave the team at 47/4 after nine overs. Deepak Hooda and Moises Henriques attempted to stabilise the innings, as they tried to tactfully play out the spinners. 

Abhishek Sharma however managed to keep the wickets ticking for Sunrisers, as he dismissed Deepak Hooda first, and followed that up by picking Moises’ wicket too, leaving Punjab Kings in all sorts of trouble at 84/6 after 14 overs. 

New man Shahrukh Khan gave the team some hope, as he got a six of just his second ball back at his native Chennai. The Tamil Nadu all-rounder got another maximum shortly after, hitting Siddharth Kaul over deep mid-wicket. 

Shahrukh’s partner Fabian Allen however struggled to get going, as he sliced one straight into the hands of David Warner’s hands, leaving Punjab at 102/7 after 17 overs. New man Murugan Ashwin managed to get a streaky four in the next over, as Punjab plundered eight runs of it. 

The 19th over brought about another calamity for the batting team, as the well set Shahrukh was out trying to heave one over mid-wicket. The team’s tailenders tried to hang around and get some more runs on the board, but ultimately Punjab Kings were bundled out for 120. 

Turning Point

The turning point came in the sixth and seventh over of the Punjab innings, as they lost the wickets of Mayank Agarwal and Nicholas Pooran, and never really recovered from that. 

In reply, Sunrisers Hyderabad started brightly as Jonny Bairstow got a four and a six in just the second over of the game to stay ahead of the curb. Both openers got a boundary apiece in the next over as well, as SRH raced to 27/0 after three. 

The runs continued to flow as Bairstow soon got his second six of the day, hitting Henriques over square leg. Warner also got into the hit, hitting Arshdeep Singh for a four over short fine-leg to end the powerplay at 50 for no loss. 

With the field now spread out, the SRH batsmen started picking the gaps, dealing in singles and doubles as they continued to ship away at that target. The four overs post the powerplay went for 23 runs, but the wickets column was still unmoved much to the dismay of Punjab Kings fans. 

The wicket however came next over, as Warner tried to hit Fabian Allen towards the longer side of the ground, but only found Agarwal in the deep. The Caribbean all-rounder followed that dismissal with five dot balls, giving his team just an outside chance to sneak back into the game. 

New man Kane Williamson however calmed the nerves for his franchise, as he cautiously kept treading the gaps to push the team score to 87/1 after 13 overs. Punjab bowlers did well to get an economical spell in, to leave the chasing team needing 17 off the final three overs.

Deepak Hooda’s last over though finally allowed the SRH batsmen to break the shackles, as Bairstow got a much needed boundary to get to his fifty and leave the team needing 10 of the last two overs. The keeper batsman then got a six off the bowling of Arshdeep Singh, putting his team within touching distance of that win. 

Those winning runs came two balls later, with Arshdeep missing his length and delivering a wide, giving SRH their first win and points of the 2021 IPL.

Punjab Kings play their next match on Friday, April 23 against Mumbai Indians.