Punjab Kings managed to pull out an almighty rabbit out of the bag on Saturday, as they defended a meagre total 126 runs against Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium to stay alive in the 2021 VIVO Indian Premier League. Mohammed Shami bowled brilliantly at the top, dismissing both David Warner and Kane Williamson, and was ably supported by fellow pacers Arshdeep Singh and Nathan Ellis in those death overs as PBKS pulled off a heist. 

An unsung hero of that terrific bowling performance however was Ravi Bishnoi, who announced his inclusion back in the team in some style. The leg spinner claimed the wickets of Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav and Abdul Samad, stymieing the chase for the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the process. Bishnoi ended with figures of 3/24, closing out an economical spell and giving the team’s seamers plenty to defend at the death despite that late Jason Holder onslaught. 

“I hadn’t played the previous game, but I prepared and ready for my opportunity this time around. I was practicing that way to keep myself ready to deliver when called upon,” said Ravi Bishnoi in the post-match chat with teammate Arshdeep Singh. 

“Today we didn’t have a lot of runs in the bank, so the focus was just to keep things tight, bow wicket to wicket and not concede too many boundaries,” he said while going on to add “Last year as well we defended a similar target against SRH in similar conditions and that was the talk before the start of second innings from the captain and we had the belief.”

Bishnoi also received high praise from new Punjab Kings batsman Aiden Markram, who complimented the spinner’s ability to come up with diverse plans as per the situation despite his tender age. 

“It’s amazing how he’s still so young but his skill set is on another level. I really think he’s going to go from strength to strength,” said Markram in the post match press conference. 

“I think the bowling unit as a whole was brilliant tonight. Shami (Mohammed) started us off with wickets in the powerplay, and then the two spinners- Brar (Harpreet) and Bish to bowl the way they did was amazing. For them to deliver the goods tonight under pressure in a must win game was really important for us going forward,” added the South African batsman.