Young pace sensation Umran Malik’s steamy finish proved to be the difference as Sunrisers Hyderabad beat Punjab Kings by seven wickets for their fourth straight Indian Premier League (IPL) win on Sunday.
In top gear with Liam Livingstone’s counter-attack 60 from 30 balls (5×4, 4×6), PBKS lost five wickets in seven balls with Malik (4/28) producing a perfect finish – a rare four-wicket maiden – to take out the opposition for a 151 below par.
After Bhuvneshwar Kumar (3/22) provided Livingstone’s key breakthrough, the 22-year-old uncapped pacer picked three wickets while the fourth came through exhaustion to derail PBKS. In response, Sunrisers Hyderabad didn’t get off to a perfect start and lost skipper Kane Williamson (3) early in the fourth with Kagiso Rabada drawing first blood.
Fly-half Abhishek Sharma (31 from 25 balls; 3×4, 1×6) and in-form Rahul Tripathi (34 from 22b; 4×4, 1×6) failed to convert their starts, but the modest total meant SRH had no to worry a lot in the end. Windies wicket-sitter Nicholas Pooran (41 not out of 27b; 4X4, 1×6) and Aiden Markram (35 not out of 30b; 1×4, 1×6) then completed the formalities with an unbroken partnership of 75 runs from 50 balls.
Playing without their usual skipper Mayank Agarwal, who injured his toe during practice, PBKS were also disappointed with their sloppy line-up as they missed a runout and conceded easy runs defending a low total. Markram finished the chase in the penultimate by hitting Vaibhav Arora for straight-and-six limits to seal the issue with seven balls to spare.
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The win took SRH to eight points from the mid-table rush to climb to fourth place, while PBKS remained seventh with six points from as many matches. Previously, Livingstone, who was the most expensive foreign player in this season’s IPL auction with a price tag of Rs 11.50 crore, resurrected the PBKS innings with a counter attack of 60 out of 30 balls (5×4, 4×6 ) – his third fifty in four matches. .
Reduced to 61/4 inside eight overs after being set up, Livingstone found a perfect ally in No. 6 hitter Shahrukh Khan (26 from 28 balls; 1×4, 2×6) as the pair assembled 71 balls on 49 to revive them in the middle. . On a slow pitch where scoring was difficult at first, Livingstone had no problems as he had shots all over the pitch.
But the momentum changed heavily in SRH’s favor after Bhuvneshwar (3/22) provided Livingstone’s key breakthrough as PBKS lost five wickets from seven with Malik (4/28) producing a perfect finish. Malik first had Odean Smith with a slower before castling Rahul Chahar and Vaibhav Arora on successive deliveries.
Punjab without skipper and fly-half Mayank Agarwal got off to an anxious start and lost two wickets in five overs, including alternate captain Shikhar Dhawan (8). Punjab continued to lose wickets and were soon reduced to 33/2 in five overs when Livingstone came to take charge of the proceedings.
There was more to follow as Jonny Bairstow (12) and Jitesh Sharma (11) departed in successive overs but Livingstone and Shahrukh held firm to turn the tide down the middle.