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IPL 2021: PBKS outsmart SRH in low-scoring thriller

IPL 2021: PBKS outsmart SRH in low-scoring thriller

By K Aditya
Sharjah, Sep 25 (UNI) Superb bowling spells from Ravi Bishnoi (3/24) and Mohammed Shami (2/14) helped Punjab Kings defend a paltry total of 126 in a low-scoring affair against Sunrisers Hyderabad by five runs in match 37 of IPL 2021 here on Saturday.
This was SRH's seventh loss in eight games as they remain bottom of the table while PBKS climb to the fifth spot ahead of Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals.
In what turned out to be a slow surface that assisted spinners, Punjab Kings could only manage a 125/7 with the help of Aiden Markram's 32-ball 27 and KL Rahul's run-a-ball 21. Jason Holder did the most damage to PBKS with 3/19 spell including the wickets of Rahul and Mayank Agarwal.
Defending 127, Mohammed Shami brought PBKS right in the game with the big scalps of David Warner (2 off 3) and Kane Williamson (1 off 6).
Struggling at 10/2, Wriddhiman Saha had two steady partnerships of 20-odd runs each with Manish Pandey (13 off 23) and Kedar Jadhav (12 off 12) respectively through the middle overs before wrist spinner Bishnoi ran through PBKS middle-order.
Bishnoi bowled out both Pandey and Jadhav and gave PBKS further upper hand in the match by dismissing Abdul Samad (1 off 2) in the 13th over with SRH stuttering at 66/5.
Holder, who earlier shone with the ball, added the much-needed pace to SRH chase by smashing three sixes in space of six deliveries -- including a 16-run over off Nathan Elis with four overs to go.
However, it was too hard to keep SRH away from trouble on the night and this time it was their own creation. Both Holder and Saha (31 off 37) were caught ball watching, resulting in run out of the latter in an attempt to steal two runs at the beginning of the 17th over.
With 34 runs needed in 23 balls, the match was still within SRH's reach with Holder and newly-in Rashid Khan on the crease.
However tight bowling spells from Arshdeep Singh (1/22) and Shami down the order restricted SRH at 120/7 with the former removing Khan at 3.
Holder remained not out at 47 (29) with Bhuvneswar Kumar (3* off 4) at the other end as Elis defended 18 runs in the last over.
Earlier batting first, Rahul gained Punjab early momentum with 21 runs in as many balls, helping the scoreboard move to 26 runs in four overs. However, after a double blow by Jason Holder in the fifth over to Punjab, saw the scoreboard change to 27/2. Rahul was the first to go after mistiming his shot to substitute fielder Suchith. Mayank Agarwal followed three balls later after scoring just five runs in six balls.
Chris Gayle and Aiden Markram added 30 runs for the third wicket but their struggle to find boundaries and playing as many as 12 dots in the partnership meant only 55 runs were added to the board by the end of 10th over.
Gayle's (14 off 17) misery was finally ended by Rashid Khan, who had him trapped lbw. He was followed soon by fellow West Indies batsman Nicholas Pooran (8 off 4), who was caught and bowled by Sandeep Sharma (1/20).
Wickets kept on falling in regular intervals as Markram (27 off 32) too failed to accelerate PBKS innings and was dismissed by Abdul Samad (1/9) in the 15th over. PBKS scoreboard at that point read an unconvincing 88/5.
Eight runs later, SRH pacer Holder hunted down his third victim of the night in Deepak Hooda, who managed a 10-ball 13.
Tailenders Harpreet Brar (18* off 18) and Nathan Eli's (12 off 12) added crucial 29 runs in the last four overs to take PBKS to a below-par 125/7 in 20 overs.

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