IPL: Kings XI Punjab set modest target for Sunrisers Hyderabad

Hyderabad, April 19 (IANS) Kings XI Punjab collapsed in the final overs to set a modest target of 124 for Sunrisers Hyderabad in their Pepsi Indian Premier League (IPL) match at Rajiv Gandhi international stadium here Friday night.

Punjab’s poor run with the batting in the season continues with their batsmen once again failing to score big. The visitors, who won the toss and decided bat, had a dramatic collapse in the last four overs losing five wickets with the addition of just 21 runs.

The visitors, who were looking set for a score of 140 at 104 for five in 17th over, were reduced to 115 for nine in the 19th over. It was hat-trick for the team as the middle-order collapsed in 18th over bowled by Amit Mishra. The leg-spinner, who bagged the wickets of Azhar Mahmood and Manan Vohra, missed his fourth hat-trick in the IPL and the second in the sixth season. With 11 wickets, he became the highest wicket-taker in the current season.

Karan Sharma with 19 for two, Ishant Sharma 29 for two and Dale Steyn 14 for one restricted the opposition.

It was again a disciplined bowling and fielding by Sunrisers, looking for third straight win at home. Punjab made a cautious start with the first boundary coming in the third over when Manpreet Singh greeting Ishant Sharma with a hit to the deep-square leg fence.

However, Ishant hit back in the same over to give visitors the first breakthrough. The Punjab opener tried to pull away a short-of-length ball but a top edge was caught by wicket keeper Quinton de Kock. Captain Adam Gilchrist (26 off 25 balls) was in an aggressive mode as he smashed Thisara Perera for three boundaries in his first over, the fifth of the inning.

Sounding his return to the form, the Australian smashed a boundary through covers of the very first delivery of Perera. The 41-year-old played two more aggressive shots over mid-wicket. However, the opener did not last long as he was caught at mid-wicket while trying to loft Karan Sharma, who dealt another blow to Punjab one ball later by removing Paul Valthaty.

Returning to the side, Valthaty (6 off 17 balls) had a disappointing start to the season. Sent as a pinch-hitter, Piyush Chawla blasted Karan Sharma for two mighty sixes, one over deep square leg and the second over the bowler’s head. Before that over, Karan Sharma had conceded only five runs and took two wickets in two overs.

In the next over, Chawla also lifted Amit Mishra for a boundary over long-on. The blows gave some momentum to Punjab, whose batsmen otherwise struggled to score off the spinners. David Hussey also played some attractive strokes including a six over mid-wicket off Ishant Sharma. The two added 40 runs for the fourth wicket before Chawla (23 off 15) found short of crease in the 15th over.

Hussey (22 off 24 balls) was the next to go as he tried to lift Ishant Sharma but was caught at mid-wicket by Akshath Reddy in his second attempt. The visitors lost three wickets in the 18th over.

In the next over, Steyn cleaned up Gurkeerat Singh as Punjab lost four wicket in as many balls. That over by Steyn went for just two runs. Thisara Perera conceded only five runs in the last over of the inning to restrict Punjab to 123 for nine.

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