IPL 2024: Abhishek Sharma does the star turn for SRH

Abhishek Sharma
Abhishek Sharma during his whirlwind knock. Photo: PTI

Hyderabad: Abhishek Sharma bossed the Punjab Kings (PBKS) bowlers with yet another explosive half-century as Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) cruised to a four-wicket win in the IPL here on Sunday.

Opting to bat on a flat track, PBKS posted an imposing 214/5 riding on Prabhsimran Singh's 45-ball 71 and skipper Jitesh Sharma's final over heroics.

But SRH looked in complete control of the tall chase after losing Travis Head off the first ball and chased down the target with five balls to spare.

The win took them second place in the table with 17 points from 14 matches as they would need to wait for the result for the match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals.

Rajasthan, who have 16 points, can topple SRH for the prized No. 2 spot with a win over KKR in Guwahati.

Finishing inside top-two gives the teams an extra chance of making the final.

Travis Head
Travis Head fell for a first-ball duck. Photo: PTI

Abhishek went about his business with utmost nonchalance for a 21-ball fifty, his third half-century of the season.

He smoked six sixes and five boundaries in his knock of 66 from 28 balls to completely tilt the equation in their favour.

Henrich Klaasen (42; 26 balls) Rahul Tripathi (33; 18b) and Nitish Reddy (37; 25b) made handy contribution in their complete domination act.

Shashank Singh dismissed Abhishek against the run of play with the batter getting beaten by a slower ball and ended up gifting a catch to Shivam Singh at covers.

But with SRH in top gear at 129/2 at the midway stage, the chase was just a formality and Klaasen maintained the momentum, slamming three fours and two sixes.

Looking to seal the chase, the South African wicketkeeper-batter was bowled by Harpreet Brar. But by then, SRH just needed seven runs from 10 balls and Sanvir Singh sealed the issue with a four off the first ball of the final over.

Prabhsimran Singh
PBKS opener Prabhsimran Singh during his blazing knock. Photo: PTI

Earlier, the new opening pair of Prabhsimran and Vidarbha's Atharva Taide put on 97 runs from 55 balls as PBKS did well to see through the powerplay without losing a wicket.

Prabhsimran smashed seven fours and four sixes for his 45-ball 71, while Taide will regret missing out on a fifty after being dismissed for a well-made 46 off just 27 balls.

Taide hit five fours and two sixes. Prabhsimran and Rilee Rossouw put together 54 off 32 balls to keep the momentum going in the middle overs.

It looked a one-way traffic at 151/1 in 14 overs when leg-spinner Vijayakanth Viyaskanth (1/37) dismissed the set batter Prabhsimran off a quicker delivery that took a faint edge and Klaasen did well to take a one-handed catch behind the stumps.

Cummins (1/36) ended his spell taking the wicket Rossouw one run shy of a half-century in the 18th over that left two new batters at the crease -- Jitesh Sharma and Ashutosh Sharma.

T Natarajan (2/33) then did well to remove the inform Ashutosh in the penultimate over.

PBKS went on to lose four wickets for 44 runs in five overs before the stand-in skipper Jitesh's last over assault took them to a fighting total.

Jitesh (32 not out from 15 balls; 2x4, 2x6) finished with two sixes against Nitish in a 20-run final over. 

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