A certain Murphy S. Law has spent rather more time around David Warner and Sunrisers Hyderabad this season than they would have liked. On Saturday, SRH crashed out of contention for a playoffs spot with a five-run defeat against Punjab Kings in Sharjah.
Jason Holder's power-hitting (47 n.o. off 29) at the death raised hopes of a rare win. But IPL debutant Nathan Ellis successfully defended 17 in the final over to get the PBKS campaign back on track.
Defending a modest target of 126, Mohammed Shami, in his opening over, had Warner caught behind. In his next over, he got Kane Williamson to chop one on that jagged back off the seam. Shami’s first spell read 3-1-5-2 as SRH limped to 20 for two, its lowest PowerPlay total ever.
On a wicket where the ball was gripping and turning, Ravi Bishnoi (three for 24) clean-bowled Manish Pandey. SRH had just huffed and puffed past 50 in the 12th over, when Bishnoi made it worse by removing Kedar Jadhav and Abdul Samad in the same over.
Holder and Wriddhiman Saha fought back with a 31-run stand before the latter was run out after a terrible mix-up. With 21 needed off 12, Arshdeep Singh bowled a brilliant 19th over, conceding four runs and picking up a wicket.
Asked to bat, PBKS’s PowerPlay was a scattered display of some fortune against pace and streaky boundaries.
Holder came on in the fifth over and struck off the first ball as K.L. Rahul whipped a flick straight to substitute J. Suchith. Three balls later, Holder snared Mayank Agarwal. In the next over, Sandeep Sharma induced an outside edge from Aiden Markram. But the ball fell short of Saha.
Chris Gayle, playing his first game of the second leg, was trapped lbw by Rashid Khan. In the next over, Nicholas Pooran fell to a sharp return catch from Sandeep.
Samad then accounted for Markram, and Suchith took a one-handed catch to dismiss Deepak Hooda. However, a 14-run final over took PBKS to a total which proved enough in the end.