Darren Sammy took four wickets in Hyderabad's 30-run win. (BCCI Images)
Mohali: Sunrisers Hyderabad overcame the thrashing they had against Chennai Super Kings a few days earlier with a 30-run victory over Kings XI Punjab on Saturday. The win, their eighth in 13 matches, at Mohali also brought them into the contention of reaching the top four.
The wicket at the PCA Stadium had a greenish look to it and the Punjab bowlers exploited it to good effect. While Praveen Kumar and Parvinder Awana weren't as effective as one might have expected, Harmeet Singh and Sandeep Sharma were sharp with their length and line.
Harmeet got Shikhar Dhawan (15 off 14) off the first ball of his spell and Sandeep, playing his first IPL game, didn't take long to make his mark, getting Hanuma Vihari (5 off 7) off his third delivery. Sharma troubled the Hyderabad batsmen from the outset, getting the ball to move both ways.
He struck twice in his second over, trapping Cameron White (10 off 8) leg before and bowling Biplab Samantray (0 off 1) in successive deliveries. And with Darren Sammy (0 off 3) getting bowled to Piyush Chawal in the next over, things looked extremely gloomy for the visitors.
Parthiv Patel (61 off 47) and Karan Sharma (22 off 18) then denied any more success to the hosts for the next six overs, stitching a valuable 42 for the sixth wicket. They were cautious in their approach and took chances only when provided.
Awana gave the breakthrough when he got Karan for 22. But that also brought Thisara Perera onto the wicket and the Sri Lankan allrounder played a cameo (32 off 19), propelling his team to a challenging 150 which at one point looked completely out of reach.
Giving a few extra runs in death overs were on the minds of Punjab players and that reflected when they came out to bat. Mandeep Singh got a second duck in a row when Dale Steyn had him caught by White. Adam Gilchrist (26 off 22), who came to a bit of form with 42 against Rajasthan Royals, looked good in this innings as well. Shaun Marsh (18 off 20) too played a few crisp fours to get going. But that lasted until Sammy came with his magical spell.
The West Indies allrounder had Marsh mistime a pull off his very first delivery, and bowled Gilchrist off the next ball. He didn't finish there as he struck with the big wicket of David Miller (6 off 7).
With 54 for 4 in 10 overs, Punjab needed to get another 97 in the next ten, a task which required someone to play out of their skin. Rajagopal Sathish provided them a glimmer of home, sending Amit Mishra for consecutive sixes over the midwicket fence and following it up with a cut for four. But Punjab's little hopes vanished when he got run out in the 17th over, with Punjab needing 49 off 19 balls.
Wickets fell fairly quickly after that, with Perera getting Piyush Chawla (0), Steyn cleaning up Praveen Kumar (0) and Sammy performing the last rituals by getting two more wickets in the last over of the innings.