It was important for Sunrisers Hyderabad to get their act together on Saturday, if only to prove that they are not just as bad a side as their tally suggests. Jason Holder (3/19 & 47*; 29b, 6×5) nearly made the difference too, as Punjab Kings were restricted to 125/7.
Debutant Nathan Ellis conceded 16 in the 16th over to give Sunrisers a sniff after Mohammed Shami (2/14) and Ravi Bishnoi (3/24) gave Punjab the edge. Ellis, however, redeemed himself by holding his nerve in the last over and SRH floundered again. They needed 17 to win but managed only 120/7 to lose by five runs and were knocked out of the race.
Poor shot selection cost Sunrisers dear. Shami was brilliant and reduced SRH to 20/2 inside the Powerplay. Shami’s first spell of two for five in three overs, one a wicket-maiden, included the wickets of Warner and Williamson. The former, totally out of sorts, wafted at a wide delivery and Williamson dragged Shami on to his stumps. Then Bishnoi came in and tightened the screws.
The SRH bowling earlier stood up to the test at the Sharjah stadium. Holder (3/19) and Rashid Khan (1/17) were brilliant on a wicket where batsmen struggled for timing. The former struck twice inside the Powerplay to get rid of the prolific Punjab openers, skipper KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal.
The latter got rid of the dangerous Chris Gayle, back in the team after missing the match against Rajasthan Royals, which they lost by two runs. The West Indian was unsuccessful in his review and the Sunrisers made further inroads into the Punjab batting.
Sandeep Sharma, back in his familiar role of opening the bowling with Bhuvneshwar Kumar, took a stinging return catch after being struck over mid-wicket by Nicholas Pooran and substitute J Suchith took at blinder at short extra cover to dismiss Deepak Hooda.