Mumbai: Punjab Kings signed off from IPL 2022 on a high by registering a five-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Wankhede Stadium here on Sunday. After left-arm spinner Harpreet Brar and pacer Nathan Ellis took three wickets each to restrict Hyderabad to 157/8, Punjab hunted down the total with 29 balls to spare, thanks to a rollicking unbeaten 49 off just 22 balls from Liam Livingstone.
In the pursuit of 158, Jonny Bairstow began with five boundaries off Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Washington Sundar in the first two overs. Despite getting a reprieve from Umran Malik in the second over, Bairstow couldn’t make much of the chance as left-arm pacer Fazalhaq Farooqui flattened his off-stump.
Shahrukh Khan got going by pulling Kumar for a six-over deep midwicket. In the next over, he clipped Farooqi through the same region for four. Shikhar Dhawan was lucky to survive an inner edge off Farooqui and went on to thump Jagadeesha Suchith by dancing down the pitch and smacking back-to-back sixes over deep mid-wicket.
Shahrukh welcomed Umran Malik with a beautiful straight drive. But the pacer, who got a call-up to India’s T20I squad before the match began, had the last laugh as Shahrukh miscued to mid-on. With Mayank Agarwal falling cheaply to Sundar after suffering a blow to his rib-cage off Malik, Punjab needed quick runs to win the match.
That was provided by Livingstone, who was off the mark with a gigantic pulled six over deep mid-wicket off Sundar. He then thumped Malik for consecutive sixes over wide long-off and deep mid-wicket. Though Dhawan chopped onto his stumps, Jitesh Sharma struck three fours and a six in his first five balls before holing out to long-on off Suchith.
By then, Livingstone had been dropped again at 26 after being given a reprieve earlier at six. From there on, the hard-hitting batter clubbed Romario Shepherd for two fours and as many sixes, including bringing the 1000th six of the tournament, to take 23 runs off the 15th over. Debutant Prerak Mankad lofted Malik over cover for the winning boundary to sign off from the tournament on a high.
Brief scores: Sunrisers Hyderabad 157/8 in 20 overs (Abhishek Sharma 43, Romario Shepherd 26 not out; Nathan Ellis 3/41, Harpreet Brar 3/26) lost to Punjab Kings 160/5 in 15.1 overs (Liam Livingstone 49 not out, Shikhar Dhawan 39; Fazalhaq Farooqui 2/32, Washington Sundar 1/19) by five wickets