For a match christened beforehand as a 'dead rubber', Punjab Kings's Liam Livingstone was a man-on-a-mission as he obliterated the Sunrisers Hyderabad bowling line-up enroute to PBKS registering an emphatic five wicket win at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai on Sunday night.
Livingstone's unbeaten 49* came off a mere 22 balls as he guided his team past the finish line with with 29 balls to spare. That he ended the match unbeaten is ironic considering Hyderabad's sub-par fielding efforts which kept giving additional lives to a batter hell-bent on handing out punishments.
Jonny Bairstow set the tone right off the bat as the Punjab batters arrived at the crease to chase down the 158 set by Hyderabad. Bairstow's blitz included five fours and kept the scoreboard ticking.
Despite PBKS wickets falling at regular intervals, Livingstone kept finding the boundaries regularly, including the milestone 1,000th six of the IPL 2022 season as he finished with a final tally of two fours and five sixes.
Arriving at the crease following PBKS Captain Mayank Agarwal's wicket in the 8th over, Livingstone got off the mark with a six off his very first delivery bowled by Washington Sundar.
He followed it up by smashing back-to-back sixes off Umran Malik in the next over.
Livingstone went into over drive in the 15th over after Jitesh Sharma's exit, which left the score tantalisingly poised at 133/5.
Any hope of a batting collapse by Punjab were emphatically put to rest after Livingstone went after Romario Shepherd, hitting two fours and two sixes in an over that eventually added 23 runs to the total.
'It's nice to prove a few people wrong. Had a few comments after last year's IPL, ' Livingstone said during the post-match presentation. 'I am still learning and developing. It's about gaining the experience and be a better player.'