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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Abhishek Sharma Rocks!

Abhishek Sharma Rocks!

By NORMA ASTRID GODINHO
May 20, 2024 14:17 IST
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Sunrisers Hyderabad beat Punjab Kings by 4 wickets to end the IPL league phase with 17 points.

Chasing 215 for victory, SRH lost Travis Head early but Rahul Tripathi and Abhishek Sharma posted a 72 run stand before Heinrich Klaasen put the finishing touches. SRH won with 5 balls to spare.

How the batters fared on the night...

Abhishek Sharma

After losing Travis Head first ball of their innings, SRH needed to steady their ship.

Abhishek Sharma and Rahul Tripathi had other plans. While Tripathi took off in no time, hammering Rishi Dhawan for two fours and a six in the 2nd over, Abhishek then clobberred Arshdeep Singh and Harshal Patel.

After hammering Harshal for a few boundaries in the 5th over, Tripathi was out soon.

Abhishek, high on confidence, kept finding the boundaries at will. He hit Rishi for a six over long on and two overs later he once again scored a couple of boundaries off Harshal to get to his 50 off just 21 balls.

Abhishek then put on a 50 run stand with Nitish Reddy as the former's six-hitting spree continued -- Harpreet Brar at the receiving end as he was smoked for back-to-back sixes.

He was finally dismissed by Shashank Singh but he had done half the job. He now has the most sixes in an IPL season -- 39 maximums -- bettering Virat Kohli's tally of 38 in 2016.

The 23 year old's smoking innings came at a strike rate of over 210! With 467 runs from 13 innings and 3 50s, Abhishek is not done yet and ready to give bowlers nightmares in the play-offs.

Prabhsimran Singh

When Punjab Kings won the toss and opted to bat first, they had to put on a big score if they had to finish their campaign on a high.

So when Prabhsimran Singh and Atharva Taide opened the batting for Punjab, they gave the team a brisk start.

Prabhsimran got off the mark with a four and kept the momentum going.

He was severe on veteran Bhuvneshwar Kumar and showed no mercy to SRH Captain Pat Cummins as he made them bleed runs at will.

He was well accompanied by Taide, who also dealt in fours and sixes until he holed out to backward point.

But nothing could stop Prabhsimran as he rollled along nicely and built anoher partnership with Rilee Rossouw. He got to his 50 off 34 balls in the 11th over before smashing a couple of sixes and a four off Vijayakanth Viyaskanth and Nitish Reddy, who was expensive on the evening.

It took a superb catch from Heinrich Klaasen to finally see the back of Prabhsimran but not before smashing 7 boundaries and 4 sixes for his 71 off 45 balls. His innings giving the wheels to later PBKS batters to up the ante.

Earlier in the season, he struck the 2nd fastest 50 for Punjab Kings with a 50-ball half-century. Although inconsistent, his shot-making prowess and talent make him one to watch out fore.

Rilee Rossouw

Rossouw took a couple of overs to settle down before taking to the attack against Nitish Reddy, hammering him for a four and a six.

That was all the confidence he needed to be injected with before launching properly into the SRH bowlers.

He did well to sneak in the singles and twos while clobbering the bowlers for sixes and fours, bringing the fans to their feet.

Rossouw showed Cummins no respect while Nitish's evening went from bad to worse as he smashed the SRH all-rounder for 2 fours and 2 sixes.

Rossouw fell one short of his 50 but not before ensuring Punjab went past the 180 run mark.

His innings comprised 3 fours and 4 sixes and scored at a rate of 204.

Thanks to Rossouw, Captain Jitesh Sharma then took his team past the 200 run mark.

Heinrich Klaasen

Once Abhishek was back in the hut, Klaasen took on the mantle and along with Nitish Reddy gave the bowlers a proper tonking.

He played his trademark pulls to perfection. His effortless stroke making brought about the desired results.

Klaasen stole the singles and twos and helped bring down the equation to 33 from 5 overs,

The South African scored a boundary off each over. He helped bring up the 200 with a single off Rahul Chahar in the 18th over. He got out the next over but not before taking his team to victory.

PBKS VS SRH: WHO BATTED BEST? VOTE!

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NORMA ASTRID GODINHO

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