It hasn’t been the high-scoring Sharjah wicket that was hoped for. While there were a lot of runs scored at the venue in the first half of the 2020 season, the ball has stopped a bit in the IPL 2021 season so far, making it tough for batters to time their shot perfectly.
Similarly, the ongoing encounter between Punjab Kings and SunRisers Hyderabad has been somewhat similar. After being asked to bat first, Punjab’s batting lineup, which included stroke players such as KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, and Chris Gayle, struggled to get going and found little momentum.
Then, in the 12th over of the game, Sandeep Sharma rubbed salt in Punjab’s wounds. While Punjab lost their third wicket on 57 in the 11th over when Gayle took the long walk back to the pavilion, Sharma gave up the first six of the match with Nicholas Pooran taking hold of the third ball of this over. While it appeared like the Caribbean could be the one to get Punjab’s innings back on track, the very next ball he smashed right back towards the bowler, where the medium-fast bowler got a sharp return catch but with a fumble.
The fact that Sandeep had very little time to react but yet managed to hold on making the catch even more impressive.
Check out the effort from Sandeep here:
— Kart Sanaik (@KartikS25864857) September 25, 2021
Notably, in order to be masters of their own destiny, Punjab must win all five of their remaining matches, including the current one against SunRisers Hyderabad. On the other hand, even if Hyderabad wins all of their remaining games, their Playoff Qualification status would most likely be determined by the outcome of other games.
Earlier in the day, the Delhi Capitals defeated the Rajasthan Royals comfortably at the Abu Dhabi Stadium. The victory has returned them to the top of the table, while the Rajasthan Royals have dropped to sixth. As of now, three clubs have eight points from nine matches, with Kolkata leading the pack in fourth place due to a higher net run rate. The Mumbai Indians are ranked fifth.
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