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Punjab knock SRH out of the race for playoffs with a 5-run win

In a last-ball thriller, Punjab Kings have managed to beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by 5 runs and thereby knocked them out of the race for the playoffs at Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Saturday. Nathan Ellis held his nerves to defend 16 runs in the final over to help his team register their fifth win of this season.

After posting a below-par 125-run total in the first innings, Punjab Kings needed early wickets with the ball and Mohammed Shami gave the team just that. Shami sent David Warner and Kane Williamson back to the hut inside the first three overs to bring Punjab back into the contest.

Wriddhiman Saha and Manish Pandey led the team’s revival but could only add 22 runs for the third wicket. Manish Pandey was the third one to depart as Ravi Bishoi outfoxed him with a googly. The Punjab spinner took two more wickets of Kedar Jadhav and Abdul Samad to leave SRH reeling at 60 for 5 in 13 overs.

Contrary to everyone’s expectations, what followed was a counterattack from Jason Holder, who struck five sixes during his unbeaten 47-run knock. Holder played an outstanding knock down the order and reignited the hope for SRH. Thanks to his knock, the equation was brought down to 21 needed in the final two overs.

Arshdeep Singh gave just 4 runs in the penultimate over. 16 runs were needed in the final over. Jason Holder hit a six on the very first ball of the ball but Nathan Ellis held his nerve and gave away just four runs in the next five balls.

Earlier, Punjab Kings posted 125 runs in the first innings. Unlike the last game, both the openers departed early. KL Rahul scored 21 runs off 21 balls, while Mayank Agarwal scored 5 off 6 balls. Holder sent both of them back to the hut.

Chris Gayle (14 off 17) too couldn’t convert the start into a big one, while Pooran (8 off 4) added another low score to his tally. Markram tried hard for his 32-ball 27 but just couldn’t get going.

Small cameos from Deepak Hooda (13 off 10), Harpreet Brar (18 off 18) and Nathan Ellis (12 off 12) help Punjab reach a reasonable total in the end. Jason Holder was the pick of the bowlers for SRH, picking 3 for 19 in 4 overs.

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