Sunday’s IPL 2023 double header turned out to be a contrast.
Rinku Singh’s superlative knock against the Gujarat Titans, hitting five sixes in a row in the last over took the Kolkata Knight Riders to a memorable victory. On Sunday evening, Sunrisers Hyderabad ended its losing sequence, winning comfortably against Punjab Kings.
The PBKS-SRH game will be remembered for Shikhar Dhawan’s very special 99 not out which eventually was in vain.
Shikhar was named Player of the Match even as Punjab lost to Hyderabad by 8 wickets. The Punjab skipper was rewarded for his sensational knock as he single-handedly helped the visitors post a competitive total of 143.
PBKS lost wickets in quick succession and were reduced to 78/7, and later landed in a precarious situation at 88/9.
At one time, it looked like Punjab may not even reach 100, but Dhawan had other ideas as he went after the bowling.
The 37 year old launched a brilliant rearguard assault to pull PBKS through to a respectable total. Dhawan found a willing partner in Mohit Rathee. The duo added 55 runs from 31 balls for the last wicket partnership.
Dhawan hammered Umran Malik for 17 runs in the 18th over, blasting the young pacer for two sixes and a four as he capitalised on the three lives offered to him by SRH.
He missed his ton by a solitary run having scored his 99-run inning off 66 balls, including 12 boundaries and 5 sixes on a day when his team-mates struggled to put bat to ball.
Dhawan had an opportunity to go for his third IPL hundred, but he ran out of partners. In the final over bowled by T Natarajan, Dhawan opted out of four consecutive singles before smashing a six off the last ball to remain stranded on 99 not out.
Dhawan scored nearly 70 percent of his team’s total.
Punjab Kings, who had begun IPL 2023 with back-to-back victories, dropped to the sixth spot after a crushing defeat in Hyderabad. They will next face defending champions Gujarat Titans on April 13.
- IPL 2023
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