Sunrisers stay hot on others' heels
Sunrisers Hyderabad 150 for 7 (Parthiv 61, Perera 32*, Sandeep 3-21) beat Kings XI Punjab 120 for 9 (Sammy 4-22, Steyn 2-20) by 30 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Sunrisers Hyderabad kept their bid for making the playoffs more than alive after their win over Kings XI Punjab took them level with Royal Challengers Bangalore, who are placed fourth on the table thanks to a superior net run rate. With 10 points from 13 matches, Kings XI were all but out of the reckoning.
It was a scrappy match full of dropped catches, missed chances and bad shots, played on a patchy pitch. If the bowlers hit the two patches of green on the track, they derived seam movement and variable bounce. The match began with the weaker suits of both sides coming against each other as Adam Gilchrist inserted Sunrisers.
The two youngsters who came into the match, Harmeet Singh and Sandeep Sharma, benefited from a mix of poor strokes and the capricious pitch, to reduce Sunrisers to 52 for 5 in the ninth over.
Parthiv Patel stuck in, though, to score his first IPL half-century in three years. His previous fifty, too, came against Kings XI, but for Chennai Super Kings. The partnership between him and Karan Sharma wasn't the prettiest thing going around, but they added 42 runs, and gave Thisara Perera some sort of platform to launch from.
Perera and Parthiv, helped by a drop by Gilchrist and some ordinary death bowling, added 56 in the last 5.1 overs to take Sunrisers to what looked like an above-par total. It proved to be one, especially with Dale Steyn going for just two runs in the first over and removing Mandeep Singh for a duck.
Shaun Marsh and Gilchrist kept the chase going with a 44-run second-wicket stand. Darren Sammy, however, came on and ended the chase for all practical purposes with three soft dismissals. Marsh and Gilchrist pulled at balls that were not short enough, and fell to the first two balls Sammy bowled.
In Sammy's next over, David Miller, Kings XI's biggest hope, drove a length ball straight down cover's throat. Game over. R Sathish and Sunrisers' fielders tried their best to keep the chase interesting, but Luke Pomersbach's slow innings of 33 off 40 put paid to that.
Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo