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BAN v NZ (1)
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IND v AUS (1)
Asian Games (M) (2)
County DIV1 (5)
County DIV2 (4)
Marsh Cup (1)

Kings' high-risk approach fails to click; Malik, Tripathi shine in Sunrisers' dull season

Livingstone, Jitesh bright spots in Kings' up-and-down season; Williamson's struggles added to Sunrisers' woes

Hemant Brar
Hemant Brar

Punjab Kings

Where they finished
Sixth, with seven wins and as many losses.
Season in a nutshell
It was clear even before the tournament started what strategy Kings would adopt. Their squad had more power-hitters than the characters in the Marvel Universe. They started with a bang, chasing down 206 against Royal Challengers Bangalore. But on the whole, their high-risk approach couldn't fetch high rewards, and after seven games, they had just three wins.
In the second half, they tried to be "aggressively smart", paying more respect to the situation and the conditions. It worked in a couple of games but largely they failed to click as a team. When their batters performed, the bowlers didn't, and when the bowlers did, the batters didn't. As a result, they could never win two back-to-back games.
Questionable move
At times, they carried on with the ultra-aggressive approach even when the match situation dictated otherwise, like in their first game against Gujarat Titans. Also, not having a Plan B in the first half of the season meant there were occasions when they lost too many wickets too early and couldn't make the best use of the remaining overs.
Find of the season
Jitesh Sharma. The uncapped wicketkeeper-batter took on some of the best bowlers in the world and came out with flying colours, smashing 234 runs from ten innings at a strike rate of 163.63.
Notable mention
Arshdeep Singh's accurate yorkers and clever use of the slower ball made him one of the best death bowlers in the tournament. His death-overs economy of 7.58 was second only to Jasprit Bumrah's 7.38 (minimum ten overs). Liam Livingstone personified what Kings wanted from their batters - a perfect amalgamation of aggression and consistency. His 437 runs, the sixth-highest in the league stage, came at a whopping strike rate of 182.02.

Sunrisers Hyderabad

Where they finished
Eighth, with six wins and eight losses from 14 games.
Season in a nutshell
After losing their first two games, Sunrisers registered five wins on the trot as their captain Kane Williamson kept winning the toss and their fast bowlers kept restricting opponents to below-par totals, which their batters chased down comfortably in dewy conditions.
But it all went downhill after that. T Natarajan picked up a niggle. Washington Sundar hurt his webbing again. Even the pitches eased out, meaning their pace attack was no longer such a point of difference. Williamson's struggles with the bat added to their woes further. All that meant Sunrisers could win only one of their last seven games.
Questionable move
Continuing with an out-of-form Williamson as opener despite having options available. By the time Williamson moved down the order, and subsequently left for home for the birth of his child, it was too late.
Find of the season
Umran Malik. He was by far the fastest bowler in the tournament and emerged as the middle-overs enforcer for Sunrisers. In 14 games, he picked up 22 wickets, the most for the franchise this season.
Notable mentions
Rahul Tripathi was arguably Sunrisers' best batter, scoring freely against both pace and spin. In all, he scored 413 runs at an average of 37.54 and a strike rate of 158.23. Aiden Markram was solid in the middle order. He not only laid the platform but also finished games. After a successful T20 World Cup last year, he further enhanced his reputation in the shortest format, tallying 381 runs at an average of 47.62 and a strike rate of 139.05.

Hemant Brar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo