IPL 2024: Reddy helps Hyderabad edge Punjab in thriller

Reddy, a 20-year-old batting all-rounder, set up victory with his 37-ball 64 laced with four fours and five sixes


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Nitish Kumar Reddy of Sunrisers Hyderabad plays a shot during the match against Punjab Kings. — IPL
Nitish Kumar Reddy of Sunrisers Hyderabad plays a shot during the match against Punjab Kings. — IPL

Published: Tue 9 Apr 2024, 11:07 PM

Sunrisers Hyderabad survived a late assault by Punjab Kings batsmen Shashank Singh and Ashutosh Sharma to win by two runs in an IPL thriller on Tuesday.

Nitish Kumar Reddy, a 20-year-old batting all-rounder, pulled Hyderabad out of early trouble to guide them to 182-9 after being invited to bat first at Punjab's new home Mullanpur.

Punjab looked down and out at 114-6 but Shashank (46) and Sharma (33) put on an unbeaten stand of 66 off 27 balls to give Hyderabad a scare as Punjab ended on 180-6.

Hyderabad's Pat Cummins looked a relieved captain after left-arm quick Jaydev Unadkat just about defended 29 runs in the last over, which witnessed three dropped catches in the deep.

Cummins, who was paid $2.5 million by Hyderabad in the auction, praised Reddy for his batting, one wicket and a catch as well.

"He was awesome, fantastic debut last week. Straight to the top for the order, fantastic in the field, bowled three overs too. To get us to 180 off his bat, it was amazing," Australia's World Cup-winning captain said.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar took two wickets to play a key part in Hyderabad's third win in five matches to stay fifth, above Punjab in the 10-team table.

But Reddy set up victory with his 37-ball 64 laced with four fours and five sixes as he put on a key 50-run sixth-wicket stand with Abdul Samad, who hit a 12-ball 25.

Punjab quick Arshdeep Singh struck twice in the space of three balls to send back Travis Head, for 21, and Aiden Markram, for a duck, before Reddy took charge.

Reddy rebuilt the innings as he stood firm despite wickets falling around him and mixed the right dose of caution and aggression.

Arshdeep struck twice in an over as he sent back Samad and Reddy but Shahbaz Ahmed steered the team to a total which eventually proved enough with his unbeaten seven-ball 14.

Sam Curran and Harshal Patel took two wickets each but leaked runs.

"For me, it is a big contribution for my team and myself. I have been talking to myself that I have to believe in myself and that I have to be there (for my team)," Reddy said.

"The seamers were bowling well, so I did not want to take them on. When the spinners came on, I wanted to attack them and that is what I did," added Reddy who also took a wicket.

"The slower bouncer is really working (through the tournament), so I just wanted to use the dimensions. I just want to continue this performance for my team, with the bat, with the ball and in the field. I just want to be like this."

Punjab wobbled early in their chase after Cummins took down Jonny Bairstow for a three-ball duck and soon slipped to 58-4 when Curran departed on 29.

Zimbabwe's Sikander Raza hit 28 but it was number six Shashank and number eight Sharma who took on the chase only to finish two short.

"There was always the hope that they could finish the game. Hats off to them that they brought it this close," Punjab skipper Shikhar Dhawan said after their third loss this season.

"Gives us confidence and hope for the next game. We have to do better in certain areas and improve."

Brief scores

Sunrisers Hyderabad beat Punjab Kings by two runs.

Sunrisers Hyderabad 182/9 in 20 overs (Nitish Reddy 64, Abdul Samad 25; Arshdeep Singh 4-29)

Punjab Kings: 180/6 (Shashank Singh 46*, Ashutosh Sharma 33*, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 2/32).

Wednesday's match:

Rajasthan Royals vs Gujarat Titans


6 pm UAE Time


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