Sunrisers replaced Anmolpreet Singh, Adil Rashid and Abdul Samad with Heinrich Klaasen, left-arm seamer Marco Jansen and leggie Mayank Markande and it turned out to be a productive move as Punjab were restricted to a modest 143 for nine. Lanky Jansen (2/16), Markande (4/15) and Umran Malik (2/32) had Punjab on the mat for nearly 15 overs of the innings before Punjab skipper Shikhar Dhawan hogged the limelight with a brilliant unbeaten 99.
The target proved not too difficult for the Sunrisers despite losing their openers with 45 on the board. Harry Brook (13) opened the innings with Mayank Agarwal but failed to make it count as he was cleaned up by Arshdeep Singh. Mayank, when he was on 14, had a reprieve when wicketkeeper Jitesh Sharma failed to latch on to a chance off Nathan Ellis but he didn’t last long. Mayank (21) fell to leggie Rahul Chahar and the hosts were 45 at that time.
As It Happened
Rahul Tripathi and skipper Aiden Markram ensured there were no further hiccups as they mixed caution with aggression. Tripathi, in particular, unleashed his strokes against the Punjab spinners. Using his repertoire of strokes, Tripathi struck the ball to all parts of the fence as the hapless Punjab bowlers were left clueless.
Tripathi remained unbeaten on 74 off 48 balls with 10 fours and three sixes as Sunrisers replied with 145 for two in 17.1 overs. Markram (37; 21b, 6×4) played an able foil to his partner in the unbeaten 100-run partnership for the third wicket.
Earlier, a determined and monk-like Dhawan played the innings of his life to give his side a chance of a fight. Dhawan remained unbeaten on 99 off 66 balls with 12 fours and five sixes. More importantly, he shepherded last man Mohit Rathee (1 not out) well in the IPL record-breaking 10th wicket partnership. Mohit got to play only two balls as Shikhar kept most of the strike to himself. The duo scored 55 in the last five overs with Dhawan getting 52 of those with all his sixes coming in this phase of the innings. The previous best was 47 by Tom Curran and Ankit Rajput for Rajasthan Royals against Kolkata Knight Riders at Dubai in 2020. Sam Curran (22) was the only other Punjab batter to reach double figures.
Markram won the toss and had no hesitation in inviting the visitors to take first strike. Veteran seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar gave the home side a dream start by trapping Prabhsimran Singh (0) leg before with the first ball of the innings and that set the tone for the day.
Jansen joined the party in the next over by trapping Matthew Short (1) leg before to reduce Punjab Kings to 10 for two. Jitesh Sharma was all at sea against the pace of Jansen and succumbed while trying to hit out of trouble.
Promoted in the batting, Curran and Shikhar helped Kings reach 41 for three in the powerplay with a 41-run partnership for the fourth wicket. However, it was Sunrisers’ day and Markande got the breakthrough when he had Curran caught by Bhuvneshwar.
Thereafter, it was a virtual parade as the Punjab batters failed to counter Markande and speedster Malik. Shikhar had the ignominy of watching the downfall from the other end. Markande’s four for 15 was his second four-wicket haul on this ground. He had earlier got four for 23 for Mumbai Indians nearly five years ago.