In a low-scoring IPL 2021 thriller, Punjab Kings got the better of Sunrisers Hyderabad at Sharjah. Both sides have had to deal with plenty of struggles this season. However, despite Jason Holder's all-round heroics, Punjab Kings managed to defend their total in the final over of the match.
Final overs and PBKS aren't exactly a match made in heaven. In just the previous match against Rajasthan Royals, Punjab Kings needed 10 runs off the last 15 balls to win the match and yet, they ended up losing by three runs. In the game against Sunrisers Hyderabad, they needed to defend 20 off the final two overs. Responding to a question from The Bridge on what the conversations were like given the manner in which PBKS lost their previous match, Aiden Markram said, "I was quite far from the chat but it looked like that the guys thought (that) everything (was) under control. There was a clear plan out there on that wicket and till the very last ball, we stuck to that plan, which is something very good to see.
"Pressure can make you sort of change plans, and in hindsight, at the end of the game, you always think back, it should have changed. "It is good to see that tonight the guys stuck to their guns, executed how they needed to and it was a very good feeling (to get) over the line," he said.
The 26-year-old from Centurion also praised his team's bowlers, particularly young Ravi Bishnoi, saying that the leg-spinner would go from 'strength to strength'. Bishnoi finished with figures of 3-24 in his four overs.
"Incredible. It is amazing how he (Bishnoi) (is) still so young and his skill-set is just at another level and I really think he is going to go from strength to strength," Markram said at the post-match press conference. Young leg-spinner Bishnoi snared three wickets as Punjab Kings dished out a clinical bowling display to beat their struggling opponents in a low-scoring but entertaining match.
"I think if you look at the bowling unit as a whole, they were brilliant tonight. I think (Mohammed) Shami start us off, with wickets in the power play, which is always crucial while defending a low score. "Then for the two spinners (Harpreet) Brar and (Ravi) Bish (Bishnoi), the way they bowled (was) amazing.
"The win was important for us going forward and we can take a lot of confidence too as a team," noted the South African, who has played 15 T20s.
We didn't play good enough cricket - SRH coach Trevor Bayliss
Beleaguered Sunrisers Hyderabad coach Trevor Bayliss feels his entire batting line-up has failed to deliver in what is turning out to be a horror run for the team in the ongoing IPL season. Not surprisingly, the Southerners are struggling at the bottom of the eight-team standings with only one win and eight defeats, the latest being a five-run loss to Punjab Kings on Saturday night. Bayliss has no qualms in admitting that his team did not play 'good enough' cricket.
"We got behind the run-rate early, lost some early wickets which is obviously never good, chasing a small target on a wicket like that. We would like to get off to a nice, crisp start, good start with the new ball, but unfortunately, it went the other way.
"I thought we did reasonably well to stay in and give ourselves a chance but, in the end, to be honest, we didn't play any good enough cricket," the head coach summed up.
Asked whether the lack of runs from Indian batsmen was worrisome, Bayliss said, "Look, to be honest, I would put all the batsmen in that category. When we have played well in the past, we have got off to a good start at the top of the innings, with the overseas players that we have got."
He lamented that the experienced batters made mistakes and hoped for a quick turnaround, even though SRH are out of playoffs reckoning. "The young guys in the middle-order, some of the young guys who have been exposed to a certain degree, but tonight, I think we had lot of experienced guys in the middle, that made mistakes tonight.
"We just got to be better than that and we have got to turn around quick," he said, adding that Jason Holder, who took the team close to a win, played 'fairly straight' and 'showed the boys how it should be done by playing straight'.
"Our batters are not playing with confidence obviously. We have lost five games by under 10 runs and most of those batting second, chasing. Tonight especially, we made a lot of mistakes with the bat."