It hasn't quite been the high-scoring Sharjah wicket that one was hoping to see. While there were lots of runs scored at the venue in the first half of the matches in 2020, the matches in the 2021 season so far have seen the ball stop a bit, making it difficult for batters to time their short to perfection.
Quite similar has been the case in the ongoing match between Punjab Kings and SunRisers Hyderabad. After being invited to bat first, Punjab batting filled with stroke players like KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal and Chris Gayle seemed to struggle to get going and found no momentum whatsoever.
And then in the 12th over of the match, Sandeep Sharma added more salt to the wounds of Punjab. While Punjab had lost their third wicket on 57 in the 11th over when Gayle took the long walk back to the pavilion, Sharma first conceded the first six of the match with Nicholas Pooran getting hold off the third ball of this over. While it looked like the Caribbean could be the one who would help put the Punjab innings back on track, the very next ball he hit it straight back towards the bowler where the medium-fast bowler took a sharp return catch but with a bit of a fumble.
The fact that Sandeep get very little time to react but yet managed to hold on it made the catch all the more special.
Check out the effort from Sandeep here:
Notably, in order to be the masters of their own fate, Punjab need to win each of their remaining five matches including the ongoing one against SunRisers Hyderabad. On the other hand, even if Hyderabad win all their fixtures from here, they are likely to be dependent on the result of other fixtures to know their Playoff Qualification status.
Earlier on Saturday, the Delhi Capitals registered a comfortable win over Rajasthan Royals at the Abu Dhabi Stadium. The win has taken them back to the top of the table while Rajasthan Royals have fallen to sixth. As many as 3 teams have 8 points from 9 matches as of now with Kolkata leading the lot at the fourth place due to a better net run rate. Mumbai Indians are placed fifth.