Hyderabad beats Punjab to finish second in IPL table after Rajasthan vs. Kolkata game is washed out

HYDERABAD: Abhishek Sharma smacked 66 runs off 28 balls as Sunrisers Hyderabad beat Punjab Kings by four wickets to finish second in the Indian Premier League points table after Sunday's second game between Rajasthan Royals and Kolkata Knight Riders was abandoned without a ball being bowled because of rain.

Kolkata had opted to bowl after winning the toss in Guwahati. The match was shortened to seven overs a side, but the game hadn't been able to start at the cut-off time of 10:56 p.m IST.
That meant both Kolkata and Rajasthan were awarded a point each.
Kolkata finished atop the table on 20 points and will take on Sunrisers Hyderabad (17 points) in Qualifier 1 in Ahmedabad on Tuesday. Rajasthan (17) finished third and will play Royal Challengers Bengaluru in the eliminator on Wednesday, also in Ahmedabad.
Bengaluru had secured the fourth playoff spot after beating defending champions Chennai Super Kings on Saturday.
Earlier, Sharma hit five fours and six sixes as Hyderabad equaled its highest run-chase on its home ground, finishing with 215-6 in 19.1 overs. Punjab chose to bat first and scored 214-5 with Prabhsimran Singh scoring a 45-ball 71.
Punjab made a good start. Singh hit seven fours and four sixes, putting on 97 off 55 balls with Atharva Taide who scored 46.
Left-arm pacer T Natarajan (2-33) provided the breakthrough but Singh put on another 54 off 32 balls with Rilee Rossouw.
Shashank Singh was run out for two, after Singh’s dismissal in the 15th over, but Rossouw carried the innings forward with 45 off 24 balls. Stand-in captain Jitesh Sharma scored 32 not out off 15 balls to take Punjab past 200.
Hyderabad’s chase started badly when Arshdeep Singh bowled Travis Head for a golden duck.
Sharma though had other ideas as he stroked another quickfire half-century – his third this season, coming off only 21 balls.
He put on 72 off 30 balls with Rahul Tripathi (33 off 18). Harshal Patel broke the partnership, but Nitish Reddy helped carry forward the momentum with 37 off 25 balls.
Hyderabad was in complete control of the chase, bringing up 150 in only 12 overs. Heinrich Klaasen smacked 42 off 26 balls, including two sixes, after Sharma’s dismissal earlier in the 11th over.
Punjab was able to dismiss Reddy and Klaasen, but the remaining target was too little to cause Hyderabad any trouble.

( Source : AP )
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