The Sunrisers Hyderabad did a great job with the ball yet again to defend a middling total on Saturday, beating the Kings XI Punjab by 30 runs to effectively end the latter side's IPL campaign.
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While there is a slim mathematical chance they can advance to the next stage, the Kings really needed to win their last four games, starting with this one. But they were unable to best the 150 for seven, instead making 120 for nine.
The Sunrisers batted first and needed a valiant 61 from Parthiv Patel just to post a defendable score, and if one of the Kings batsmen had fired, it wouldn't have been enough. But as it was the big guns like David Miller and Shaun Marsh couldn't come to the party.
Hyderabad lost wickets at regular intervals, including three within two runs of each other. Opener Parthiv was the lone saviour, as the next-best score was 32 by Thisara Perera at the death, which ensured a competitive total.
The Kings never looked like reaching the target, with Dale Steyn removing Mandeep Singh in the first over. It went from bad to worse from there, as Darren Sammy took four wickets and Steyn two.
Luke Pomersbach was unbeaten at the end on 33, but he will be gutted by his poor performance as he could have won the game for his side if he'd just got going. He was stuck though, and used up 40 balls, hitting only one four and one six.
The win moved the Sunrisers level on points with the Royal Challengers Bangalore, while the Kings must win their final three games by big margins and hope other sides lose theirs.