Punjab beats Hyderabad to finish sixth in IPL

Punjab Kings celebrate their win | PTI

Mumbai: Punjab Kings notched a consolation five-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad in their last Indian Premier League game of the season on Sunday.

Liam Livingstone smashed an unbeaten 49 off 22 balls and was dropped twice as Punjab raced to 160-5 with almost five overs to spare.

Left-arm spinner Harpreet Brar picked up 3-26 in the middle overs that earlier restricted Hyderabad to 157-8 in its 20 overs after it chose to bat first.

Opener Abhishek Sharma top-scored for Hyderabad with 43 runs off 32 balls before Livingstone plucked a good catch on the edge of the boundary in Brar’s second over.

Abhishek and Rahul Tripathi (20) shared a 47-run second wicket stand before Brar removed both in successive overs. Tripathi was furious with himself after trying to sweep the spinner’s third ball and getting caught at short fine leg.

Australian fast bowler Nathan Ellis, playing in only his second game of the season, had Nicholas Pooran (5) caught behind before picking up two more wickets in the penultimate over to finish with 3-40.

Sloppy Hyderabad fielding let Punjab cruise to the target in 15.1 overs. Umran Malik dropped a sitter from Jonny Bairstow at short third man in only the second over before the Englishman was clean bowled by Afghanistan fast bowler Fazalhaq Farooqi (2-32) for 23.

Pacer Malik continued to impress with his wicket-taking ability when he had Shahrukh Khan (19) caught at long-on off his third ball.

But Livingstone’s power-hitting took the game away quickly as he smacked spinner Washington Sundar for a first-ball six over midwicket before dominating the pace of Malik and West Indian fast bowler Romario Shepherd.

“If you want to win a match, fielding should have been better,” Hyderabad skipper Bhuvneshwar Kumar said. “I wouldn’t say we were a few runs short, we were many short … (but) fielding (was) not up to the mark.”

Punjab ended the season in sixth place with 14 points from 14 games. Hyderabad, which won five of its first seven league games, could win only one more and ended up with 12 points.

Gujarat Titans will take on Rajasthan Royals in Qualifier 1 on Tuesday. Lucknow Super Giants will meet Royal Challengers Bangalore in the eliminator on Wednesday.

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