IANS

Skipper Shikhar Dhawan played an extraordinary lone hand for Punjab Kings, smashing an unbeaten 99 as he batted through the innings but a four-fer by debutant leggie Mayank Markande saw Sunrisers Hyderabad restricting them to a below-par 143-9 in 20 overs here on Sunday.

PBKS lost wickets in quick succession and landed in a precarious situation at 88/9 before Dhawan launched a brilliant rearguard assault to pull them through to a respectable total. Dhawan batted through the innings to give his side a decent score.

At one time, it looked like Punjab may not even reach 100, but Dhawan had other ideas as he went after the bowling, shielding last-man Mohit Rathee (1 not out) to add 55 runs for the last-wicket partnership off 31 deliveries.

Dhawan blasted 12 boundaries and five sixes during his sensational innings and ended up scoring 69.2% of his team's runs. This is the second-highest per cent after Brendon McCullum blazed to 158 out of KKR's total of 222 (71.2%) in the first match in IPL history in 2008.

Markande, making his debut for Sunrisers Hyderabad, was the pick of the SRH bowlers as he claimed the wickets of Sam Curran (22), Shahrukh Khan (5), Rahul Chahar (0) and Nathan Ellis (0), bowling to a superb line and length and mixing up his googlies and leg-spinners superbly as keep the batters guessing.

Marco Jansen claimed 2-16 while Umran Malik ended with 2-32 as they set up Sunrisers Hyderabad for a modest chase.

Punjab Kings, who came into the match with two wins from two matches, got off to a dismal start when Sunrisers Hyderabad's experienced medium pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar trapped Prabhsimran Singh in front off the first delivery of the match.

Matthew Short, who came in for Bhanuka Rajapaksa, and Jitesh Sharma failed to contribute much as Punjab Kings slumped to 22/3 with Marco Jansen trapping Short lbw and getting Sharma miscuing to mid-off.

Sam Curran and Shikhar Dhawan repaired the innings a bit and took them past 50. Curran swatted Jansen for a six over wide long-on and then followed it up with a drive over extra-cover for a one-bounce four. He nearly got his skipper Dhawan run out but he survived as the throw was slightly wide. the English batter punched Washington Sundar for four and struck Mayank Markande for a boundary in the 9th over.

But Markande had the last laugh as he claimed Curran with a superb googly spinning away as the batter miscued an easy catch to short third man. He scored 22 off 15 balls, hitting three fours and one six as PBKS were down to 63/4. Sikandar Raza (5), M Shahrukh Khan (4), Harpreet Brar (1), Rahul Chahar (0) and Nathan Ellis (0) were out in quick succession as PBKS 88/9 and in danger of failing to cross the 100-run mark.

However, skipper Shikhar Dhawan launched a brilliant onslaught and found a willing partner in Mohit Rathee as they added 55 runs from 31 balls for the last wicket partnership to take PBKS to a decent score. Rathee scored only one run in that partnership.

Shikhar blasted Umran Malik for 17 runs in the 18th over, blasting the young tearaway for two sixes and a four as he capitalised on the three lives offered to him by SRH -- Bhuvneshwar spilt two catches off his own bowling while dropping one over the rope off Umran Malik.

The PBKS captain made the most of the chances as he managed the strike well, shielding Rathee, as he ended the innings with a six off the last delivery.

Brief scores:

Punjab Kings 143/9 in 20 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 99 not out, Sam Curran 22; Mayank Markande 4-15, Marco Jansen 2-16, Umran Malik 2-32) against Sunrisers Hyderabad

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