Sunrisers Hyderabad cruised to a 30-run away win against Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League at Mohali on Saturday, keeping them in the hunt for a play-off spot.
Parthiv Patel (61 off 47) helped Hyderabad reach 150 for seven, a total which their strong bowling line-up defended easily. Punjab ended at 120 for nine in 20 overs with West Indian all-rounder Darren Sammy picking up four wickets for 22 runs.
Hyderabad are now level on points with fourth placed Royal Challengers Bangalore, who also have 16 points from 13 games but are ahead on a better net run-rate. Punjab are all but out of the top four race.
The run chase was expected to be tough for the hosts, who had to deal with a formidable bowling attack led by speedster Dale Steyn (2/20).
And they did stumble after losing four wickets of 51 runs including of the 'killer' David Miller. Adam Gilchrist (26) looked in good touch before dragging one off Sammy on his stumps.
Luke Pomersbach and Rajagopal Sathish kept Punjab in the hunt but the mounting required run rate was becoming a problem for them. That pressure led to Sathish's run out on 25.
The Australian was eventually left stranded on 33.
Earlier, Punjab made good use of the post rain conditions at the PCA Stadium.
Medium pacer Harmeet Singh Bansal removed the in-form Shikhar Dhawan (15) in the fifth over and then debutant Sandeep Singh struck thrice in two overs to put Hyderabad on the back foot.
Sandeep did what the more experienced Praveen Kumar and Parvinder Awana could not do enough, bowl on the right areas of a pitch having two prominent grass patches.
He got his first wicket, Hanuma Vihari, off a loose ball before dismissing the dangerous Cameron White and Biplab Samantray to be on a hat-trick.
Sammy could not read a wrong one off Piyush Chawla and was caught plumb in front, leaving Hyderabad at 52 for five in nine overs.
Opener Patel was running out of partner until he found support from Karan Sharma (22) and Thisara Perera.
Though Patel carried the innings till the 19th over, it was Perera who came up with most of the big hits towards the end. The Sri Lanka smashed 32 off 19 balls.