Punjab knocks out Delhi, Lucknow wins over Hyderabad
Opening batter Prabhsimran Singh's maiden Indian Premier League century helped Punjab Kings to eliminate Delhi Capitals from the playoffs race on Saturday.
Also, Nicholas Pooran's unbeaten 44 off just 13 balls gained Lucknow Super Giants a crucial win at the expense of Sunrisers Hyderabad by seven wickets.
Singh's 103 off 65 balls anchored Punjab to 7-167. The next best score was Sam Curran's 20.
Delhi limped to 8-136 to lose by 31 runs. The top-order problems continued on another slow pitch at home as Punjab left-arm spinner Harpreet Brar grabbed 4-30 and legspinner Rahul Chahar 2-16.
Singh started slowly but once he gauged the slowness of the pitch he was rampant, hitting 10 fours and six sixes.
Singh got a lucky escape on 68 when he was dropped in the deep, but he endured until the penultimate over when he was clean-bowled by fast bowler Mukesh Kumar while going for a reverse ramp shot.
Captain David Warner, with 54, gave Delhi a rollicking start of 65 without loss in the batting powerplay before it slumped to 88-6 against the brilliant bowling of Brar and Chahar.
Brar dealt two crucial blows when Rilee Rossouw was caught in the deep, and he successfully went for a video referral to earn a lbw verdict against Warner in the same over.
"Another disappointing effort with the bat after the start we had," Australia's Warner said. "We found the right combination but we keep losing four, five wickets in the middle and that is something you cannot do at this level."
Punjab jumped to sixth and remain in the top-four playoffs hunt with two games in hand.
Delhi has won only four of 12 games and was rooted to the bottom of the table.
Hyderabad's miserable home run continued after Lucknow cruised to 3-185 in 19.2 overs.
Pooran smacked four sixes and three fours in the chase.
Prerak Mankad hit his first half-century, 64 not out, but Pooran's late counterattack in the death overs inflicted on Hyderabad its fifth home loss.
Heinrich Klaasen (47) and Abdul Samad (37 not out) did the heavy lifting in Hyderabad's 6-182 total.
Lucknow captain Krunal Pandya dismissed Aiden Markram and Glenn Phillips off successive deliveries, but Klaasen hit three sixes and three fours and Samad blazed four sixes to give Hyderabad late acceleration.
Lucknow's top order was strangled on the slow pitch and, despite Marcus Stoinis (40) and Mankad featuring in a 73-run, third-wicket stand, the asking run rate reached 14 an over off the last five overs.
Pooran took control by lofting Abhishek Sharma for three straight sixes off the first three balls he faced, and clinched the win with a flicked boundary against Fazalhaq Farooqi to fine leg.
"We spoke at the break, we felt we needed sixes to win the game," Pooran said. "Once a spinner came in, we targeted him. Happy to walk in and hit sixes anytime. … T20 is a batsmen's game, and it is important to take risks."
Lucknow broke into the top four but Hyderabad's playoff hopes were slim.