At one stage the visitors were 55 for none before they lost their opener Lokesh Rahul (32 off 26) in the eighth over. The right-handed batsman from Karnataka was batting well before he failed to read a beauty from Rashid Khan. Rahul failed to read the line of the ball as it brushed his willow and crashed into the stumps to leave him stunned.
Chris Gayle (23 off 22) was dismissed three balls later when he was caught and bowled by young Basil Thampi. It was the Jamaican’s dismissal that opened the floodgates for the visitors as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals in front of a charged-up spin attack from Sunrisers.
Rashid was the wrecker-in-chief, with his impressive figures of 3/19, and he was superbly backed up by young Thampi (2-14), Sandeep Sharma (2-17) and Shakib Al Hasan (2-18) as Punjab tumbled from 55/0 to 119 all out.
Punjab, who were coming from four consecutive wins, paid the price of dropping too many catches while bowling as they allowed Manish Pandey (54 off 51) to settle down and steer his team from the early dismissal of top order batsmen. Kane Williamson (0), Shikhar Dhawan (11) and Wriddhiman Saha (6) were all sent back to the pavilion in the powerplay by a spirited Rajpoot.
Manish Pandey was dropped on four, nine and 46, before Ankit Rajpoot (5-14) returned with the best figures from an uncapped player in the IPL. Rajpoot ran through the Sunrisers’ top order to ensure Punjab had a modest total to chase.
Pandey, who slammed a fifty when these two teams faced each other at Mohali, made most of the breathers given by Punjab fielders. He along with Shakib (28 off 29) stitched a partnership of 52 runs for the fourth wicket and ensured the hosts had something on the board to defend.