That the match had no bearing on the chances of both the teams making the playoffs did not stop the crowd from thronging the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Sunday night.
AS IT HAPPENED
But SRH lost the plot midway through their innings after Abhishek and Rahul Tripathi put them on course with brisk knocks. They settled for 157 for eight, thanks in the main to a late charge in the last five overs that fetched them 61 runs.
With Shikhar Dhawan (39; 32b, 4×2, 6×2) playing the sheet anchor, the Punjab batsmen went after the SRH attack with gusto. Jonny Bairstow set the tone and though he failed to cash in on a reprieve by Umran Malik off Washington Sundar, the batsmen who followed him down the order wasted little time in helping the team finish the match at 160 for five with 4. 5 overs to spare and finish sixth in the standings.
Shahrukh Khan, promoted to No. 3, and skipper Mayank Agarwal, who never looked comfortable after taking a blow in the ribcage off an express delivery from Malik, succumbed cheaply but Punjab found their man of the hour in Livingstone (49; 22b, 4×2, 6×5).
The Englishman fought fire with fire as Malik went for 15 in the ninth over and Romario Shepherd conceded 23 in the 15th. Jitesh Sharma played a good hand before Livingstone took Punjab home in the company of debutant Prerak Mankad.
All this after Abhishek (43; 32b, 4×5, 6×2) was snaffled by Livingstone timing his jump to perfection on the long-on fence. SRH lost their way in the middle due to left-arm spinner Harpreet Brar’s three for 26 and the 58-run stand for the sixth wicket in 28 deliveries between Sundar and Shepherd proved inadequate after skipper Bhuvneshwar Kumar decided to bat.