The IPL 2024 is turning out to be a tournament for unheralded names to make it big. Pacer Mayank Yadav (Lucknow Super Giants), batter Angkrish Raghuvanshi (Kolkata Knight Riders), Shashank Singh (Punjab Kings) have already starred to make themselves household names. On Tuesday, it was the time for 20-year-old Andhra batter Nitish Reddy to make it big. With his team in trouble against Punjab Kings in an IPL 2024 game, Reddy stepped up when it mattered the most to score a fine half-century.

Reddy is a batting allrounder and was picked by SRH for his base price of Rs 20 lakh. In domestic cricket he play for Andhra and has already played 17 first class matches  and 22 List A matches for Andhra. the match against PBKS was his second in IPL and he slammed a fine 64 off 37 balls (4sx4, 6sx5). This is also his highest in  the IPL so far, after staying unbeaten  14 against Chennai Super Kings.

“NKR- comes from a humble background. His father left his job for his career, he guided him and nurtured him. His hard work has paid dividends and I’ve seen him whn he was 17 years old. Proud of him of how he’s grown as a player. Asset for SRH n India in the future!” Hanuma Vihari wrote in a post on X.

Young Nitish Reddy showed tremendous character during a vital 37-ball 64, which lifted Sunrisers Hyderabad to a challenging 182/9 against Punjab Kings in their Indian Premier League match on Tuesday.

Left-arm seamer Arshdeep Singh (4/29) was the standout bowler for PBKS, but SRH still eventually finished with a total that looked improbable at one stage.

Abdul Samad chipped in with a 12-ball 25 before Jaydev Unadkat ended the SRH innings with a last ball six.

The match got underway on an eventful note as Travis Head (21 off 15 balls) would have been out first ball after a clear edge. But the opener must thank Kagiso Rabada for prolonging his stay in the middle as the South African lead pacer, having opened up Head completely, was not sure if he had indeed induced an edge.

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Wicketkeeper Jitesh Sharma went up straightaway but Rabada didn’t join his colleague loudly enough, as the batter got a reprieve with PBKS refusing to take a review.

Replays showed a clear edge, and it was strange on Rabada’s part who was smashed for three successive boundaries by Head for a 16-run third over.

Head got a thick edge for a four, got the second boundary through the off-side, and then played one on the rise through mid-on for his third straight four off Rabada.

Despite living a charmed life, Head failed to capitalise, thanks to PBKS skipper Shikhar Dhawan, who ran back and kept his eyes on the ball to complete an excellent catch, which was followed by his trademark thigh-slap celebration.

It was a big breakthrough for PBKS and their captain was delighted, and so was bowler Arshdeep Singh, who was the beneficiary of Dhawan’s judgement and athleticism.

Two balls later, Aiden Markram was walking back to the dugout for a duck after edging an away going Arshdeep delivery to Jitesh.

Abhishek Sharma, having just hit Sam Curran for a lovely six and a four, fell to the English all-rounder’s next ball after coming down the wicket in search of another big one. He mistimed, and Shashank Singh held on to a good catch to leave SRH in a spot of bother at 39/3 in the fifth over.

The power play yielded only 40 runs for the loss of three wickets as PBKS dominated the visitors, forcing SRH to alter their plans and send Rahul Tripathi as the impact sub. Tripathi replaced Head.

Tripathi (11 off 14 balls) and Heinrich Klaasen (9 in 9 balls) failed to get going to leave SRH tottering at 100 for five in the beginning of the 14th over.

The onus was then on Reddy to bail the team out, and the youngster did that with aplomb and picked 22 runs of a Harpreet Brar over to lift his side, while adding 50 runs in quick time with Samad.

With PTI inputs

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