The Sunrisers wanted a win badly and their opener and their best bowler performed to their best to clinch a comfortable victory against Kings XI Punjab. Warner and Rashid Khan made sure the win not only gave them two points but helped the net-run rate as well.
Losing the toss batting first, the Sunrisers did not hide their intentions and went gung-ho from the word go. By the end of the powerplay, Warner and Saha had put on 77 without a loss. Saha fell immediately after the powerplay but Warner continued his rich vein of form as Manish Pandey and Nabi provided good support. Once Warner was out on the team score of 163 with the 9th half-century of the season, Captain Williamson and the tail wagged the score past 200. SRH eventually scored 212 in the 20 overs.
Defending 212 against Gayle and co. could soon turn out to be a nightmare but not this time as Khaleel Ahmed removed Gayle in the third over itself. As Mayank and KL Rahul looked to push the scoring, Rashid Khan removed Mayank with a mistimed slog sweep. Then Khaleel struck again to remove dangerous Pooran. Rashid Khan came back to remove Miller and R Ashwin on consecutive deliveries to have KXIP at 107 for 5. Khaleel then removed KL Rahul in the 19th over but the match was long gone by then.
Man of the match David Warner scored 81 with the strike rate of about 145. Manish Pandey with a score of 36 off 25 deliveries was the second highest scorer for SRH. Saha played a handy knock of 28 off just 13 deliveries at the start of the innings. Rashid Khan and Khaleel Ahmed took three wickets each. Rashid economy of 5.25 stood out in the high scoring game. Sandeep Sharma also took 2 wickets each. Khaleel, Bhuvaneshwar, and Sandeep went for more than 8 an over but SRH had the runs on the board.
Kings XI Punjab failed to bowl well on a decent pitch and looked completely out of sorts in a high chase which looked possible, though improbable. Mujeeb Ur Rahman would like to forget this game as he was taken to the cleaners all over the ground by SRH. The Kings gear up for a couple of do-or-die encounters.
Winning the toss fielding first at Hyderabad, Warner and, especially, Saha surprised them with an all-out attack up front. Before KXIP knew anything SRH were off to a flier with almost 13 an over in the powerplay. Although the Kings pulled things back in the middles stages with wickets, they could not stop SRH from scoring above par score of 212. The score was well above par but not impossible to overcome given the presence of some good hitters in the Kings’ ranks.
The chase began on the contrary to the expectations. Gayle, in order to up the run-rate, fell early. KL Rahul was trying to up the ante but wasn’t connecting all the time. Mayank showed some promise but Rashid took care of him. The collapse from 71 for 1 to 107 for 5 literally sealed the fate of KXIP. KL Rahul played an innings similar to that of Warner’s but could not get the support from the other end as Warner did. Eventually, KXIP fell short of the target by 45 runs.
R Ashwin was the peak of the bowlers with 2 for 30. Shami took 2 for 66 in 4 overs. Mujeeb Ur Rahman had a forgettable outing where 66 runs were scored off his 4 overs. Bowling him at the death turned out to be a bad idea. KL Rahul top scored with 79 but found little support from the rest of the batters resulting in the Kings losing the match.
Confident Sunrisers Hyderabad will play Mumbai next in an away game at Wankhede stadium on 2nd May 2019. Sunrisers have peaked at the right time but they will be up against a strong Mumbai team that is aiming to cement their place in the playoffs. Mumbai have already beaten the Sunrisers in the earlier encounter this season.
Kings XI Punjab will play their next match against Kolkata Knight Riders at home on 3rd May 2019. The Kings will be desperate for a win now at the closing stages of the league. They will be virtually out of playoffs if they fail to win any of the remaining two matches.
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