Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) had a night to remember as the trio of Jonny Bairstow (97), skipper David Warner (52), and Afghani star Rashid Khan (3/12) emerged as the dominant figures in ensuring a 69-run win over KL Rahul-captained Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) on Thursday in Dubai.
This was the third win for SRH and they are now at the 3rd spot in the points table with 3 wins in 6 matches, 6 points, and an NRR of +0.232. On the other hand, KXIP, who is currently seated at the bottom with merely a sole win, is on the verge of eviction from IPL 2020 as they need 7 wins in the remaining eight matches to qualify for the playoffs.
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Chasing 203 against a side that has spin-wizard Rashid Khan, yorker specialist T Natarajan, and the experience of Sandeep Sharma wasn’t going to be an easy task for the Punjab-based franchise and as the match progressed, the decision to bowl first bore fruits for the Men in Orange.
KXIP’s entire top and middle-order collapsed under the mega-run chase, with wicket-keeper batsman Nicholas Pooran being the lone warrior, who kept the KL Rahul-led side in the contest courtesy his mind-boggling 77 off 37 deliveries that comprised 5 fours and 7 sixes.
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Neither KL Rahul (11) nor Mayank Agarwal (9) could establish a foothold at the top-order. The trio of Simran Singh (11), Glenn Maxwell (7), and Mandeep Singh (6) was a big let down as neither one of them could take on the ante alongside Pooran.
Wickets kept falling at regular intervals for KXIP which adversely affected their chances of winning, eventually leading to their 69 run defeat at the hands of SRH.
Among SRH bowlers, Afghani cricketer Rashid Khan was the show-stopper with his rip-roaring figures of 4-1-12-3 that had the dismissal of a well-set Pooran. T Natarajan (2/24) was economical too, followed by Khaleel Ahmed (2/24) who was perfect with his
Bairstow and Warner unleash a carnage onto KXIP Bowlers
Opting to bat first, Sunrisers Hyderabad were off to a flying start, cruising at over 10 runs per over, with the opening duo of Jonny Bairstow (97, 55b) and skipper David Warner (52, 40b) forging a 160-run stand till 15.1 overs until leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi, who had conceded 18 runs in his first over, brought a twist to the story by dismissing both of them whilst conceding a single run.
Warner scored his 46th half-century and got past the 9500 run mark in T20s. Not to forget, along with Bairstow, the dashing duo struck their 5th 100-run stand in IPL.
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Following the duo’s departure, there occurred a major middle-order collapse in SRH’s lineup, with the likes of Abdul Samad (8), Manish Pandey (1), and Priyam Garg (20) who struck a match-winning fifty versus CSK, failing to render any aggressive display in the last few overs.
Exceptions were Kiwi cricketer Kane Williamson who scored an unbeaten 10-ball 20 with a four and a six, and southpaw Abhishek Sharma (12, 6b) whose short stints helped the team post 202 runs in 20 overs.
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From KXIP bowlers, Ravi Bishnoi was clearly the top-performer for his figures of 3-0-29-3, followed by left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh (2/33) for is wickets of Manish Pandey and Priyam Garg in the death overs. Mohammed Shami picked a wicket but ended up conceding 40 runs. Sheldon Cottrell (0/33), Glenn Maxwell (0/26), and Mujeeb ur Rahman (0/39) had a forgettable outing in Dubai.
Up next, KXIP will lock horns with Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on October 10 while SRH will take on the Rajasthan Royals (RR) on October 11.
Here’s how Twitter reacted to the performances of Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kings XI Punjab –