SunRisers Hyderabad are back in the reckoning for the IPL 2020 title as the two-time IPL champions defeated Kings XI Punjab by 69 runs after some fireworks from Jonny Bairstow earlier in the first innings in Dubai on Thursday.
The burly Englishman, who fell short of a century by three runs, shot seven sixes and half a dozen boundaries in a 160-run opening wicket stand with David Warner, who struck his 50th IPL half-century and is the only batsman in IPL to do so.
Rashid Khan (12/3) T Natarajan (24/2) and Khaleel Ahmed (24/2) shone with the ball to bundle out KXIP at 132 in the 201-run chase.
The victory, however, came difficult than it looked on the paper as KXIP batsman Nicholas Pooran gave SRH some reason to worry. The orange-clad outfit almost thought this is their night after they took out three top-order KXIP batsmen within the first seven over and 58 runs on board while setting up a massive 201 target in match 22 of IPL 2020 in Dubai. However, a swashbuckling 17-ball 50 by West Indian meant that SRH were quickly made to remember the cliched adage 'it's not over till it's over'.
The KXIP southpaw shot seven huge sixes and a boundary to reach his 50 while the side was back in the game, reaching 100 by the beginning of 11th over.
Pooran's fifty came at a crucial stage after KXIP looked down and out after a shaky start in the powerplay.
Chasing 201, KXIP were off to a shaky start with Mayank Agarwal (9 off 6) being run out at the non-strikers end after a mix-up with skipper KL Rahul. Prabhsimran Singh (11 off 8) failed to impress in his second IPL outing as Khaleel Ahmed ended his innings in the fourth over with mere 31 runs on the board.
Pooran then had a 28-run stand with skipper Rahul (11 off 16) with the former scoring all the runs in the partnership with 2 runs coming from the extra.
Rahul was at blame for throwing away his wicket with a sweep shot off Abhishek Sharma, who was already facing the heat after being shot for two huge sixes earlier in the over by Pooran.
Glenn Maxwell (7 off 12) and Mandeep Singh (6 off 6) and Mujeeb ur Rahman (1) couldn’t provide support to the Trinidadian, who fought lone battle from other end as the run rate never dropped below 9 with Pooran on the field.
His 77-run innings came to an end in the 15th over after he fall prey to SRH’s ever-dependable Rashid Khan, who finished the maiden over with another wicket of Mohammed Shami for a golden duck.
The match was just a formality from here on as the tailender were soon wiped out by SRH to restrict KXIP at 132.
Earlier in the first innings, Bairstow (97) and Warner (52) looked set to put up a 200-plus total with ease with both going gungho in the middle until the 15th over.
However, the mammoth opening stand was broken only in the 16th over by Ravi Bishnoi after which KXIP did well to restrain SRH down to a score just over 200. Bairstow was denied his second IPL hundred by Bishnoi in the same over.
KXIP took six wickets and conceded 41 runs in the last four overs. While wickets fell around him, Kane Williamson stood strong and was unbeaten on 20 off 10 balls. The only noteworthy stand outside of the opening partnership was between Williamson and Abhishek Sharma who put up 24 for the sixth wicket.