Batting first, the Sunrisers Hyderabad side got off to a slow start before Vijay Shankar’s 33-ball 50 took them to a first-innings total of 152/7, with Sheldon Cottrell picking a three-fer for the hosts. On the other hand, a Pooran-Maxwell partnership (75 runs) guided Punjab to a six-wicket victory.
After losing the toss, the Men in Orange were put to bat in the afternoon clash against Kings XI Punjab away from home. Batting first, David Warner and Jonny Bairstow teased the game potentially being a high-scoring affair, getting their side off to a quick start. However, once Bairstow walked back, the scoring rate slowed down with KXIP doing a good job towards the end of the powerplay, with the score reading 49/2. After that, Kane Williamson and Vijay Shankar did their level best to put the scoring rate back on track but the New Zealand skipper fell in an attempt to do so. However, the Tamil Nadu all-rounder’s 33-ball 50, alongside cameos from Virat Singh (18 off 13) and Sanjay Yadav (11 off 9) propelled the first innings total to 152/7 after the first 20 over mark in the innings.
Chasing 153 was never going to be a tough job for the likes of Chris Gayle and KL Rahul. However, in a T20 encounter, you could never predict the result upfront, with Sunrisers’ bowling unit. While Gayle did the bulk of scoring in the powerplay phase, Rahul tried to get himself into the encounter but eventually failed, scoring just six. The Jamaican too was dismissed in the sixth over, after his 20-ball 27. While the Sunrisers were in the contest, the partnership between Nicholas Pooran and Glenn Maxwell ensured that KXIP did not lose another wicket during the middle phase of the innings, with the Australian’s score reading 33 while the Windies batsman had scored 28 runs himself. Towards the end, a series of lusty blows from the duo ensured that the home side came away unfazed in the innings, with a six-wicket victory. While Maxwell scored a 27-ball 45, Pooran scored a 37-ball 45 during the side's easy victory against Sunrisers.
The 18th over in the first innings arguably changed the shape of this crucial fixture in favour of the Kings XI Punjab side. Who better than their new recruit, Sheldon Cottrell, who once again proved his worth towards the end of the innings with his tacky bowling. Not only did he remove the opponents’ top run-scorer, Vijay Shankar, in the game but also tilted the game in Punjab’s favour, with the additional wicket of Virat Singh, who in the past has shown signs of being a valuable lower-order batsman.
Highs and Lows
Glenn Maxwell led the run-chart in the particular fixture and guided his side nicely through the second juncture of the innings. His 27-ball 45, which included two sixes and three boundaries, was enough to take his side home in the 19th over of the innings, eight balls before closure. On top of that, his display through the tough phase was impressive and that certainly left a long-lasting impression on the result of the encounter.
David Warner’s knock disappointed one and all watching this particular fixture with their wide-eyes. After his partner at the other end, Bairstow, fell for a 11-ball ten, the onus on the skipper to put runs on board, but that did not suffice. However, watching his partner, the Australian opener did try to replicate his former scoring self, with three boundaries. Soon after that, he fell to Mohammed Shami after his 10-ball 13 runs. At 30/2, his dismissal surely put the men in Orange in a spot of bother.
Powerplay exploitation: SRH 6/10 and KXIP 8/10
Being put into bat first, David Warner and Jonny Bairstow put on an amazing display of aggressive batting at the top of the order for the Sunrisers, scoring ten off the very first over. However, in the third over, the English opener was undone by the Afghani spinner Mujeeb ur Rahman for an 11 ball 10. Meanwhile, the Australian opener continued his dominance, scoring two boundaries in the span of four deliveries to take SRH to 30/1. After Warner walked back scoring 13 (10), Manish Pandey took over the reins, in swashbuckling fashion with three boundaries and a six to finish off the powerplay as the men in Orange put up 49 runs on board.
In reply, Kings XI Punjab were off to their usual best start, with Chris Gayle and KL Rahul putting on a show early on in the innings. While KL Rahul was playing the more careful of roles, Gayle was scoring at a steady pace for the Punjab franchise. A 13-run over from Bhuvneshwar Kumar kick-started the innings for the home side, with Gayle looking in great touch. However, soon after, his opening partner, Rahul, fell prey to Sandeep Sharma. That did not stop the West Indian from the other end, who continued to impress one and all with his power-hitting ability, pulling off a 13-run over in the fifth. Despite his loss towards the end, the tourists still managed to score 49 runs in the first six overs.
Middle-overs manoeuvring: SRH 5/10 and KXIP 4/10
The middle-over phase for the Sunrisers started off with a jolt, as the Indian batsman Pandey walked back to the hut, getting out to statemate, Krishnappa Gowtham. That gave an opportunity for Vijay Shankar to prove himself after a quiet few past games for the Tamil Nadu all-rounder. Batting alongside Kane Williamson, Shankar slowly started getting runs for himself and the team. When Williamson walked back to the dressing room in the 13th over, the scoring responsibilities switched straight into Shankar and Virat Singh’s hands. The duo nicely put did the job, with the Sunrisers scoring 62 runs in the ten overs of the fixture.
Barring the wicket of Mayank Agarwal in the seventh over of the innings, the tourists did an excellent job through the middle-overs phase, piling on misery on the hosts. The duo of Glenn Maxwell and Nicolas Pooran ensured that they did not have any issue through the toughest phase of the innings. While Maxwell ended up scoring 33 runs during the phase, his partner, Pooran, scored 28 from the other end, with Punjab scoring 64 runs in 60 balls, to leave the chase open towards the end.
Death bowling: SRH 2/10 and KXIP 6/10
At 111/4, the game was slightly tilted in Sunrisers favour, thanks to the presence of both Shankar and Virat down the batting order. In the very first over (16th over), they scored 11 runs before pulling off a 13 run over in the very next. However, just as they were upping the ante, they lost both the set batsmen, with Sheldon Cottrell pulling things back in Punjab’s favour, with a double-wicket over. Soon after that, the scoring rate and the momentum going into the second innings drastically fell down for the Sunrisers, as they succumbed to a total of 152/7. In just the last five overs, the men in Orange scored 41 runs, at 8.2 runs per over.
As soon the death overs started, the flood gate of runs opened up for Kings XI, who saw the inexperienced Sunrisers bowling unit as an opportunity to put up their batting best. While they scored 13 runs in the first over, they upped the ante in the next two overs - with Maxwell really turning on the screw. On the other hand, the Sunrisers bowlers struggled to keep pace with the batting prowess from the Windies - Australian partnership which blew the contest and made it one-sided towards the end.
Match Frenzy O Meter - Terrible
The match certainly had all elements required to make up for a T20 encounter - runs, wickets and plenty of action. However, the issue with that is, everything was there in the first innings of the fixture. By the second innings, it was just runs on offer for batsmen and it looked like Sunrisers Hyderabad did not offer a fight.
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