Two teams with somewhat similar fortunes, who haven't been able to perform up to their potential, SRH locked horns with KXIP in a match that ended in their favoUr after a masterclass opening partnership. Jonny Bairstow was the pick of the batsmen for SRH as he scored 97 off 55 balls.
David ‘smoking’ Warner loves KXIP
Just in case, if there was any doubt in Warner’s love for the Punjab-based franchise, having already scored 8 fifties in a row against SRH, the Australian made it quite clear by coming out all guns blazing right from the first over, hitting Sheldon Cottrell for 13 runs in the first over itself. It must have been refreshing for the franchise as well, seeing a free-flowing Warner taking on the bowlers. How good a form Warner is in was quite clear when he completely mistimed a bouncer from Mohammad Shami for a four down the ground. He smoked the bowlers all over the ground, scoring a convincing 52 runs off 40 balls. He was also impressive in his approach to play the second-fiddle to Bairstow, when the English batsman was tonking the bowlers for fun, anchoring the whole innings to display his strong game sense. This would be welcome news for SRH, who are highly dependent on their skipper to perform.
There is hardly any mystery to Mujeeb
It wasn’t a long time ago when Mujeeb broke out on the international arena through breathtaking performances in T20 leagues all around the globe. Batsmen were confused while facing him, but that has changed now. Today he played his first match for the franchise after a rather good CPL season and bowled decently when compared to any average bowler, but the standards that he has set for himself were not met. Warner and Bairstow easily read all the variations of Mujeeb and hardly looked in any sort of problem while facing him. On the contrary, it was Mujeeb who was in pressure as he bowled a couple of low full tosses to start off his first spell in IPL 2020. He ended with bowling figures of 0/39, which perfectly explains the negligible impact he had in the match. Therefore, it does not look like Mujeeb will be able to take advantage of the mystery element in his bowling anymore and will have to rely on bowling good deliveries.
Ravi Bishnoi is here to stay
After Bishnoi was hit for 18 runs in the first over itself, it didn’t look like he was going to have a good day at the office as the Warner-Bairstow duo seemed unaffected by the bowlers of KXIP. However, Bishnoi returned back to change the match in the next over as he dismissed the opening pair of SRH and brought back KXIP in the game, who were nowhere near leading the match up until that point. The most impressive thing about his comeback was that he flighted his first ball right up to Warner despite getting hit in the last over, displaying his huge heart as a spinner. He dismissed both Warner and Bairstow through a googly after they were 160 for no loss, bringing the momentum in favor of his team. In this first match for the franchise as well, he showed great faith by flighting the ball, showing no signs of nervousness. Looks like Bishnoi is on the right track, under the guidance of Anil Kumble, to become one of the future stars of the country.
Nicholas Pooran can go berserk in IPL too
To be honest, this kind of crazy innings Pooran played would not have been expected by the KXIP fans themselves as the West Indian had failed to power through any bowling lineup in IPL before this match, scoring only paltry 30s and 40s. We all have seen these kinds of knocks from Pooran when he plays in other leagues, but such a knock was long-awaited in IPL. He was coming into this match on the back of a 44 against Mumbai, followed by a 33 against CSK, so he was in good knick, but just had not burst out as he did against SRH. He scored 77, including 7 sixes, 4 of which came in the over of leg-spinner Abdul Samad, who was hit for 28 runs in his first over. Meanwhile, he also made the record of second fastest fifty for the Punjab based franchise, bringing up his fifty in 17 balls. Although he could not finish the match as he got out for 37-ball 77, it will form a good foundation for him to win matches for KXIP in the future.