David Warner’s patient 70, followed by an exceptional bowling performance by Bhuvneshwar Kumar – who lifted the intensity at the right moments, helped Sunrisers Hyderabad defeat Kings XI Punjab by five runs on Monday evening. At 62-4 even before the half-way stage, KXIP were in strife in their run-chase. But Manan Vohra’s spectacular innings of 95 took them to the brink even though he kept losing partners at the other end. But his dismissal in the penultimate over – trapped leg-before by a sensational inswinging yorker from Bhuvneshwar Kumar – put the lid on the contest. KXIP were one stroke away from a win, but they were bowled out with two balls to spare.
Put into bat, SRH rode on two performances with the bat. An uncharacteristic 70 from the skipper Warner, and Naman Ojha’s 20-ball 34 were the top two scores in the SRH innings. Warner struggled at the beginning of the match; the ball seldom found the sweet spot of his bat and he struggled to find the gaps in the field.
But unlike his teammates, who perished in the face of some disciplined bowling by the KXIP bowlers or in an attempt to force the pace, Warner persevered and did not throw his wicket away. The SRH captain did not hit a boundary and had a mere 6 runs from 16 balls at the end of the powerplay overs. The left-hander broke the shackles in the seventh over when he reverse-swept the spin bowler KC Carippa and picked up the first of his seven boundaries. In the ninth over, he hit the spinner into the stands.
At the half-way stage, SRH were 54-3. That was when Naman Ojha joined his captain, and the hosts got a move on. The pair collected a boundary each off Cariappa in the eleventh. In the twelfth, Ojha scored a boundary off Axar Patel, while Warner picked up a boundary through in the thirteenth. In the fourteenth, Ojha deposited the left-arm spinner into the stands. Ishant Sharma conceded 12 in the fifteenth, and SRH finally had some momentum to their innings; the hosts added 54 runs between overs 11 and 15.
Ojha was dismissed by Cariappa in the sixteenth, stumped by WriddhimanSaha (who finished with four dismissals). Warner though stuck it out to the end; he scored 15 runs off six deliveries in the last two overs and remained unbeaten on 70, made from 54 balls, and studded with seven boundaries and two sixes. The SRH skipper had added 49 from 19 balls in the back ten overs of the innings. SRH went into the break on a high, with Rashid Khan hitting the last ball of the innings for a six; the hosts finished at 159-6.
For KXIP, Ishant Sharma was the most economical bowler, conceding only 23 runs in his four overs. Mohit Sharma (2-25) and Axar Patel (2-33) were complimented by Sandeep Sharma and Cariappa.
At the start of the run-chase, KXIP’s backbone was broken by Bhuvneshwar Kumar. He trapped HashimAmla leg-before first ball of the run-chase, and in his second over dismissed the KXIP captain and lynchpin Glenn Maxwell.
KXIP got back in the chase with a 41-run partnership between Manan Vohra and Eoin Morgan. Mohammad Nabi, who had conceded ten runs in his first over, returned for a second over and castled Eoin Morgan. His compatriot Rashid Khan joined in the act and castled David Miller and WriddhimanSahain the following over – tenth of the innings.
Vohra then played a lone hand; he kept his team in the contest and turned on the heat when all was nearly lost. He hit BarinderSran for a four and a six in the fifteenth over, then took toll of Rashid Khan – hitting the leg-spinner for two fours and two sixes.
At the start of the 19th over, KXIP were very much favourites; the visitors needed 16 from two overs and had a well-set Vohra at the crease. But, Bhuvneshwar Kumar landed a timely yorker that rapped Vohra in front of the stumps. Vohra was dismissed for his career-best score of 95, made from 50 balls and decorated with nine fours and five sixes. That Morgan’s 13 was the second-highest score of the KXIP innings illustrates how dismal the visitors’ batting was.
For the hosts, who now have three wins out of three at home this season, Bhuvneshwar Kumar (5-19) was the wrecker-in-chief, while the two Afghan lads picked up a wicket each.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: 159-6 (David Warner 70*, Naman Ojha 34, Mohit Sharma 2-25, Axar Patel 2-33) beat Kings XI Punjab: 154 in 19.4 Overs (Manan Vohra 95, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 5-19, Rashid Khan 2-42) by 5 runs
Man-of-the-Match: Bhuvneshwar Kumar